Waters' Edge Country Park
Far Ings Nature Reserve

Travelling by bicycle or walking on foot to Barton-on-Humber along the River Humber from New Holland and through Barrow Haven woodyard (a public right of way) brings one to the outskirts of Waters' Edge Country Park, a project of reclamation and yet another place along the Humber Bank that encourages bird life.
At this time the north end is being reclaimed still from the phosphogypsum dumped in the claypits by the BritAg chemical works that was once there. The southern end is open and found beyond the car park off Maltkiln Road beyond Barton Waterside. Cyclists can go into the country park but must give way to pedestrians. Other cyclists and walkers can, of course, come off the Humber bank and go past the ropery containing an art gallery, past Proudfoot supermarket and on to and beyond the railway station.
Waters' Edge Country Park map - click for other article on clay pits
Two sites of Special Scientific Interest are contained within the eighty six acre development. It was a former excavation for bricks and tiles, then a malt kiln site and finally a chemical and then the fertiliser works up to the 1970s. Now native trees have been planted as part of the project with the paths, facilities and ponds. The country park is open although final completion is not until 2002. Although the channels of water around the reedbeds are narrow, the water is deep (and there are life saving rings on site as well as notices warning of deep water).
These are the birds in the park:

  • Little Grebe
  • Coot
  • Moorhen
  • Mallard
  • Ruddy Duck
  • Reed Warbler
  • Reed Bunting
  • Water Rail
  • Pochard
  • Gadwell
  • Teal
  • Marsh Harrier
  • Bittern
  • Sparrowhawk
  • Kestrel
  • Willow Warbler
  • Sedge Warbler
  • Woodpigeon
  • Turtle Dove
  • Canada Geese
As well as the birds there are:

  • Dragonfly
  • Water Vole
  • Otter (hopefully)
These grow in the country park:
  • Reed Mace
  • Branded Bur Reed
  • Water Plantain
  • Great Willowherb
  • Water Mint
  • Common Ragwort
  • Oxford Ragwort
  • Mugwort
  • Cow Parsley
  • Hogweed
  • Spotted Orchid
  • Bee Orchid
As a test scheme, reeds are used to clean water, the pollutants consumed by the reeds and microbes.
It's important that visitors do not stray from the paths or the hides, and do not point through the flaps of the hides. Shut the door before opening a flap. Dogs are allowed in the park but only on a lead. Refreshments are available at either the Ropeworks (coffee) or at Proudfoot's cafe.
Continuing on westwards along Far Ings Road brings one to Far Ings Nature Reserve. It was a project begun in 1983 by the Lincolnshire Trust. Far Ings Nature Reserve map - click for other article on claypits
The origins were the same - flooded clay pits, where reed and willow moved in themselves.
The Scrapes was created in 1986 just by removing top soil from a once cultivated area. This produced shallow water and islands.
There are migrating birds:

  • Greenshank
  • Spotted redshank
  • Green sandpiper
And there are nesting birds:

  • Redshank (not always)
  • Lapwing (not always)
  • Great crested grebe
  • Little grebe
  • Water rail
The freshwater lakes are full of microscopic life which support:

  • Eel
  • Roach
  • Rudd
  • Perch
These in turn support:

  • Heron
  • Grebe
  • Kingfisher
Nesting birds include:

  • Mallard
  • Pochard
  • Tufted duck
In winter wildfowl residents include:

  • Wigeon
  • Teal
  • Goldeneye
  • Gadwall
  • Goosander
  • Smew (not always)
There is extensive meadow which keeps warblers:

  • Blackcap
  • Lesser whitethroat
  • Sedge warbler
  • Willow warbler
  • White throat
  • Garden warbler
  • Grasshopper warbler
  • Chiffchaff
There are other birds too:

  • Willow tit
  • Long tailed tit (and other tits)
  • Redpoll finch (and other finches)
  • Scrub birds
There are many butterflies in the meadow too:

  • Common blue
  • Meadow brown
  • Ringlet
  • Gamekeeper
  • Large skipper
  • Small skipper
Flowers appear in yellow, blue and white in May, including:

  • Birdsfoot trefoil
  • Kidney Vetch
  • Selfheal
  • Fairy flax
Then there are reedbeds. In rotation, parts are cut for thatching which prevents scrub taking hold. Common reed houses food for birds, and it is hoped that the Bittern will nest again.
Both the country park and the nature reserve are free entry, but Lincolnshire trust looks for support, including volunteers that look after the nature reserve and its creatures. No dogs are allowed at Far Ings.
Waters' Edge is a North Lincolnshire Council project at http://www.northlincs.gov.uk
Far Ings is a project of The Lincolnshire Trust, a voluntary body, and it is staffed by volunteers on weekends in summer, Sundays in winter, and bank holidays. There is a field studies room.
The Lincolnshire Trust is based at:

Banovallum House
Manor House Street


The Warden is at:

Far Ings Visitor Centre
Far Ings Road
DN18 5RG
01652 634507