Previous Visits

BEES hosts a Wildlife Field Visit Programme throughout the year. The programme aims to explore a range of habitats to study their natural history and management issues relating to their upkeep. The programme is organised and delivered by a committed and knowledgeable group of volunteers.

The list below shows information about past visits. For reports and photos about these visits please visit:
* Blog
* Photos

Foxglove Covert Nature Reserve

Tuesday 17th July, 2018
Catterick Garrison, North Yorks

Last visited on 2011, this site is always full of interest. The varied habitats of woodland, wetland, moorland and raised fen support a wide range of plants including some we rarely see e.g. hairy Dog Rose, Water Purslane and Marsh Stitchwort.  It is an important bird ringing centre, so if sightings disappoint records should provide interest! There is an excellent visitor centre with drinks available, but bring enough food. Access-for-all paths and bird hides, together with welcoming staff prepared to guide and teach us, make this a long overdue return visit. 

Coordinator: Alice Gingell Leader: Reserve Staff
Minibus transport; depart Unitarian Church 9.30am.  Cost: £11  


Sefton Coast

Tuesday 10th July, 2018

This year we will be visiting a new area, Crosby Coastal Park, which is further south on the Mersey estuary towards Liverpool. It is a recreational area consisting of amenity grassland, two calcareous sand-dune ridges and a boating lake. 360 species of plants have been recorded here, including some national rarities. We can expect to see Sea Couch, Sea Holly, Common Broomrape, Isle of Man Cabbage, Dune Wormwood, amongst others.

As in previous years, we will start our day at Patricia’s house in Formby for our lunch stop. Then we will be driving to site, which is 20 minutes away, and parking at Crosby Baths car park. At the end of the day we will return to Patricia’s house for tea and cakes (all contributions of the latter gratefully received!). We expect to be back in Bradford about 7.30pm.

Leaders; Philip Smith, Patricia Lockwood Coordinator: Joan Dobson
Minibus transport; depart Unitarian Church 9.30am. Cost £12.


Barlow Common

Tuesday 3rd July, 2018
near Selby

BEES have never visited this modest sized YWT reserve though John did pay two visits in the early 1990's with Butterfly Conservation when it was just a few years old. The butterfly species count was into double figures, helped by the numerous bramble bushes. It was formerly a common used by locals grazing their stock and then acquired by a local railway company, the site now boasts a fantastic diversity of butterflies, birds and wildflowers.

A single path leads around the reserve which is under 1.5 miles in length so it is not a difficult walk. 

If time allows we may go on to one of the nearby bird reserves on the return journey. 

Leaders: John Gavaghan and Alice Gingell.
Minibus transport; depart Unitarian Church 9.30am. Cost £8.


Bingley South and North Bogs

Tuesday 26th June, 2018
Parking will be on John Escritt Road.

Today we will be using public transport and sharing cars. Parking will be on John Escritt Road. 

Bingley South Bog is a SSSI and abounds with plant and animal life. BEES has never visited either of these sites. The South Bog is an alkaline fen mire with a mosaic of damp grassland and wetland communities. The regionally rare Marsh Cinquefoil grows here with Marestail and Arrow grass. Orchids may be found. The North Bog is fed from an acid stream running off the hillside, and we would hope to see Lesser Pond-sedge, Ragged-robin and Water Figwort. 

Leaders;  Joan Dobson and Lorna Leeming   No Minibus transport; £2


Waitby Greenriggs and Little Asby Outrakes – Cumbria extended day

Tuesday 19th June, 2018

We will first visit Little Asby which is just west of Kirby Stephen, NY699 101. This is a small area of rough grazing notable for colonies of Small White Orchids, Heath Fragrant Orchids & several other orchid species. The terrain is rough cattle grazed pasture so be careful where you put your feet.

After lunch we go to the nearby Waitby reserve (owned by Cumbria WLT). It occupies a disused railway line so it is linear.  A delight for the botanists as there are numerous orchid species incl Frog, Fly & Lesser Butterfly. The lowest of the site's paths can be waterlogged so bring appropriate footwear. There are steps connecting the separate paths.  There is a possibility of seeing Red Squirrels in the adjacent woodland.  Toilet stops will be en route.  We will stop for fish & chips in Settle on our way home.

