Discover The Reserve
The reserve is a fantastic place to escape from the hustle and bustle of the city and is a real haven for wildlife as well as people. It is a special place where plants and animals can make their home in the ponds, meadows, woods and cliffs. One of the best ways to enjoy the wildlife is to follow one of the nature trails.
Please keep out of the ponds at all times, swimming and paddling is not permitted.
Explore the Meadow Trail
On the meadow trail you can see many of the butterflies found on the reserve, such as the gatekeeper, meadow brown or comma. Even on a cloudy day you may see a ringlet as it flies over the long grass. The reserve has 22 species of butterflies recorded across the different habitats, and one of the best places to see them is on the distinctive purple buddliea bushes scattered all over the reserve. On sunny days in August you can see literally hundreds of peacock, red admiral, small tortoiseshell and painted lady butterflies gorging themselves on nectar from the flowers.
The rarest butterfly on the reserve is the curiously named white letter hairstreak, so named because of a white L-shaped letter on its underwing! To see this elusive butterfly you'll need to look high up in the elm trees during July; it is here where they lay their eggs as the caterpillars just love to munch the leaves.
Explore the Pond Trail
The ponds are important places for amphibians, and particularly the smaller ponds that completely dry up in the summer. Amphibian offspring in these ponds stand a better chance of survival since there are no predatory fish. Great crested newts are important on the reserve since their numbers in the UK have drastically declined due to habitat loss. British and European laws protect newts from being killed or injured, and you also must not capture, handle or possess these newts. When enjoying your visit to the ponds, please make sure your activities do not disturb the newts or other wildlife here.
Explore the Cliff Trail
The trail explores the tree covered chalk cliff terraces of the reserve, once said to resemble miniature snow covered Alps, and which gives the area its local name of Little Switzerland. The trail passes through woods of ash trees that love to grow on these chalky soils. They can also survive on the cliff walls and ledges by clinging on with their creeping roots over the chalk rock. There really are some staggering trees hanging onto the rocks above you!
Explore the Tree Trail
The tree trail is a great way to explore the woods. The leaf-shaped way markers are located across the reserve and also feature a coded challenge for you to solve. Designed by the friends group, trail leaflets are available to download at the bottom of page or the Friends of the Humber Bridge Country Park website.
Access to the reserve can be made on three paths leading from entrances at Hessle Foreshore, Little Switzerland and the Bridge Car Park. Parking is available in the Foreshore and Humber Bridge car parks. Due to the old quarrying landscape only the Hessle Foreshore entrance is accessible on a flat, level step-free path, through a wide kissing gate suitable for the majority wheelchairs and modern scooters. All the trails start from this location and alternative paths are provided around the steps. The meadow Trail is 1km, cliff trail 3km and pond trail 2.5km (a short extra path leads to the wildlife pond, from here return to the trail back the same way)
A hard, firm and smooth path surface is provided throughout the reserve, which is always wide enough to allow people to walk side by side. There are rest areas, such as seats or perches provided every 100 metres along the paths, and the picnic areas are designed to accommodate visitors using wheelchairs. The maximum steepness of the paths is 1:12, apart one path on the cliff trail in the southwest corner of the reserve where there is a 1:5 slope for 10m.
Code of Conduct
You are welcome to visit this site on foot. Please note that we do not allow camping, horseriding or motorbikes. Use the steel barbeque stands and never place hot fires on the grass. You can bring your dog but you should pick up after it and it should be kept under close control. Not everyone is comfortable around dogs so please be aware of this when exercising your animal.
Cyclists can also use the site but it is important that you ride sensibly for the ground conditions and adjust your speed when close to walkers and dogs.
Nature Reserves are special places for wildlife, please help keep them beautiful by picking up litter and avoid disturbing wildflowers.
Orienteering in the park
Orienteering is a fun leisure activity at the Humber Bridge Country Park and a great way to explore the woods and meadows. In orienteering your goal is to find your way round a set of control points using a specially designed orienteering map. There are 6 courses of different lengths and difficulty, and all are suitable for adults and children. Full instructions are in the orienteering leaflet avalable to download at the bottom of the page.