Waitby Greenriggs

image of Waitby Greenriggs landscape

Waitby Greenriggs

Track works are scheduled to commence Monday 17 May. The reserve between Brownber and the viaduct is to be closed for up to a month. 

Waitby Greenriggs occupies a short section of the old Stainmore Railway and the Eden Valley branch line where these two lines converge.


Near Kirkby Stephen
Kirkby Stephen

OS Map Reference

OS 1:50,000 Sheet No.91
Grid reference NY 757 085
A static map of Waitby Greenriggs

Know before you go

5 hectares

Entry fee

All donations gratefully received.

Parking information


Bicycle parking


Grazing animals

Late summer grazing.

Walking trails

0.8km/0.5 miles level walking on the track, accessed by a stone stile and gentle slope along the cutting (or steep steps).


Steps connect upper and lower tracks at the southern section.


On a lead

When to visit

Opening times

Open all year round

Best time to visit

April to August

About the reserve

Wildlife highlights

  • Common spotted, fragrant, fly, lesser butterfly, northern marsh and marsh helleborine orchids.
  • 20 species of butterfly can be seen amongst the flowers during the summer.
  • Look up for a chance of seeing tawny owls and buzzards overhead.

What makes Waitby Greenriggs so special?

The cuttings and embankments at Waitby Greenriggs have developed incredibly diverse grassland flora with over 200 varieties colonising the site.

The display starts in May as bird’s-eye primrose comes into bloom, but mid-to-late June is when the show is at its best as this is when the majority of orchids come into flower.

Globeflower, salad burnet, meadow crane’s-bill and oxeye daisy can also be seen at this time, followed by the beautiful marsh helleborine, yellow-rattle and harebell in July.

Finally, in August, devil’s bit scabious and the diminutive autumn gentian appear.

Recent history

Waitby Greenriggs Nature Reserve was purchased from British Rail in 1987.

Getting here

By car:

From A685 between Ravenstonedale and Kirkby Stephen, take the Smardale turning then first right for Waitby; go under the railway bridge and turn right at the junction. After 0.75km/0.45 miles park on the left, immediately before the bridge. 

By bicycle

The nature reserve is 2.3km/3miles from National Route 70 Walney to Wear (W2W).

By public transport

The nearest train station is Kirkby Stephen West on the Settle to Carlisle line. Buses run from Kendal, Sedbergh and Brough to Kirkby Stephen.


Contact us

Andrew Walter
Contact number: 01539 816300

Environmental designation

Local Wildlife Site (LWS)