Previous Visits

BEES hosts a Wildlife Field Visit Programme throughout the year. The programme aims to explore a range of habitats to study their natural history and management issues relating to their upkeep. The programme is organised and delivered by a committed and knowledgeable group of volunteers.

The list below shows information about past visits. For reports and photos about these visits please visit:
* Blog
* Photos

Arnside (Morecambe Bay)

Tuesday 14th August, 2018
Silverdale area, Cumbria

Today we hope to combine enjoyment of the landscapes of Morecambe Bay as it narrows into the Kent Estuary, with opportunities to look for birds and plant life. Let's hope for good weather.

We will start our day on the promenade at Arnside, where there are public toilets and other facilities. We will look for birds on the mud flats and water (ospreys have been seen fishing here in recent years) and shoreline vegetation. We hope The Bore will offer a spectacle before, in the afternoon, we walk on a disused railway bed to Sandside. The walking will about 2 miles (there might be some optional extras), on mostly level ground. 

Given the distance we will be travelling, expect a relatively late return to Bradford.

Leaders: Julia Pearson and Margaret Rees
Minibus transport; depart Unitarian Church 9.30am; Cost: £11  Pick-ups along The Branch - Keighley route 


Planning Meeting

Tuesday 7th August, 2018
YMCA, 125 Thornton Road

Planning Meeting 10 am, at YMCA Thornton Road.   

The meeting begins at 10am and will last until early afternoon. You may wish to bring lunch with you. The kettle will be to hand. 


Healey Dell Nature Reserve

Tuesday 31st July, 2018
Lancashire, Grid Ref SD 879156

This Biological heritage site in Lancashire comprises clough woodland along the valley of the River Spodden, together with heathland, grassland and scrub. Former mill lodges and part of a disused railway line also offer feature. Woodland birds, green woodpeckers and sparrow hawks are seen. Yellow flag and bog asphodel should be in flower with bilberry and crowberry in fruit. 

There is now a new visitor centre housing café and toilets. 

Leaders: Alice Gingell and Sally Tetlow, with the warden guiding.

Minibus transport; depart Unitarian Church 9.30am.  Cost: £9


Warton Crag

Tuesday 24th July, 2018

We last visited Warton Crag in 2011 (coincidentally the week before going to Healey Dell). The Crag has views over Morecambe bay and hosts a variety of habitats; woodland, limestone grassland, limestone pavement. It is a haven for plant, butterflies and birds. On our last visit we saw wild thyme, rock rose, ladies’ bedstraw, eyebright, red valerian and lots more, and though bird sights were low, 14 species of butterfly were noted. (Cont/)

There are some moderate ascents, for which a stick would be useful. On the hill there is a very little shelter, so protection from rain/sun is necessary. Ticks are also present in the area, so be prepared. We will park at the lower car park on Crag Road (turn left from Wharton Main Street at the Black Bull), grid ref SD497723

Leaders: Julia Pearson and Alice Gingell
Minibus transport; depart Unitarian Church 9.30am.  Cost: £11 Pick-ups along The Branch - Keighley route


Foxglove Covert Nature Reserve

Tuesday 17th July, 2018
Catterick Garrison, North Yorks

Last visited on 2011, this site is always full of interest. The varied habitats of woodland, wetland, moorland and raised fen support a wide range of plants including some we rarely see e.g. hairy Dog Rose, Water Purslane and Marsh Stitchwort.  It is an important bird ringing centre, so if sightings disappoint records should provide interest! There is an excellent visitor centre with drinks available, but bring enough food. Access-for-all paths and bird hides, together with welcoming staff prepared to guide and teach us, make this a long overdue return visit. 

