RSPB Dearne Valley Old Moor

old moor whats on yorkshire location


Nestled within the captivating Dearne Valley in Yorkshire, Old Moor presents itself as a family-oriented nature reserve, offering a plethora of amenities and a rich diversity of wildlife. Here, one can find solace in idyllic walks, marvel at indigenous flora and fauna, or immerse oneself in activities ranging from pond dipping to an adventure playground. During summer, the meadows burst into life with orchids, wildflowers, and butterflies, while winter sees an influx of ducks, swans, and geese.


Old Moor boasts a wide array of habitats. Its undulating reedbeds and muddy ‘wader scrapes’ provide refuge to some of the UK’s rarest birds, including avocets, bitterns, and marsh harriers. Lakes, ponds, wildflower meadows, and wet grasslands segmented by vibrant hedgerows offer additional sanctuaries teeming with life.

Conservation Practices

Old Moor prioritises the upkeep of its habitats to ensure they remain optimal for wildlife.

Reedbeds: These are trimmed to ensure a harmonious blend of open water, wet reed, and dry fen edges, favouring bitterns, bearded tits, and Cetti’s warblers.
Grasslands: Grazing regulates grass height, supporting various birds such as lapwings, redshanks, and snipes, while also attracting wintering wildfowl.
Water Levels: Monitored throughout the year, the water levels are adjusted seasonally to suit the needs of different species.
Flood Management: Old Moor collaborates with the Environment Agency to operate several of the Dearne reserves as flood washlands, reducing flood risks to nearby settlements.

Visitor Information:
Each year, Old Moor attracts over 100,000 visitors keen to explore its wildlife-rich landscape. The reserve features:


  • Visitor Centre
  • Car Park
  • Toilets (Accessible and with Baby Changing)
  • Café
  • Picnic Area
  • Binocular Hire
  • Guided Walks
  • Viewing Point
  • Nature Trails
  • Shop,
  • Educational Facilities
  • Dedicated play area

How to Get There:

Train: Wombwell (3 miles/5 km) or Swinton (3 miles/5 km). Wombwell station is accessible via the Trans Pennine Trail.
Bus: Infrequent services; check with local providers.
Bike: Accessible via the Trans Pennine Trail.
Road: Sat nav – S73 0YF; well-signed from M1 and A1.

Flora and Fauna Highlights

Birds: Kingfishers, barn owls, bitterns, avocets, and marsh harriers.

Seasonal Sights: From courtship dances of great crested grebes in spring to winter gardens teeming with bullfinches and bramblings, each season offers unique spectacles.

RSPB Dearne Valley – Old Moor, Old Moor Lane, Wombwell, Bolton upon Dearne, Barnsley, S73 0YF


Adults £5, children £2.50

images: Sam Turley (


RSPB Dearne Valley Old Moor, Old Moor Lane, Wombwell, Bolton upon Dearne, Barnsley, S73 0YF
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