Latest News

National win for High Batts

We are delighted to report that our project “In at the Start” has won the national prize for community research projects in the Heidelberg Quarry Life Award 2018 competition. In making the presentation, the chairman of the judges said:- “This is an exemplar project and a worthy winner of the inaugural community section of the Quarry Life Awards. The judges felt that this is an investment in the future, and one in which partnership, people and trust have been key elements. The project is being run an inspirational group who have shown great positivity and it offers a lot to potential benefits for biodiversity as well as ongoing and increasing wide stakeholder engagement.”

We are of course delighted with our win, and would like to thank all our volunteers and partner organisations who made it possible. It is a wonderful achievement for all concerned and we look forward to continuing to work with Hansons to deliver the long-term benefits of the project.

Award win


Reserve Closure and Muck-in Morning

The Reserve will be closed for some essential maintenance on 13th and 14th October. The planned Muck-in Morning has therefore been cancelled. The next Muck-in is on Saturday 17th November.

The Winter Lecture Programme

The first event in our winter programme is on Monday 1st October. You can find more details here.

In at the start project – our last event

IMG_0729 (2)The last summer event of our project took place on 1st September with a guided walk around the new quarrying area, looking at the wildlife, hearing how the species monitoring programme is going and learning about the plans for restoring the site as a wetland area after the extraction is completed.  Twenty two people joined the walk around the 2.5 kilometre track on a warm and sunny day, and later were entertained to afternoon tea.


It’s been a wonderful year for insects

The hot summer has obviously been good for insects and the Reserve (and Pennycroft which we are monitoring for the In at the Start Project) has been alive with grasshoppers, butterflies and dragonflies. Here are just a few of the picture our monitoring teams have sent in. They are a Comma butterfly, Brown Hawker dragonfly, Red Darter dragonfly, Silver Y moth, and an Elephant Hawkmoth caterpillar.


Muck-in Morning 23rd June

Thanks to all the volunteers who turned out for the bracken and balsam bashing morning. It was warm work but that did not stop them doing a fantastic job as you can see from the before and after pictures.  It was nice to meet some new faces, and have a natter over the refreshment break.  If you fancy joining the fun we have another Muck-in planned for 21st July. The session planned for 7th July unfortunately had to be cancelled.

Open Day 2018

We had 140 visitors to our Open Day on 3rd June.  Lots of families came which was good and meant that the pond dipping. nature quizzes and bird box making was very popular as was the demonstrations of live bats, small mammals and bees.  Our thanks to all those organisations and individuals who helped to make it such a success.

In at the start project

The weather has, not surprisingly, somewhat delayed progress on the site but those of you who have visited recently will have noticed that there has been lots of  tree planting on Pennycroft near the Reserve and beyond.  The top car park has also now been fenced and has only one access/egress point.  We have been working with North Stainley School and on Monday 19th March we had a lovely day when all the children came to the Reserve. We marked the occasion by planting an oak tree on the Pennycroft site.

Our project has become known as IATS and to find out about the background to our project visit the In at the Start page.

Happy New Year to all our members, supporters and partner organisations

We hope to see you all at the Reserve or at one of our off-site events at some time during 2018. In the meantime our best wishes for the coming year with a picture taken to remind you of the beauty of High Batts, kindly provided by Pat Rumbold after a New Year visit.

January Pat Rumbold

 Closure of the Mound Viewing Area

Would members please note that the Mound Viewing area at the north of the Reserve is closed until further notice because of essential repairs to the access steps.

Members’ Muck-in Morning

Despite dismal weather, 10 members turned out to do some bracken bashing, and they seemed to enjoy it! As you can see, there was plenty of bracken to go at.


Members’ Muck-in Morning

Eighteen members, from the young to the not-so-young, turned out on Saturday 29th October for a morning of coppicing, raking, brash piling and bonfiring. The amount of work which was done was fantastic, Colin was extremely pleased,  everyone had a good time and went home a bit tired but happy (we think). Our thanks to all who contributed to a very useful day.  Our next Muck-in Morning will be on Saturday 10th December and we hope to see you there.


Members’ Muck-in Day

High Batts 28-5-2016 (56 of 126)Sixteen members turned out for a morning of bracken bashing on Saturday 28th May. Although most were novices at the task everyone showed a natural aptitude for it and at the end of the morning Colin Slator pronounced that it was an excellent job. The weather was perfect, the company was convivial and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves, and enjoyed thHigh Batts AGM

The Hotel Hide

The “Hotel” is now fully operational after its conversion to allow use as a wildlife hide. Our volunteers have done a wonderful job and it is a real asset to the facilities on site. Come along and try it out.  Now is a wonderful time to visit the Reserve. The spring flowers are at their best and all the newly arrived migrant birds are singing and showing well. Posted 12th May 2016

Articles and podcasts that might interest you

Colin Slator has recommended a website for the interesting articles and podcasts you can find there on environmental issues. There is currently an article on the proposed re-introduction to Britain of the Lynx, and a series of varied podcasts called “Talking Naturally”.