Fairburn Ings RSPB Nature Reserve

© Copyright Toby Speight and licensed for reuse under a Creative Commons Licence.


Name: Fairburn Ings RSPB Nature Reserve
Nearest town: Castleford
County: West Yorkshire
Grid reference: SE451277
Latitude/Longitude: 53.74373,-1.31765
Telephone: 01977 628191

Center map

The RSPB reserve at Fairburn Ings is considered to be a flagship RSPB reserve with visitor numbers approaching 100,000 per year. It covers approximately 680 acres and has a varied habitat which is ideal for a variety of interesting birds. Fairburn Ings has a 150 year history of mining and the bodies of water at the reserve are the result of subsidence of former coal mine operations. In addition to these large bodies of water there are also areas of deciduous woodland, smaller pools and lagoons dry grassland and grazing marshland.

To take advantage of the varied landscapes at the reserve it is recommended that you take a walk on one or all of the two nature trails at Fairburn Ings so you can take in views over the woodland and wet grassland. The Boardwalk trail offers views of the causeway and the Discovery trail is specially designed for children. There are a total of five hides to choose from, a viewing platform and two pond dipping platforms to enthral the children (and adults alike).

The Fairburn Ings reserve is particularly well featured both in terms of the wildlife that can be seen and also the visitor facilities. There is a visitor’s centre that sells hot drinks and a range of RSPB products and an information centre on site.

Interesting birds that you may see at Fairburn Ings.

You may see some or all of the following different types of birds during your visit to the Fairburn Ings RSPB nature reserve.

All year: Great Crested Grebe, Kingfisher, Little Grebe, Snipe.

Spring: Black Tern, Garganey, Kingfisher, Little Ringed Plover, Osprey, Sedge Warbler, Yellow Wagtail

Summer: Black-Headed Gull, Common Tern, Gadwall, Pochard, Whinchat.

Autumn: Black-Tailed Godwit, Fieldfare, Green Sandpiper, Little Gull, Redstart, Redwing.

Winter: Goldeneye, Goosander, Peregrine, Smew, Redpoll, Ruddy Duck, Siskin, Teal, Whooper Swan, Wigeon.


  • Information centre.
  • Visitor’s centre.
  • Hot drinks on site.
  • Shop selling RSPB products.
  • Binocular hire available.
  • Car park.
  • Toilets (and disabled) available.
  • Guided walks available.
  • Picnic areas.
  • Great area for walking.
  • Pushchair and wheelchair friendly location.

Opening times

The car park at Fairburn Ings is open every day from 9 am to 5 pm. The reserve is closed on Christmas Day and Boxing Day.


Entry to Fairburn Ings is free of charge but any donation from non-RSPB members to the RSPB is always very welcome. If you are arriving by car there is a £3 car parking fee (from 1st April 2016) for non-RSPB members. If you are a member of the RSPB (or disabled badge holder) parking is free but remember to have your RSPB membership card (or disabled badge) on the dashboard of your car.

RSPB membership is excellent value with a range of falulous benefits including free entry to a huge number of nature reserves. Take a look at the various RSPB membership options on offer.

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