Wildlife Field 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. Planning meetings are held regularly to agree and distribute the programme.

Please see details for up and coming visits below.

Bookings must be made in advance (please ring BEES office for details).
Where minibus transport is offered there is a charge which varies from £5 - £12 depending on the distance of the trip.

The Minibus Bus departs at 9.30am from the Unitarian Church, Russell Sreet, BD5 0JB (unless indicated otherwise).
If you are on foot you can meet the minibus Culture Fusion (125 Thornton Road, Bradford BD1 2EP and corner of Westholme Street) no later than 9.10am.

On occasion the minibus will pick up passengers on route out of Bradford. Please discuss with the office (or driver) to find out the pick up points.

* Please ensure you bring adequate food and drink for the day.
* Wear strong footwear and waterproof clothing.
* All trips must be booked and paid for in advance where applicable.
* We ask for a donation of £3 if you choose to use your own transport when the minibus is offered.
* All people irrespective of background and experience are welcome
* Parking is available for a limited number of cars at the Unitarian Centre, Russell Street. Please make a donation of £2 for this facility.

BEES is a district wide environmental education and training centre funded both by Bradford Council and our own project work – for further information please contact Amanda Smith or Nina Mc Cormack.

Previous Trips

If you'd like to find out more about out trips, we have:


Wildlife Field Visits - Upcoming

Hetchell Woods

Hetchell Wood is an ancient woodland near the village of Bardsey, north east of Leeds. We will take a circular walk round the site, which is notable for the fact that it exists on both acidic and alkaline soils and therefore has a wider variety of species. The woodland has been extensively coppiced to benefit the ground flora. It is one of the few sites where thistle broomrape occurs. This is a parasitic plant with no leaves or chlorophyll. The paths are uneven and may be muddy. The gradient is not severe, but the land is hilly rather than flat.
Leader: Madeleine Massey

Wharram Quarry

We will approach the quarry by walking approximately 2km from the carpark at SE 867645. The track is moderately steep, rough in places and may be muddy.
The quarry floor is flat but uneven. There is no shelter. The reward, I hope, will be a wealth of flowers including three species of orchid, thistle broomrape and its host, woolly thistle.  Linnets and yellowhammers are often seen and butterflies are abundant on sunny days. Toilet stop on route.

Haybridge NR, Rusland Valley, Cumbria, nr Newby Bridge

Last visited in July 2012. There is a visitor centre.  The site is a mix of woodland, grassy glades, lake & ponds. It is rich botanically with several species of orchid. Ospreys nested in 2023 & a platform has been constructed for them. It also hosts the Beautiful Demoiselle Dragonfly.
Bird species incl’s Flycatchers & Siskins; butterflies could incl Large Heath & SW Fritillary as they breed in the locality.   

Malham Boardwalk

The calcareous fen and raised acid-bog support an extensive array of wetland plants. Orchids are present and sedges are abundant. It will be a slow walk with insect and bird life providing added interest. We may look for yellow wagtails nearby or take a short walk along a local lane. Lunch will be taken on the boardwalk. There is no shelter. Stout footwear is recommended and be prepared for sudden weather changes.  Toilets will be accessed at the NT car park in Malham.

Strensall Common, just north of York

This is a large heathland site that we have visited several times in the past. It has birds such as Wood Lark, Tree Pipit, Green Woodpecker & Cuckoo. There is plenty to interest botanists. It is rich in insect life & is the only place in England to hold the nationally rare Dark Bordered Beauty moth. An excellent site also for fungi. Many species can be seen at this time of year incl. colourful Russulas eg Yellow Swamp Brittlegill.
The site can be very wet after heavy rains so boots are usually essential. I would also suggest insect repellant!

Ripon Wetlands

We are now frequent visitors to this easy to access reserve that is bordered on the west by the canal. It has butterflies inc.l Common Blues, lots of botanical interest & bird hides.
A locally scarce insect the Red-eyed Damselfly is to be found on the canal lily pads. Walking is on the flat.
If time allows we may visit the nearby Quarry Moor NR (a magnesian limestone site) that holds some rare/scarce plants incl. Thistle Broomrape.               

Cusworth Hall Gardens, nr Doncaster

We last visited in April 2014. It has a lake & several species of dragonflies incl. Emperors. The site isn’t large but it does have a cafe! Our main botanical interest is to see if the Green-flowered Helleborine is still present. This is a very hard to find orchid & one of the latest flowering.

Leader John Gavaghan
Minibus transport; depart Culture Fusion 9.10am*/Unitarian Church 9.30am. Picks up at Low Moor.   Cost £ 11

Planning Meeting

Culture Fusion Building

Tuesday 6th August             
Meeting to finalise the autumn/winter programme and to help shape the programme going forward, with ideas for future trips and offers to lead walks.   Please let us know if you are planning to come.  Refreshments provided.
Culture Fusion 10am. 

Maltby Low Common

Today, we believe, is the first time BEES will have visited this YWT site in South Yorkshire. There is a mix of calcareous, acid and neutral grasslands, and it is bordered by woodland and patches of scrub. We hope to see a display of heather, Devil’s-bit Scabious and Grass of Parnassus.