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A secret haven for wildlife in the Lakes

When you’re next in the Lakes you really must visit this very special Nature Reserve.

is a gem. It is a private reserve and is open to members, but at only £10, it is a small payment to enjoy peace and tranquillity!

Membership of the Hay Bridge Society is open to anyone with an interest in wildlife and the natural world. Single membership costs £10 per annum, and family membership costs £15. Members can visit the Reserve as often as they wish during daylight hours, either to walk around the Reserve, or make use of the car park and walk in the valley surrounding the Reserve, or just to sit by the study centre and enjoy the peace and quiet. It is actually quite amazing what a wealth of wildlife can often be seen from the Study Centre terrace, without walking anywhere. Part of the terrace is roofed, so you can even sit out when it is raining if you so choose.
Non-members can enjoy this reserve for a £2 donation and in autumn will be in for a treat.
There are drink making facilities and toilets accessible at all times and, of course, the Study Centre itself is open when the Warden is on site.

HOURS OF ACCESS: Members may visit the reserve at any time during hours of daylight (6am to 9pm in the summer) without prior arrangement and are welcome to bring their friends.
Serious wildlife watchers are very welcome to come earlier or later than this, but for security reasons, please call and arrange it with the Warden beforehand, as we need to advise the occupants of both Low Hay and High Hay so they know who you are. People wandering around at dawn and dusk might be mistaken for poachers!

CARS: Please leave your car in the Members’ car park, displaying your car park ticket on the dashboard. The road is very narrow and cars parked on the verges, or in passing places can cause problems for others.

Just follow the signs to Bouth off A590.  At Bouth turn right at the White Hart Inn follow this road for about 1/2 mile to find the sign for Hay Bridge only, follow the lane until you reach the car park at the end.
skeeze / Pixabay
This is a haven for wildlife lovers and autumn is a very special time of year to visit. Red Deer have long roamed the Furness Fells and this reserve provides a safe haven for them and lots of other wildlife, including Buzzard’s, Hawks, bats, dragonfly, damsel and beautiful butterflies.
adege / Pixabay
Fungi are particularly abundant and put on a wonderful display in late summer and autumn. For experts, expect the hedgehog (a tooth fungus), the orange birch bolete, as well as many milkcaps and brittlegills. From early October you are likely to also hear the roars of Deer Rutting.

DOGS: Well behaved dogs are allowed on the Reserve, but they must be kept on a short lead at all times.

MEMBERS’ FACILITIES: These are situated on the lower side of the building (the last door on the right at the far end of the lower terrace). There are two toilets, including one for wheelchair users, and hand washing facilities. There is also a rest area, with kettle, tea and coffee etc. available for members’ use, together with chairs, information and the Log Book. Please record your sightings – they are very useful for our wildlife records. This area is always open for your use, please leave it clean and tidy, switch off the kettle and all lights and close the door when you leave.

adege / Pixabay

THE STUDY CENTRE: Originally a traditional Lakeland Stone Barn, the Study Centre was converted into a Deer Museum and Naturalists Study in the early 1970’s. In 2007, it underwent refurbishment to form a Study Centre and Interpretation Centre for all the flora and fauna to be found on the Reserve. It now houses information, field guides, species lists and exhibits relevant to Hay Bridge, and is for use by visiting schools, groups and Society members.
The study centre is usually open when the Warden is on site. You are more than welcome to use the field guides on the Reserve, but please return them to the Study Centre before you leave the Reserve. Equipment i.e., collection pots, magnifying glasses, microscopes, dipping nets, bat detector, moth trap etc) are available for use by arrangemen

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