Corporate report

North Yorkshire's National Nature Reserves

Updated 27 June 2022

Applies to England

Duncombe Park

The NNR is in the grounds of the Duncombe Park, a country house built in 1713.

Main habitats: woodland, wood pasture

The gardens and parkland have restricted opening times as part of Duncombe Park Estate. Visit the Duncombe Park Estate website for more details or telephone 01439 770213. Admission charges apply.

Features of interest

This protected parkland is in the River Rye valley and is home to many ancient trees, which provide a home for rare invertebrates and fungi.

Birds found here all year round include 3 species of woodpecker, nuthatch and the elusive hawfinch. In summer they are joined by pied flycatcher and redstart. In spring the woodland floor is covered in sheets of bluebells, primroses and wild garlic.

The River Rye flows through the reserve and this is home to many rare insects, trout, otter and birds such as dipper, grey wagtail, kingfisher, grey heron and sand martin.

See the site visitor leaflet for more details.


The nearest train station is in Malton.

There are bus services from Malton to Helmsley via Hovingham. For details go to the Travel Search website, or Traveline Yorkshire.

Duncombe Park is approximately 25 kilometres to the north west of Malton and 1 kilometre south west of Helmsley on the A170. The site is accessed via a minor road from the town. There is car parking in Helmsley and in Duncombe Park

Helmsley is on the Ebor Way a 112 kilometre trail (76 miles) from Helmsley to Ilkley.

The Cleveland Way is a national trail, covering 177km of footpath from Helmsley to Filey on the North Yorkshire coast. The route travels through part of Duncombe Park Estate and passes Rievaulx Terrace, which was also created by the Duncombe family.


For more information contact Natural England Enquiries, tel. 0300 060 3900 or email

Forge Valley Woods

Located on the slopes of the Derwent river valley, these woods are one of the best examples of mixed deciduous woodland in north-east England. Alder, willow, ash, elm, sycamore, oak and holly are just a few of the species of trees in the woods, which also supports a rich population of breeding birds such as nuthatch, garden and wood warblers, redstarts and black-caps. The river is home to otter, trout and crayfish.

Main habitats: woodland

Area: 63 hectares

Features of interest

For further details on the area’s history, its flora and wildlife, directions and information for visitors, see the downloadable brochure on Forge Valley Woods NNR.


To book educational visits call Scarbrough Council’s countryside team on 01723 374079.

National Nature Reserves Office
Bank Island
Church Lane
North Yorkshire
YO19 6FE


Ingleborough is one of the famous Three Peaks of the Yorkshire Dales National Park. Together with Pen-y-ghent and Whernside, this mountainous area is renowned and protected for its special wildlife, flora, geology and spectacular scenery. It is part of the larger Ingleborough Site of Special Scientific Interest.

Main habitats: limestone pavement, upland

Area: 1014 hectares

Features of interest

For more information on the history of the area, its wildlife and flora, walks and other activities, visitor access and restrictions, maps, directions and more, see the downloadable brochure on Ingleborough. See the map to find out where you can ride a horse on the reserve.

There are also many seasonal highlights to look out for when you visit.


Ingleborough NNR is situated within the Yorkshire Dales National Park.

The OS grid reference for this reserve is: SD 773779 (Colt Park Barn).

The Settle-Carlisle railway stations at Ribblehead and Horton in Ribblesdale are within walking distance of the reserve.

Dalesbus operates a service in the area throughout the summer, which includes links to the train stations.

Ingleborough can be reached by road via the B6255 Ingleton to Hawes road and the B6479 Settle to Ribblehead road.

Schools and community groups

The reserve offers a variety of outdoor learning opportunities for Key Stage 1 upwards. These range from seeing geologic processes at work in the limestone landscape to visiting abandoned settlements and old lime kilns.

Ingleborough NNR has an active volunteer group involved in practical habitat management and estate maintenance work, monitoring of habitats and species and assisting with our outreach work.To learn more about these or to book a school visit, contact the reserve at the address or telephone number below.


