RSPB Fairburn Ings nature reserve is inviting visitors to enjoy the reserve on Boxing Day for the very first time.
This follows several weeks of works to improve the family Discovery Trail for both people and wildlife.
Historically the reserve on Newton Lane, near Castleford, has closed on both December 25 and 26, but in recent years it has become a popular site for Boxing Day walks.
To prevent unsafe parking out on the roadside this year, the car park and shop will be open as usual from 9am to 4pm on December 26.
Sally Granger, visitor experience officer, said: “Whether you’re after a long walk or a short stroll, Fairburn is a lovely place to blow away the cobwebs on Boxing Day. We had hoped to open last year but unfortunately the reserve was flooded.
“This year we’re really looking forward to welcoming visitors during the festive period.”
This comes only weeks after the reserve team finished a programme of work to improve habitat near the visitor centre, making the wildlife experience even better. This includes the area in front of Pickup Hide, the most frequented wildlife watching shelter on site, which has been cleared and landscaped to bring the water and wetland birds much closer.
Meanwhile the very popular dipping ponds have been renovated to ensure there are plenty of areas for underwater mini-beasts to hide when the pond dipping season kicks off again in March.
Sally added: “The improvements to the Discovery Trail are very exciting, not only will they benefit wildlife, they will make pond dipping in the spring and summer months and wildlife watching even more special at Fairburn.”
This December young visitors will also be able to get into the festive spirit throughout the school holidays with a free ‘Festive Discovery’ quiz trail. It runs from December 17 to January 6. Anyone who returns their completed answer sheet can collect a special sticker.
For more information please contact RSPB Fairburn Ings visitor centre via email on firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 01977 628191.
Also see www.rspb.org.uk/fairburnings.