Corporate report

South Yorkshire's National Nature Reserves (NNRs)

Published 31 October 2008

Applies to England

Humberhead Peatlands

The moors are remnants of wetland that occupied the floodplain of the Humberhead Levels thousands of years ago

Main habitats: peatland

Features of interest

The Humberhead Peatlands NNR comprises Thorne, Goole, and Crowle Moors, as well as Hatfield Moors and it represents the largest area of raised bog wilderness in lowland Britain at 2,974 hectares in size.

The site is a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) for its habitat. and an internationally important breeding site for the nocturnal, insect-feeding nightjar which was responsible for the area being declared as a Special Protection Area (SPA) under the European Birds Directive.

A wide range of habitats supports the 5,000 species of plants and animals that have been recorded on the reserve of which more than 4,000 are insects. There are also sizable populations of adder, water vole and red deer on the reserve.

More than 200 bird species have been recorded and approximately 75 have bred. Winter visitors include whooper swans, pink-footed geese, hen harrier, and short-eared owls. From March-July a very special summer visitor is the diminutive woodlark and also oystercatcher, lapwing, ringed plover and great crested grebe can be spotted around the lakes. The stately marsh harrier can usually be seen drifting low over reedbeds and marsh on Thorne Moor.

See the site visitor leaflet for more details.

See the map to find out where you can cycle on the reserve.


Voluntary car parking charges can be paid in advance or on the day using the RingGo app.

There are train stations at Thorne and Crowle.

Bus services run to the villages, call 01302 734309 and 01652 657053 for the Tourist Information Centres covering the area.

Call 01709 515151 for South Yorkshire transport.

Thorne, Hatfield and Crowle are on the route of the 72km circular Peatlands Way which connects with the Trans Pennine Trail.

School and community groups

Humberhead Peatlands NNR offers outdoor learning opportunities for schools. These are aimed at both primary and secondary schools.


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

To discuss school visits or volunteering opportunities contact the Community Support Officer on 07766 420290.