A true hidden beauty spot! As we were visiting the area, today we decided to try the nature trail (4km) at Yorkshire Wildlife Trust’s beautiful Barlow Common. With Drax Power Station as a backdrop we weren’t expecting much, but were so impressed by its peacefulness and underrated allure.
Location and Website: https://www.ywt.org.uk/nature-reserves/barlow-common-nature-reserve
Accessibility: Unsurfaced paths, but no stiles, so should be fine for a robust buggy.
Parking: Free parking
Facilities: Toilets and picnic area
Trail: http://data.wildlifetrusts.org/sites/default/files/Wildlife%20Trail%20Barlow%20Common_0.pdf There are 25 wildlife posts to find (the 25th isn’t listed here but is a Silver Birch).
We used the trail map to walk our three year old around this pretty nature reserve, giving her a sheet of paper with 25 circles drawn on. At each post she had to colour in a circle and describe to us the wildlife shown on the post (not much more than bird, leaf etc at her age but everyone needs to start somewhere!) It kept her engaged, particularly in the middle part of the main reserve trail where the posts were closer together. With an older child we may have asked them to draw what they saw.
The walk was delightfully peaceful- unless you count the sound of the birds! There were very few people around so we felt that we had the place to ourselves. The posts helped retain interest in a lovely route- they were often positioned in truly picturesque spots with picnic benches dotted about. The rabbit post was well positioned- the were loads around (not that Jess was quick enough to spot them!).
The route took us past a number of carved benches (also marked on the trail map), which featured some lovely quotes. Perfectly placed to sit and reflect!
The picnic area included a ring of small wooden mushroom stools (that were also dotted about the rest of the route). There were dens in the trees around the picnic area and in the woodland trail that Jess enjoyed playing in.
Overall if you’re looking for somewhere to visit in the Selby area, this is something I’d fully recommend. It’s a lovely spot where you can find real tranquility, even with children!
Not far away in the grounds of Drax Power Station is another reserve that I think we’ll try soon, map of walks here; https://www.drax.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Skylark-Centre-map-walks.png