Leaders; John Gavaghan and Julia Pearson
Minibus transport; depart Unitarian Church 9.30am.  Cost £12

Pick-ups along The Branch - Keighley route 


Troller's Ghyll & Tibet Wood

Tuesday 12th June, 2018
near Appletreewick

We will start by visiting Tibet Wood, a small area of hilly woodland, very close to Parcevall Hall. The sole reason for visiting this wood is to see a rare local plant 'Chickweed Wintergreen', neither a chickweed nor a wintergreen!   Access to this wood is by a stile. We will then proceed to Troller's Ghyll which is an area of limestone with much botanical interest. When we last went in 2016 we had sightings of various warblers & a Green Woodpecker. 

Leaders: John Gavaghan
Minibus transport; depart Unitarian Church 9.30am.  Cost: £8

Pick-ups as far as The Branch only 


Scar Close, Ingleborough limestone pavement, National Nature Reserve

Tuesday 5th June, 2018

Scar Close is a botanically rich limestone pavement (fenced to prevent sheep grazing), part of the Ingleborough National Nature Reserve and managed by Natural England. We can hope to see lily of the valley, spring cinquefoil and bloody cranesbill. We will park near the Hill Inn and walk less than a mile, including a stile. This pavement can be treacherous so participants will have to be extremely careful while botanising, and the use of a pole will be advised to give support. If it is raining we will have to change our plans as it will not be safe. 

Leaders:  Julia Pearson and Alice Gingell
Minibus transport; depart Unitarian Church 9.30am.  Cost: £10

Pick-ups along The Branch - Keighley route 


Cross Hill & Salthill Quarries, Clitheroe

Tuesday 29th May, 2018

Today we visit the limestone quarries of Cross Hill and Salthill, situated on the northern edge of Clitheroe in the Ribble Valley.  An industrial site now, thanks to work by the Lancashire Wildlife Trust, reclaimed by nature.  Part of the Cross Hill site runs alongside the River Ribble and in the main quarry area are plants which thrive in lime-rich, shallow soil; we could see cowslips, sanicle, burnet saxifrage as well as, in damper areas, moschatel. There is also a small woodland area.  The Salthill reserve is also rich in lime-loving wildflowers.  The circular walk will take us through flower-rich grassland, scrub and ash woodland.  A sunny day should see plenty of butterfly activity.  Walking distance will be approximately 3 miles on designated pathways. Toilets will be accessed en route.

Leaders: Sally Tetlow and Alice Gingell
Minibus transport; depart Unitarian Church 9.30am; Cost: £8 

Pick-ups along The Branch - Keighley route 


Malham Tarn Boardwalk

Tuesday 22nd May, 2018
Yorkshire Dales National Park

This lies on the north bank of the tarn. Though we have visited the tarn numerous times for various reasons, we have never made it to the lengthy splendid boardwalk. Parking will be on the road behind the Estate buildings.

The habitat is a mixture of calcareous fen & raised acid-bog therefore supporting a rich array of wetland plants incl Birds-eye primrose, Globe Flower & Marsh Cinquefoil.  Birdlife too is well represented, with several species of warbler, Tree Pipits & Spotted Flycatchers. Green Hairstreak butterflies may also be seen at this time.  If time allows we will look for Yellow Wagtails (nowadays a scarce bird) around Lower Trenhouse Farm. Toilet stops will be at the NT car park In Malham village. 

Leaders: John Gavaghan and Alice Gingell
Minibus transport; depart Unitarian Church 9.30am.  Cost:£8

Pick-ups along The Branch - Keighley route 


Threshfield Quarries

Tuesday 15th May, 2018
near Grassington

Our walk is a circular walk of approx. 3.5 - 4 miles, down country lanes, past woodland, across grassland and following a short uphill climb emerging at Thresfield Quarry. The Millennium Trust has restored the rail line used in the past by the Quarry also a lime kiln. The flora will be varied spring flora including early purple orchids. Toilets are situated at the Yorkshire Dales Information centre in Grassington.

Leaders: Margaret Rees and Madeleine Massey
Minibus transport; depart Unitarian Church 9.30am.  Cost: £8

Pick-ups along The Branch - Keighley route