RSPB Blacktoft Sands

Bearded tit (c) Chris GradyBearded tit (c) Chris Grady

The largest inland reedbed in the country, well-known for many iconic species of this habitat found at one their most northerly outposts.

Why visit?

Bitterns, bearded tits and marsh harriers are all star attractions at this reedbed nature reserve.

Where is it?

Townsend Causeway, nr Ousefleet, Goole DN14 8HL, DN14 8HR (OS Landranger 108 Grid Reference SE 843232)

The reserve is well signposted once you turn off the motorway near Goole. For more information visit:

When is the best time to visit?

Spring: Bitterns ‘boom’ to attract a partner and up to eight species of warblers sing as breeding begins. Avocets establish their nest sites on the islands. Look out for marsh harriers performing their courtship flights.

Summer/Autumn: Marsh harriers hunt for food for their chicks. Migrating waders - spotted redshank, greenshank, black-tailed godwit, ruff and dunlin - can be seen on the lagoons. Look out for water rail and flocks of bearded tits ‘pinging’ through the reedbed on still days.

Winter: A large bird of prey roost includes marsh harriers, merlin and the occasional hen harrier. Barn owls are often seen hunting in front of the hides. Winter wildfowl can be seen on the lagoons. Trees sparrows frequent the car park and feeding stations.

Make a day of it and visit these nearby sites

YWT North Cave Wetlands

The four viewing hides give you great views of hundreds of species, including breeding avocet in spring

Photo (c) Mandy West

YWT North Cliffe Wood

A beautiful bluebell woodland near YWT North Cave Wetlands

Photo (c) Jono Leadley

Far Ings Nature Reserve

Pop over the border to this Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust reedbed site just south of the Humber Bridge

Photo (c) Mandy West