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Pasture Wharf

A mosaic of open water, reedbeds and intervening rough grassland and scrub.

Pasture Wharf consists of flooded clay pits, with open water and reedbeds, and 1.3 km (0.8 miles) of foreshore, including the old wharf. It is also the site of a former tile works (where a kiln chimney still stands). The mosaic of open water, reedbeds and intervening rough grassland and scrub provides excellent habitat for breeding birds, such as great crested and little grebes, bearded tit, reed warbler and blackcap. Mallard, pochard, tufted duck, gadwall and goldeneye occur in good numbers in winter. The foreshore, mudflats and flooded grassland attract many wading birds, including dunlin, redshank, grey plover and bar-tailed godwit. Bitterns occur in winter, and with careful management we hope they may return as a nesting species.

The aims of management are to retain a balance between open water and reed and to provide a sanctuary area by restricting access to some reedbeds and waterside areas. Reed-cutting and water-level control are also important.

The purchase of Pasture Wharf in 1992 included about half of the wedge–shaped Pioneer Pit which lies to the south of the main reserve, between the access track to the Sailing Pit and the railway line. In 2007 the Trust was able to purchase the remaining western area of the pit with a grant from Waste Recycling Environmental Ltd. (WREN). The grant also included funds for fencing, tidying up the site and gapping the fine hedgerows.

Pioneer Pit has gin-clear freshwater, with low nitrate and chloride concentrations and apart from fringes and stands of reed and reedmace is rich in other wetland flora. Marginal vegetation includes branched bur-reed, reed sweet grass, reed canary grass and water cress. The list of aquatic species is long, some examples being: Nuttall’s waterweed, marestail, rigid hornwort, water lily and fan-leaved water crowfoot. A notable aquatic plant which is present in this SSSI is hair-like pond weed. Such a rich wetland flora engenders an abundant and varied assemblage of species higher up the food chain. Breeding birds include mute swan, little grebe and good numbers of reed and sedge warbler. Bittern and bearded tit are recorded there occasionally. Pioneer Pit is excellent for dragonflies and damselflies with records of four-spotted chaser and black-tailed skimmer in addition to the more common species.


Nearest postcode: DN18 5RD

Please note - postcodes are for the nearest registered address as we are unable to get postcodes for nature reserves. Please use the maps provided here to locate the entrance to the reserve.

Nearby nature reserves

Barrow Haven Reedbed
1 miles - Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust
Far Ings NNR
2 miles - Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust
Barrow Blow Wells
2 miles - Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust

Nature reserve map

Reserve information

Pasture Road North
Map reference
TA 044229
Best time to visit
Jan - Dec
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Opening Times
Open at all times
21.20 hectares
Walking information
Access is either from the Humber Bank footpath or from Pasture Road, Barton Waterside.
No dogs allowed
Reserve manager
Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust
Tel: 01507 526667


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