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 an enjoyable and safe experience here, please carefully read through the following information before setting off:

 Opening times: The reserve is open every day, 9am-5pm. At the moment, we are closed outside of these hours to allow us to manage visitor numbers safely on site. Last entry is at 3.30pm. 

️ ️ Car parking:

  • To help us manage visitor numbers on site at the moment, we have reduced capacity in the car park for now. Only our accessible parking spaces and part of our main car park are in use at present. This means there is space for about 20 cars. To avoid disappointment, please be mindful of this before you travel and do consider visiting us at a less busy time or have an alternative destination in mind if we are full when you get here. 
  • Due to our reduced capacity it is not possible for us to accommodate large camper vans at the moment (there is never overnight parking on the reserve).
  • Please be respectful of our neighbours and contractors and don't park on the road or corner near to the reserve - access is required for large machinery.
  • Please note that there is no link route from the public footpath onto the reserve, so the site can't be entered that way on foot. 

 Visitor centre: We currently have limited capacity within our small team so the visitor centre is closed for now. We are unable to provide an outdoor welcome everyday, but will be in the car park to welcome you on arrival when we can. This also means we aren't charging our usual entry fees for non-members at the moment, but donations towards our work are always welcome. 

️ Toilets: Our toilets and accessible toilet are open daily 9.30am-5pm. All visitors, except those who are exempt, should please wear a face covering when inside our toilet building.

 Hides

  • We are pleased to have opened our hides. You’ll notice we’ve made a few changes to help keep everyone safe
  • We've got maximum numbers signposted at the entrance to each hide, they can only accommodate a very limited number of people/bubbles.
  • Please consider the amount of time you dwell in the hides on busy days, to allow everyone the opportunity to enjoy the wildlife in safety here. 
  • All visitors, except those who are exempt, should please wear a face covering when inside our hides.
  • We have provided hand sanitiser at the hides, but recommend you also bring your own. 
  • Please follow 2m social distancing in the hides and elsewhere on-site.

 Refreshments: We're sorry that there are no refreshments available to purchase at the moment. You are welcome to bring a picnic with you to enjoy on your visit. Please follow government guidelines on social distancing when using our picnic area. Help to keep this place safe and special for wildlife and people, by taking your litter home with you. 

 Conservation work on-site: We're doing some home improvements. Our annual reserve management operations, which we carry out to benefit the special habitats and wildlife that you enjoy seeing here, along with work by the Environment Agency, are still taking place on and around the reserve and are running behind the usual schedules. This is due to delays brought about through reduced staffing levels over the last few months and the recent wet weather, which makes it difficult to access and use certain machinery on-site. It may therefore be necessary for us to close some hides/parts of the reserve at times, to allow safe working. We will try our best to give notice of this and also not to disrupt viewing but hope you understand that management of the reserve for our key breeding and wintering birds and wildlife often has to be done when weather and tides allow us to get on with work. A reminder also  to please be respectful of our team, neighbours and contractors and not park on the road or corner near to the reserve - access is required for large machinery.

Thank you:

We will constantly review the situation and may need to reduce or close access further, or indeed open up more as and when laws, government guidance and our own staffing here changes. We are a small team at Blacktoft with a large area of Humber reserves to look after, so bear with us as we navigate the very changeable situation we're all in at the moment. Thank you for your continued support and especially your patience. It really means a great deal to us during these challenging times. 

Keep an eye on this blog, as well as our Facebook and Twitter pages for regular Blacktoft updates. For the latest RSPB coronavirus updates and a list of which reserves are open, please click here.

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