Kiplingcotes Chalk Pit Nature Reserve

Type:Nature Reserve

An image of an icon of rolling hills, hay bales, a church and a cloud

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This disued quarry is designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) for its chalk grassland.
Nestled in a narrow Wolds valley Kiplingcotes Chalk pit provides a haven for chalk-loving plant and animal species.

As vegetation colonises the bare chalk, different wildlife communities spring up as succession takes places over time. The first ‘pioneer’ species of lichens and moss colonise the quarry face and short-tufted grassland develops on the thin soils of the quarry floor supporting wild pansy, wild thyme and mouse-ear hawkweed. More established grassland on the quarry top supports common and greater knapweed, field scabious and burnet saxifrage.

Ant hills built by yellow meadow ants are scattered across the nature reserve and are characterised by being covered by springy beds of wild thyme – very fragrant when crushed. Some of these ant hills can be decades old and in the wider countryside are only found in areas that are not damaged by ploughing or mechanical cutting.

The nationally scarce red hemp-nettle is found here, as is a large population of basil thyme, which has undergone a huge decline in the UK. Butterflies typical of chalky soils occur in good numbers on the nature reserve including marbled white. Blackcap, bullfinch, and linnet can be found in the scrub, whereas in winter migrant birds pass through feeding on berries.

The diversity of flora supports an equally diverse fauna. Butterflies include marbled white, common blue and dingy skipper. Birds common on the reserve include yellowhamme, goldfinch, linnet and tree sparrow. Small mammals include long-tailed field mouse and common shrew. . A walk to the top of this old quarry will reward with lovely views back along the valley. This reserve lies alongside the Hudson Way footpath which traces a former footpath between Market Weighton and Beverley.

Walking trails:
East Riding of Yorkshire Council (ERYC)-managed Hudson Way rail trail - from Market Weighton to Beverley.
Steep/uneven terrain. Access is on foot only from the nearby Hudson Way car park.
Grazing animals:
Hebridean Sheep and Exmoor Ponies
No dogs permitted

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  • Children welcome

Meeting, Conference & Wedding Facilities

  • Grounds for outdoor activities


  • Free Parking

Property Facilities

  • Smoking not allowed


Map & Directions

Road Directions

By carThe nature reserve is 2.5 miles north east of Market Weighton. From Market Weighton take the road signposted Kiplingcotes. Use the car park on the old railway line and walk 300m north east along the line – the nature reserve is entered through a kissing gate on your left. There is limited parking on the roadside and access is down some steep steps.Hudson Way car park 300m to the westThe nearest railway station is Beverley, which is 9 miles away.

Spring Road, Market Weighton, East Riding of Yorkshire, YO43 3NA
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Call direct on:

Tel01904 659570

Opening Times

* Opening times: Open at all times
Best time to visit: March to September

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