Far Ings National Nature Reserve
OS: 112 GR: TA 011229 and 023230 Map ref: 67
58.60 hectares (144.90acres) Part leased, part freehold 1973
Habitat type: Marsh/Wetland
The Sam van den Bos Memorial Reserve
PLEASE NOTE: There is very restricted access to the path network, no circular routes are open. Some birdwatching hides are open.
• The Visitor Centre and the access road to the Visitor Centre are closed.
• Car park and facilities are open at Ness End Farm including toilets. Ness End Farm is approximately 700m further west, along Far Ings Road, from the Visitor Centre (if approaching down the hill (on Gravel Pit Road) turn left at the T-junction rather than right).
• The public right of way on the Humber Bank has been closed by North Lincolnshire Council due to the severity of the damage.
Further information is accessible via the home page.
2 January 2014
Visitor and Education Centre
Take time to relax and enjoy the striking panoramic view from the visitor centre. From here you can see the pits and reedbeds of the reserve, the estuary and Humber bridge, and both the Lincolnshire and Yorkshire Wolds. There is a chance of seeing the iconic birds of Far Ings: bittern, bearded tit and marsh harrier. Binoculars are provided, as well as images of many of the birds you may spot. Interpretive and interactive displays give you an insight into the natural and social history of Far Ings. A lift provides full access to the upper floor of the centre.
Browse in the gift shop for great gifts on a wildlife theme, greetings cards, soft toys, a selection of natural history books and a range of bird feeders and food.
See the events pages for guided walks and children's activities.
At Far Ings there is a comprehensive range of formal and informal activities for all ages and abilities. Whether it's pond dipping for primary schools or A-level survey techniques we have something to suit your needs. See the education pages for more information.
The new Far Ings Visitor and Education Centre was opened in June 2007. The Centre, situated about one mile west of Barton-upon-Humber, was created with the help of a grant of £460,000 from Yorkshire Forward. It forms part of the South Humber Bank Heritage & Tourism Project; a large scale project aimed at regenerating a number of sites in North Lincolnshire and promoting our natural and built heritage sites.
Spring/Summer Opening Times
Autumn/Winter Opening Times
During very bad weather, the visitor centre may close early.
Opening of the visitor centre is dependent on volunteers. We aim for the outside toilets to be open during daylight hours.
For further information on opening times please contact the centre staff on 01652 637055.
Location and Access
The reserve adjoins Far Ings Lane and is a short distance to the west of the Humber Bridge. There are three maintained visitors' routes around the reserve. Much of the paths are suitable for wheelchair access (except when sheep are present when the gates have to be kept closed) and there is access for disabled persons at two bird hides.
There are eight hides on this route overlooking lakes, reedbeds and scrapes.
Free parking and toilets are available at the Visitor Centre.
The two Westfield Lakes were purchased by the Trust in 1996 with the aid of a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund. To avoid disturbance to birds and to sensitive areas visitors are asked to keep to waymarked or mown paths and to use the hides.
Description and Management
The chain of flooded clay pits and extensive reedbeds along the Humber Bank from west of Barton-upon-Humber to New Holland is a legacy of the brick and tile industry, which flourished there from the Middle Ages to the present century, and, more recently, of cement making.
The Far Ings and Barton Reedbed reserves comprise the open water of Ness Lake and Westfield Lakes, large areas of reedbed, recently made 'scrapes' with shallow water, grassland, hedgerow and scrub, and estuarine saltmarsh, which links the two parts of the reserve.
The varied habitats in the reserve maintain a wide range of plants: reedbed and swamp species, including both species of reedmace and bur-reed; calcicoles, such as kidney vetch, wild carrot and mignonette on the river bank in the vicinity of the old cement works; and saltmarsh plants, such as sea aster and sea-milkwort. Butterflies include common blue, holly blue, gatekeeper and small copper, and more than 200 species of moths have been recorded, including a number of reedbed specialities. Birds are the outstanding attraction of the reserve.
The Barton-Barrow clay pits are among the few breeding sites in Lincolnshire for the bearded tit, which often form conspicuous flocks in late summer; other notable nesting species include great crested grebe, water rail, shoveler, pochard and ruddy duck. Whitethroat, lesser whitethroat, blackcap, and garden, reed, sedge, grasshopper and willow warblers, and, occasionally, chiffchaff also breed on the reserve, the numbers of reed warblers being the most significant. The total number of warblers nesting in the reserve make Far Ings one of the most important British reserves for these summer residents. Management work undertaken over the past 15 years has improved the reedbed habitat and, after an absence of 21 years, bitterns began breeding again in 2000.
Scrapes, created in 1986, attract waders on passage, and common terns breed annually on rafts provided for them. In winter the open water and reedbeds are important for wildfowl. Numbers of duck can be large and include mallard, teal, gadwall, pochard, tufted and ruddy ducks, and shoveler, and occasionally rarities such as smew and red-crested pochard may be seen.
Management of the reserves consists of maintaining a wide variety of habitat for birds and insects, with reedbed management having a high priority. Reedbed management consists of harvesting the reed for thatching, burning areas to encourage the growth of better quality reed, and creating channels and pools to increase feeding margins for the reedbed inhabitants. The results of these measures are being monitored by annual censuses of key species. Five new lakes were excavated near the Blow Wells between 2001 and 2002, and planted with reeds. Far Ings was declared a National Nature Reserve in April 2005.
For more information see: "The Principal Reserves - Far Ings"
Supported by the
Heritage Lottery Fund