• Wild Times in Scunthorpe (well almost).

    Please note. The reserve remains closed under lockdown guidance. Unlike at other sites, much of the reserve here at Blacktoft can only be viewed from the hides, so closed hides means a closed reserve. We will of course continue to monitor the circumstances and re-open at the earliest opportunity. Please stay local.


    Firstly let me apologise for the lack of a blog recently. Lockdown means that for much of the time office…

    • 22 Jan 2021
  • A Happy Humber New Year

    Happy New year to all from all of us (and our partners) that work in conservation around the Humber.

    Let's hope that 2021 let's us do more of the things we love. For me that means spending more time along the Humber and the wider area exploring and watching our fantastic wildlife.

    As you can imagine I usually spend a lot of time at the reserve. Which means I have the amazing privilege of seeing some of the finest…

    • 3 Jan 2021
  • Summer 2020 - The perfect bittern year

    2020 may be a year that many people would rather forget than remember but for one of our flagship reedbed species here on the Humber I thought it would be fitting to write a blog to mark what was simply the perfect year.

    When I arrived to work here at Blacktoft way back in 1998, bittern was one of the of the species that I was asked to specifically manage the reedbed for and try and attract to breed. Indeed, it was at…

    • 31 Dec 2020
  • Waifs, Strays and Northern Wanderers

    Although the reserve is still unfortunately closed to visitors the team have been working flat out to deliver as much conservation work as possible before the new year when we will be busy with our main reedcutting operations, that's if the weather is kind to us. 

    But as we've gone about our work its been very notable that there has been distinct movement through and arrival of birds on site which have no doubt…

    • 9 Dec 2020
  • How time flies

    Well almost December and how time seems to fly at the moment despite the reserve still being closed to visitors. The last few weeks just seem like a blur as the team try to get on top of the work programme which has led to a very busy time for us all. 

    Late November sunsets are always very nice

    With not writing a blog for a while I seem to have lost my stride a little but hopefully today I can give you a little flavour…

    • 27 Nov 2020
  • I know what I did last summer.

    Mothing … lots of mothing. And no that isn’t a typo. (nothing)

    There’s real beauty in moths!

    So it’s deepest darkest lockdown as late spring is merging into summer and I’ve been at home for what seemed like an eon. I needed something to do to keep me sane. Realising my 3 previous attempts to learn guitar had met with abject failure and I’m never going to be a rock star I looked back to nature for inspiration…

    • 23 Nov 2020
  • Covid Update as of 31.12.2020

    In line with government guidance, and the region continuing in Tier 3 from Friday 31st December 2020 the reserve will remain temporarily closed. We know that for many of you, the reserve provides enjoyment and solace through these challenging times, so this decision has not been taken lightly.
    Under the latest Government guidance, hides will be closed throughout Tier 3 restrictions.
    Unlike at other sites, much of…
    • 2 Nov 2020
  • The Numbers Game - Wetland birds flock to the Humber in record numbers

    Firstly I will confirm that yes the reserve is still open 9am to 5pm last entry at 3.30pm every day. We will update you as soon as is possible if this changes, please bring a face mask and wear them in the hides and toilet block and I recommend that you bring hand sanitiser as it is not provided in the hides. Also just to say that we have limited parking and this means visitor numbers are restricted, so please think carefully…

    • 30 Oct 2020
  • Back In My Happy Place.

    Just a reminder that the reserve opens 9am to 5pm - last entry at 3.30pm. Please bring a face mask with you for use in the hides and toilets and also it is recommended that you bring your own hand sanitizer.

    We’re constantly monitoring the latest government guidance and will update any changes via our blog posts here, facebook and twitter.

    It’s been an awfully long time !!

    I’ve been away for far too long…

    • 22 Oct 2020
  • Autumn fading into Winter

    There's really been an autumnal feel over the last week with changes in the birds seeing summer now slip into winter as the first redwings and fieldfare arrive, the wildfowl numbers build up and the harrier roost gathers against a background of browns and reds.   

    Marsh harriers coming out of roost on a morning


    Its certainly that time of year when the birds of prey…

    • 14 Oct 2020
  • Up where the air is clear, up in the atmosphere

    Apologies for there being no blog for a while, work has just been incredibly busy and even today its going to be a short blog I'm afraid. 

    Just a reminder that the reserve opens 9am to 5pm - last entry at 3.30pm. Please bring a face mask with you for use in the hides and toilets and also it is recommended that you bring your own hand sanitizer.

    So on with the blog.............................

    After typically a 'quietish…

    • 6 Oct 2020
  • Migration gets into the swing

    As many of you now know we have tentatively re-opened the site to visitors, if you are to enjoy your visit then please read the last recent sightings blog that should tell you everything you need to know before you set off. We have a restricted offer and you will need to bring a face mask and hand sanitiser with you on the day. But if you do decide to visit here's an update on the weeks sightings. 

    Migration gets into…

    • 12 Sep 2020
  • Important information: what has re-opened at Blacktoft Sands?

