• 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
  • A crazy mixed up week!

    A quick update on the Corona virus closure - the reserve will remain closed for the foreseeable future unfortunately due to the issues of how social distancing can be maintained and cross contamination of the hides and toilets is controlled. We also have to respect the local community and how they would feel if lots of visitors arrived in the area, but its not been an easy thing to have to come to terms with that the…

    • 12 May 2020
  • Breeding season in full swing as migrants feel the chill

    May already and of course typically the weather just isn't doing what it ought to, those northerly winds just don't want to give in and then no rain or sign of summer, but then my last blog did warn of the uncertainty of spring weather.

    One thing though that is certain is that the reserve is still well and truly locked down for visiting, work however continues apace especially with the arrival of the cattle this…

    • 5 May 2020
  • Ne'er cast a clout................

    Well May hasn't even started but it looks as though the weather is changing somewhat for May and giving real meaning to the old saying 'ne'er cast a clout till May be out' - mind you I never try to take my coat off in the middle of a Yorkshire summer unless I have to as I've experienced far too many cold ones over the years! 

    Certainly for the birds its seems to have been causing quite a bit of confusion…

    • 29 Apr 2020
  • Nagging Nor'easterlies and no rain - not a typical April!

    Well its certainly not a typical April at all is it? With the reserve closed to all visitors, just two of us staff that aren't furloughed and then a dry April with constant nagging North Easterly winds then there is nothing typical about it in many regards! 

    But then for much of the wildlife its business as usual, albeit slightly affected I suspect by this weird spring weather. Also writing the blogs so far apart…

    • 21 Apr 2020
  • Summer arrives!

    Firstly apologies for the lack of postings over the last week and a half, we've been reduced to just two staff what with all the lock down and reserve closure but off course livestock and related work does not stop and the last few days has been a blur of stock fencing, ensuring the ponies were safe on the high tides and organising all sorts of other jobs to try and keep the boat afloat. So not quite sure what sort…

    • 11 Apr 2020
  • Teetering on the Brink, cool weather delays spring

    Just a reminder that the reserve is shut to all visitors and locked down for only essential management duties such as shepherding the livestock, however I've managed a few photo's during my brief visits and checks that the ponies and site are all ok, fed and watered. 

    Koniks enjoying some fresh water 

    The arrival of Spring has been as per usual from recollection of past ones been held back a little longer than…

    • 1 Apr 2020
  • Nature at Home (a guest blog)

    You may know that I did request people to write a guest blog to help keep everyone's spirits up in the current situation and for people to help me out a little, well here is the first blog from our neighbour Andrew who felt inspired to put 'pen to paper', a fascinating blog which I myself have learned a thing or two - I do hope you enjoy it as much as I did and hopefully it will inspire one or two of you, it doesn't even…

    • 27 Mar 2020
  • Isolation - lock down but not out, we will be back!

    Well most but maybe not all by from what I'm hearing have already heard about the national lock down, here on the Sands we closed our gates seven days ago and went into lock down knowing what was almost a certainty to come as it has now.

    Nobody knows how long it will take for the country to get back to how it was but its likely that we will be talking about months before the reserve re-opens rather than weeks. I…

    • 24 Mar 2020
  • A virtual update - spring is most defiantly here

    As many of you will already have heard unfortunately we have had to close the reserve due to Corona virus concerns mainly due to the issue of contamination within the hides and toilets of surfaces where the virus can survive for long periods. It was a difficult decision and not taken lightly, but we felt that without the long trails you have on other sites we could just not operate safely and without risk to visitors…

    • 19 Mar 2020