Yorkshire Wildife Trust North Newbald Becksies Nature Reserve
Beverley Road, Market Weighton, YO43 4SQ
Yorkshire Wildlife Trust
North Newbald Becksies is fed by several clear chalk springs which are almost never known to dry up. The water remains at a remarkably constant temperature of 9°C throughout the year and can be seen steaming on cold winter mornings. The terrain of the nature reserve is fairly undulating and in most areas extremely wet – wellies are a must; though there is a drier section at the north east corner. By far the most interesting sections of the site are the open marshy areas which contain a good range of marsh plants including abundant marsh orchids, said to be a hybrid swarm of mainly Dactylorhiza praetermissa, though other species do occur. Another special plant is bog bean – a rarity in this part of Yorkshire. Grass of Parnassus was recorded as recently as the mid 1990s and may still be present. Moorhen and snipe occur in the wetter areas. Water shrews are present and there have been sightings of water voles. The Trust looks after the nature reserve by removing scrub which encroaches on to the marsh and also reduce the abundance of greater willowherb and meadowsweet to allow other plants to prosper. The marsh was originally used for pasturing cattle from the village while they were waiting to be milked and as such is classed as common land. Today, a small number of cattle are used to assist with site management through summer grazing.