    We know how keen you've been to visit us, so we are delighted to have re-opened some of our facilities from 8 September.

    You’ll notice we’ve made some changes to help keep you and our small team safe. If you have visited before, you'll know that the layout of Blacktoft Sands means that much of the viewing takes place from the hides (download a map here if needed), so in order to ensure you can have …

    • 7 Sep 2020
  • Southward bound migration

    Unfortunately the reserve is still closed but I suppose there is more positive news that we are getting a little closer towards re-opening in a limited capacity, but only if we can find enough staff and volunteer resource to manage both limited car parking and welcome to the site and carry on with the priority conservation work across all our sites that we manage. Not quite sure when that will be at the moment as we are…

    • 18 Aug 2020
  • Guest blog - The Mowing of the Meadow by Linda Ingham

    On the 10th of July, I visit Horseshoe Meadow with a friend from Hornsea; she’s a ceramicist who has an interest in pollen, and uses its structures to inform her pieces, and we’re thinking of each making some work we can display together, which grows out of the same location.

    The weather, for days, has been very wet, but the forecast looks ahead to a few fine days and Pete has warned that mowing is imminent;…

    • 11 Aug 2020
  • A Very Yorkshire Summer

    Please note that the reserve is still closed until further notice. The blog is to help people keep in touch about what is going on and particularly those who are still unable to get out and about into the countryside. For further details of why we are still closed please see previous blogs.

    Well what an up and down summer we are having this year with certainly the last few week nothing to shout about in terms of any settled…

    • 4 Aug 2020
  • Late summer D.I.V.E.R.S.I.T.Y

    Unfortunately the reserve remains closed due to the logistical difficulties that are still affecting the staffing of the reserve operations and also the ability to put in controls to keep social distancing and numbers of people on site that would keep everyone safe. Strange times indeed and for us quite difficult and depressing, another fellow Site Manager in  teams meeting recently asked me if I enjoyed having the reserve…

    • 23 Jul 2020
  • Guest Blog - The Mosaic Meadow - By Linda

    Great to get another Guest Blog about part of the reserve that someone has got to know and love, Linda is an Artist who the Reserve has worked with over the last few years by being involved in projects that she's organised, looking at how nature is reflected in art and how it inspires people to express themselves and their feelings. Many thanks too for helping me out at a rather busy time when I'm struggling with finding…

    • 21 Jul 2020
  • Its been a long time coming!

    Yes, apologies for no blog for quite a while, the volume of work for just two staff across the Humber reserves is at the moment just a step or ten ahead of us. I'll try and update as best I can when I can but blogs will now become add-hock when I can manage them and remember anything beyond the last few days!

    Also apologies but at the moment we are unable to re-open the reserve to visitors, the logistics of social…

    • 10 Jul 2020
  • Midsummer connections, grass snake, frogs and bitterns.

    With the reserve still closed in line with government guidelines for the use of enclosed public spaces here's an update on what has been happening over the last few days.

    Crikey its like the Congo out there at the moment and not much better here in the office, but the weather is certainly good for the wildlife at the moment with the air literally buzzing in the steamy conditions. 

    Horseshoe meadow is literally full…

    • 26 Jun 2020
  • Approach of the summer solstice marks a distinct change in the bird calendar

    With the days still but only just drawing out and the June weather reinvigorating the avian breeding season it does seem that there is a change just starting as youngsters fledge and passage waders and duck return to site. Even the cuckoo is now starting to change his tune and will soon be looking to head south. 

    But yet for some species there is still a long way to go with no doubt that some of our late nesting ducks…

    • 18 Jun 2020
  • A stop start June

    Well almost the middle of June already and currently no sign of the reserve opening its gates due to the need to follow Government advice on social distancing and the use of our hides and pathways, we are planning though and hopefully have a way forward if things change to a situation where we can re-open when it is deemed safe to do so. Please note all the photo's for the blog have been taken while I've been surveying…

    • 11 Jun 2020
  • Whether we like it or not

    Another thought provoking and very timely guest blog from our neighbour Andrew on the last few months and the challenge its giving everyone who manages land for both wildlife and farming in the local area, everyone is having a tough time especially with the added issues of Covid 19 and the stress that puts upon everyone including people who are working in the countryside. Thank you very much Andrew. 

    There’s a famous old…

    • 1 Jun 2020
  • Late May in Pictures

    Not a lot of time this week for a blog as we've been pretty full on with work. 

    Just a quick update in terms of the reserve closure - the Reserve will remain closed as we are not currently able to open our hides or toilets under government guidelines. 

    This week has been another hot and dry one and this has meant birds have been getting on with raising their young, lots of insects emerging too particularly butterflies…

    • 29 May 2020
  • Where Worlds Collide

    Just a quick reminder that the reserve is closed for the foreseeable - for more information please read the start of the last blog. Straight into the blog this week without further ado. 

    Mid to late May is always a time when worlds collide as the breeding birds are in full swing around the reserve but yet there are still species such as the arctic waders that are passing through on their way to exotic places such as Greenland…

    • 21 May 2020