Less than 20 minutes drive from the centre of Harrogate lies a wild landscape quite unlike the surrounding areas.
Staveley Nature Reserve is run by the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust and, despite having lived in Harrogate for a few years, we only recently became aware of it. Friends had visited and spotted an otter in one of its marshy streams.
Driving through pretty villages we arrived in the small car park, where there were only two other cars despite it being a warm spring day.
We unloaded our dog, baby and the pram and made our way along the dusty track. It was fine with our all-terrain pram wheels but otherwise would be quite a bumpy ride!
We wandered through woodland strewn with bluebells before arriving on the banks of a small lake. The views were stunning and there were numerous birds and butterflies flitting around.We made our way around the lake spotting wildflowers along the way. We didn’t see any otters this time but there were lapwings, chiffchaffs, sedge warblers, swans, ducks and pheasants (and many other bird calls which we couldn’t identify). We barely saw another person, it was so peaceful and there are plenty of benches dotted around where you could have a picnic whilst enjoying the views. Sadly we had not brought picnic with us on this occasion so after returning to our car we made our way to Minskip Farm Shop, which has recently been taken over by owners Ben and Emma Mosey. It’s just off the A1 and is full of fresh local produce and reasonably priced.We picked up ingredients for a ploughman’s lunch then visited the lambs in the barn before heading home to enjoy our feast.