Oakhill Nature Reserve
Welcome to Oakhill Nature Reserve
A hidden gem at Goole, with secluded lakes and gentle walks. Oakhill is a 150 acre nature reserve with ponds, meadows, wetlands and woodlands, stretching out beyond Goole. It is home to stunning dragonflies, beautiful butterflies and fascinating amphibians and reptiles. The reserve has a rich bird life and a wonderful variety of flowers and fungi. This is a special place for nature lovers to enjoy; linger a while and explore.
This peaceful nature reserve was once a busy place filled with an extensive network of railway sidings, shunting yards, locomotive sheds and a brickworks, all interspersed with farmland. The Brick Ponds were excavated at the end of the 19th century, providing clay for brick manufacturing by the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Company.
The locomotive sheds held over 40 steam engines. They became redundant in 1973 and demolished soon after, although evidence is still visible. Railway usage declined and similarly the fields are no longer farmed, now superb reedbeds, wetland and grassland.
Images: Oakhill in Snow by Brian Brady. Wildlife at Oakhill by Matthew Cox
Oakhill and the Brick Ponds are managed by the Countryside Access Team and Friends of Oakhill. Our goal is to balance recreational activities with conserving wildlife. The ponds and scrapes were restored a few years ago and form part of one of the best dragonfly sites in Yorkshire, with over 20 species recorded. The ponds, along with numerous ditches are also valuable for kingfishers, water voles and great crested newts.
Wetland areas are treasured and young willow saplings are removed so the ground stays damp. There are still plenty of mature willow trees for rare willow tits that excavate the old trunks to build their nests.
In the birch wood some trees are sensitively removed to make way for more species. New glades see flowers and butterflies thriving. The distinctive silver birch trunks shine out through the wood and new trees have space to grow.
Cafes and pubs in Goole (one and a half miles), at the Waterways Museum (1 mile), and M62 Junction 36 (1 mile).
Public toilets on Estcourt Street, Goole, DN15 5AS (one and a half miles).
Taking dogs in the nature reserve
Keep your dog under close control, out of all ponds and reed beds. Do not disturb wildlife or other visitors. Please clean up after your dog, and place the bagged waste in the entrance bin.
Space for 25 cars, please park considerately.
There is a surfaced track from the car park to the main pond and Ranger station. The track crosses an infrequently used railway line via pedestrian gates and concrete crossing point. There are surfaced paths around the main pond and Brick Ponds. Paths through the meadow and woods are firm but un-surfaced. There are 3 flights of steps in the woods (max. flight of 16 steps).