Know before you go
Parking informationParking is available at the Council car park at the T-junction of Moor Road and Dole road (SE 758 140) located by following the brown ‘duck’ signs from Crowle Village
Grazing animalsHebridean sheep
It is advisable to follow the waymarked routes as the reserve is large and complex; please keep to the footpaths at all times for safety and to avoid disturbance to wildlife; wellington boots are recommended
Not suitable for wheelchair users or people with mobility issues
When to visit
Opening timesOpen at all times
Best time to visitApril to August
About the reserve
The reserve is one of the richest lowland peat vegetation areas in the north of England. The still extensive tract of Hatfield, Thorne, Goole and Crowle Moors is but a remnant of the vast complex of moor, bog and fen that once surrounded the head of the Humber estuary and included much of Lincolnshire's Isle of Axholme.
Drainage and clearance for agriculture from the 17th century onwards left the present moors as 'islands' of raised peat bog, formerly used as turbaries by the villages around. It is likely that the peat on Crowle Moor was not as thick as that on the Yorkshire moors (though it still averages about 3m) and certainly less seems to have been extracted. The Moor is divided into 'ribbons' running into the moor from the warpings - the cultivated land near Crowle village - and represents holdings carved out of once common turbary.
The higher, drier areas carry heather, bracken and birch scrub; the wetter parts have reedbeds, cottongrass, Sphagnum bog, willow carr and open water. Rarer plants include bog rosemary, dune helleborine and greater yellow rattle. These varied habitats support a rich bird, mammal and insect fauna. The large heath butterfly occurs here at the south-eastern limit of its range in Britain. More than 30 breeding birds have been recorded, including long-eared owl, woodcock, nightjar and tree pipit. Grass snake and adder are also present.
Management is chiefly concerned with the maintenance of a high water-table and the control of scrub encroachment. Extensive areas of wet heath have been cleared of invading birch scrub and are now grazed by the Trust's flock of Hebridean sheep.
Nearest postcode DN17 4BL. Please note - postcodes are for the nearest registered address as we are unable to get postcodes for nature reserves.
There is ongoing restoration work of the peat bogs on Crowle Moor Site of Special Scientific Interest. Due to this ‘re-wetting’, sections of the former circular paths are now only seasonally passable and may be slippery or uneven.
Wellington boots are recommended as sections of the trail may be under water.
On occasions it may be necessary to retrace your steps to complete your walk.
A number of alternative trails can be accessed on Thorne Moors from North Lincolnshire Council car park (by the T-junction) by following the Peatland Way West and picking up the Natural England trails from the Bailey Bridge over the Swinefleet Warping Drain.