Smardale Nature Reserve just got bigger! – Urgent appeal for help

Artist's impression of the proposed boardwalkArtist's impression of the proposed boardwalk to enable better access to the new area of nature reserve. A new car park will also relieve parking pressure at Smardale.

Will you help make Smardale Nature Reserve better for wildlife and for people?

click here to make a donation orange buttonThanks to the generosity of Michael and Elizabeth Lamb, we have recently been able to acquire an additional section of railway line, to link Smardale and Waitby Greenriggs Nature Reserves.

Smardale is only one of only two sites in England that is home to the Scotch argus butterflyThis addition makes an already special nature reserve even bigger and better. The new section creates a 5-mile long corridor of exceptional habitat for wildlife. Species including pied flycatchers, kingfisher, otter, red squirrel and fragrant and butterfly orchid thrive here.

Smardale is also one of our most easily accessible nature reserves as it has a wheelchair accessible path along its length.

So, of course, this gem of a nature reserve attracts thousands of visitors each year which leaves us with problems: there is no parking and the extension, although brilliant for wildlife, is not accessible to walkers and wheelchairs.

We want to improve the new land to make it both a haven for wildlife and also give the access needed for people. On such a long linear reserve, where bridges have been removed and railway banking has collapsed, there is much to do to reinstate the access.

Initially, we are concentrating on creating a long length of boardwalk which will give access from Smardale onto the new land and will link to a new car park. This is so you may easily access the new section of railway line and see the wildlife and geological interest we are so impressed with.

By next spring, we also plan to put in place new information panels telling you more about this surprisingly different area of the nature reserve, along with a The nature reserve supports an important population of red squirrels - you might spot them feasting on hazelnutsred squirrel feeding station. The feeding station will provide food for these marvellous creatures and will give you a place to more easily spot them.

We are currently raising the money to fund these and other improvements.

We hope to raise £115,000 in grants which leaves £33,000 match funding needed for this stage of work.

Please will you help by making a donation towards this shortfall?

When we contact charitable foundations and grant givers, commitment from you our supporters shows that these improvements are wanted and that we have the all-important backing of people like you. 

Any gift you can give will help to make these improvements happen. If you have any questions, please do get in touch.

Thank you, 

Peter Bullard, Director

PS We’re working really hard all of the time to improve Smardale Nature Reserve for the special wildlife there and for you too.

Any support you can give by making a donation now is very much appreciated.