Coordinator: Alice Gingell Leader: Reserve Staff
Minibus transport; depart Unitarian Church 9.30am.  Cost: £11  


Sefton Coast

Tuesday 10th July, 2018

This year we will be visiting a new area, Crosby Coastal Park, which is further south on the Mersey estuary towards Liverpool. It is a recreational area consisting of amenity grassland, two calcareous sand-dune ridges and a boating lake. 360 species of plants have been recorded here, including some national rarities. We can expect to see Sea Couch, Sea Holly, Common Broomrape, Isle of Man Cabbage, Dune Wormwood, amongst others.

As in previous years, we will start our day at Patricia’s house in Formby for our lunch stop. Then we will be driving to site, which is 20 minutes away, and parking at Crosby Baths car park. At the end of the day we will return to Patricia’s house for tea and cakes (all contributions of the latter gratefully received!). We expect to be back in Bradford about 7.30pm.

Leaders; Philip Smith, Patricia Lockwood Coordinator: Joan Dobson
Minibus transport; depart Unitarian Church 9.30am. Cost £12.


Barlow Common

Tuesday 3rd July, 2018
near Selby

BEES have never visited this modest sized YWT reserve though John did pay two visits in the early 1990's with Butterfly Conservation when it was just a few years old. The butterfly species count was into double figures, helped by the numerous bramble bushes. It was formerly a common used by locals grazing their stock and then acquired by a local railway company, the site now boasts a fantastic diversity of butterflies, birds and wildflowers.

A single path leads around the reserve which is under 1.5 miles in length so it is not a difficult walk. 

If time allows we may go on to one of the nearby bird reserves on the return journey. 

Leaders: John Gavaghan and Alice Gingell.
Minibus transport; depart Unitarian Church 9.30am. Cost £8.


Bingley South and North Bogs

Tuesday 26th June, 2018
Parking will be on John Escritt Road.

Today we will be using public transport and sharing cars. Parking will be on John Escritt Road. 

Bingley South Bog is a SSSI and abounds with plant and animal life. BEES has never visited either of these sites. The South Bog is an alkaline fen mire with a mosaic of damp grassland and wetland communities. The regionally rare Marsh Cinquefoil grows here with Marestail and Arrow grass. Orchids may be found. The North Bog is fed from an acid stream running off the hillside, and we would hope to see Lesser Pond-sedge, Ragged-robin and Water Figwort. 

Leaders;  Joan Dobson and Lorna Leeming   No Minibus transport; £2


Waitby Greenriggs and Little Asby Outrakes – Cumbria extended day

Tuesday 19th June, 2018

We will first visit Little Asby which is just west of Kirby Stephen, NY699 101. This is a small area of rough grazing notable for colonies of Small White Orchids, Heath Fragrant Orchids & several other orchid species. The terrain is rough cattle grazed pasture so be careful where you put your feet.

After lunch we go to the nearby Waitby reserve (owned by Cumbria WLT). It occupies a disused railway line so it is linear.  A delight for the botanists as there are numerous orchid species incl Frog, Fly & Lesser Butterfly. The lowest of the site's paths can be waterlogged so bring appropriate footwear. There are steps connecting the separate paths.  There is a possibility of seeing Red Squirrels in the adjacent woodland.  Toilet stops will be en route.  We will stop for fish & chips in Settle on our way home.

Leaders; John Gavaghan and Julia Pearson
Minibus transport; depart Unitarian Church 9.30am.  Cost £12

Pick-ups along The Branch - Keighley route 


Troller's Ghyll & Tibet Wood

Tuesday 12th June, 2018
near Appletreewick

We will start by visiting Tibet Wood, a small area of hilly woodland, very close to Parcevall Hall. The sole reason for visiting this wood is to see a rare local plant 'Chickweed Wintergreen', neither a chickweed nor a wintergreen!   Access to this wood is by a stile. We will then proceed to Troller's Ghyll which is an area of limestone with much botanical interest. When we last went in 2016 we had sightings of various warblers & a Green Woodpecker. 

Leaders: John Gavaghan
Minibus transport; depart Unitarian Church 9.30am.  Cost: £8

Pick-ups as far as The Branch only