Know before you go
Entry feeAll donations are gratefully received.
Parking informationNo designated parking
Next Ness nature reserve is served by a linear level footpath which runs the length of the site (c400m).
There is no exit at the far end and of the footpath and visitors must return by the same route.
When to visit
Opening timesOpen all year round
Best time to visitApril to July
About the reserve
- In winter - look out for flocks of siskin and redpoll visiting the nature reserve
- Breeding birds include bullfinch, great spotted woodpecker and goldcrest
- Catch a glimpse of the unmistakable bright blue and orange of kingfishers as they shelter around the drainage ditch during the colder months.
- In spring - enjoy the sound of birds singing and cowslips and primrose in flower
- in summer - the best time to find flowers such as the crimson flowered marsh cinquefoil.
- At all times of year this is a really quiet, undisturbed place where roe deer can be sometime be seen.
An undisturbed haven for wildlife
Next Ness nature reserve is a narrow strip of wet woodland beneath Hoad Hill and adjacent to the railway line on the edge of Ulverston.
The main tree species you will see are alder and willow which tolerate the waterlogged conditions.
The nutrient rich soils mean that vigorous species such as nettle and meadowsweet are abundant, although you can also find species such as marsh marigold, marsh cinquefoil, forget-me-not and sedges.
The nature reserve contains no rarities, but has value as an area of relatively undisturbed habitat.
Coot, mallard, kingfisher, grey heron, little owl and great spotted woodpecker can be seen along with treecreepers, warblers such as garden warbler and willow warbler, and tits. Many of these birds breed here.
Keeping it special
The nature reserve was purchased from British Rail in 1989.
From A590 east of Ulverston take the minor road at the roundabout signed to Next Ness. Turn right under the railway bridge and the reserve entrance is immediately on the right. Unfortunately there is no parking by the reserve entrance.
The reserve is 5km/3 miles from National Route 72 Walney to Wear.
By public transport:
Trains run from Barrow in Furness, Grange over Sands and Lancaster to Ulverston. Buses run from Barrow in Furness, Grange over Sands, Kendal and Coniston to Ulverston.