Ingleborough NNR
Colt Park Barn
Nr. Ingleton

Telephone: 01524 242021

Ling Gill

Main habitats: woodland

Area: 5 hectares

This National Nature Reserve is currently closed to the public.This will be because either:

  • the site is unsafe
  • our tenure of the land does not allow public access
  • the site is so fragile that any form of access would damage the wildlife interest


For more information contact Natural England Enquiries, tel. 0300 060 3900 or email

Malham Tarn

Malham Tarn is a mountain lake surrounded by 6 farms on upland limestone. It includes rugged moorland, exposed limestone pavement (so called because it resembles artificial pavement) and hay meadows rich in wildflowers.

Main habitats: open water

Area: 147 hectares

Management: Malham Tarn is managed by the National Trust

Features of interest

For more information on the reserve, its history, wildlife and flora, as well as information on activities for visitors and how to get there, visit the National Trust’s Malham Tarn Estate web page.


Malham Tarn Estate
North Yorkshire
BD24 9PT

Telephone: 01729 830416 or email:

New House Farm

The reserve is a small working farm in the Yorkshire Dales.

Main habitats: upland

Management: New House Farm is owned and managed by the National Trust

Features of interest

The hay meadows have a diverse array of flora, with a mix of sweet vernal grass, wood crane’s-bill, lady’s-mantle, pignut, great burnet, yellow rattle and melancholy thistle. The limestone outcroppings are home to alpine cinquefoil, hoary whitlowgrass and orpine.

The farm is managed traditionally without the use of artificial fertilisers or herbicides. The farm stock is restricted to 10 suckler cows and 35 sheep and only farmyard manure is used to fertilize the meadows. Hay making in late summer provides winter food for the livestock and helps maintain the species-rich grassland.

The best time to view the meadows is mid-June to early July. A public footpath crosses the reserve.


The reserve is less than 0.5 kilometres south west of the village of Bordley, midway between Malham and Threshfield (4 kilometres to the west and east respectively). By car, access to the site is along minor roads from Threshfield and Malham.

The nearest train station is in Skipton, 13 kilometres to the south.

Bus services from Skipton to Threshfield are provided by Pride of the Dales. There are a number of bus services from Skipton to Malham, some of them seasonal. For information on these, see Transport Direct.

Scoska Wood

Scoska Wood is a strip of ash woodland and pasture on the slopes of Littondale - the valley of the River Skirfare - between the villages of Litton and Arncliffe.

Main habitats: woodland, lowland grassland

Features of interest

The underlying Carboniferous Limestone has had a major influence on the reserve’s plant life. Woodland clings to the limestone scars and rocky slopes and merges into herb-rich neutral pasture below.


The NNR is 1 km north west of the village of Arncliffe and approximately 22 kilometres north of Skipton.

By car, Arncliffe is accessed along a minor road from the B6160, or via minor roads from the B6479.

The nearest train station is Skipton.

Pride of the Dales operates a bus service from Skipton to villages along the B6160. The company also offers an infrequent service from Skipton to Arncliffe.


For more information contact Natural England Enquiries, tel. 0300 060 3900 or email

Skipwith Common

Skipwith Common is Natural England’s newest National Nature Reserve and it has a wide variety of wildlife.

Main habitats: wet and dry heathland and scrub woodland.

Features of interest

Occupying 274 hectares within the Escrick Park Estate.

There is a variety of rare heathland plants and rich collection of dragonflies and other insects. There are also a huge array of birds that can be spotted in and around the reserve.

Many bronze and iron age features are scattered about the reserve. There are also the remains of Riccall airfield where Halifax bomber crews were trained in the Second World War.

See the site visitor leaflet for more details.


The nearest stations to Skipwith are Wressle and Selby.

Bus services to and from Skipwith are provided by East Yorkshire Motor Service and York Pullman Bus Company.

There are three main access points to the reserve: Riccall Village along King Rudding Lane, Skipwith Village along Common Lane, Barlby (A163 Market Weighton Road, then up Cornelius Causeway).

There is a car park with two designated disabled parking bays on the site.

Additional travel information for the area is provided by Yorkshire Travel


For more information contact Natural England Enquiries, tel. 0300 060 3900 or email

To discuss school visits or volunteering opportunities contact Craig Ralston on 07917 088021, or e-mail