Attraction in Wombwell
RSPB Old Moor is a 250-acre nature reserve in South Yorkshire’s Dearne Valley. Up to 8,000 golden plovers and 2000 lapwings provide a winter wildlife spectacle and the Dearne Valley is an important area for breeding and passage wading birds and wintering wildfowl. RSPB Old Moor also has a 250+ colony of tree sparrows. A mix of habitats includes open water, marsh, reedbeds and grassland.
The site is compact, so the furthest hide is just half a mile from the visitor centre, and there are two electric scooters for less mobile visitors. The Trans Pennine Trail (TPT) also passes Old Moor and other RSPB sites, including the nearby Gypsy Marsh and Wombwell Ings.
An excellent range of bird species can be viewed from five superb, easily accessible hides, 4 of the 5 disabled friendly. The visitor centre in converted farm buildings has a 60-seater restaurant upstairs with an additional 30 seater viewing platform overlooking the reserve, and an adjacent bird-feeding garden covered by CCTV relayed into the visitor centre.
The large shop covering the whole of the ground floor carries a wide range of clothing, optics, bird food, nest boxes, books and cards, CD’s, DVD’s, gifts confectionery, ice creams and cold drinks. A section of the shop is specifically designated as a wildlife garden area, selling seeds, garden tools, books and peat free compost, soil improver and grow bags. To cater for cyclists using the TPT, in the shop there is also a small selection of cycle accessories and essentials for sale e.g. puncture outfits, inner tubes, tools and tyres.
The conversion of the old farmhouse into conference facilities and meeting rooms, with catering options, is a further attraction for local businesses to visit the reserve and share a unique experience of meeting with clients or staff in a calm and relaxed atmosphere amongst the birds.
The children’s play area, from Spring 2004, will have large wooden sculptures themed to biodiversity and there is a “Kids go wild” trail planned around the extensive ponds. There is a full programme of birdwatching for beginners along with many other events, including dragonfly and butterfly walks, bat evenings and moth identification sessions. There are also curriculum-linked, term-time educational visits, including birdwatching, pond dipping, 'mini-beasting' and other creative and science-based activities to suit children from reception to Key Stage 2. The creation of the new education classroom has added to the already comprehensive education facilities, woodland area with central glade, grassland meadow and recycled plastic pond dipping platform.
Months Open: Visitor centre, shop and restaurant open every day, 10am – 5pm, Feb - Oct, gates close at 5.30pm
10am – 4pm Nov - Jan, gates close at dusk
Closed Christmas Day and Boxing Day.
Groups/Parties Welcome: Yes
Discount for Groups: Yes
Car Parking: Yes
Admission Price: Ł2.50
Gift Shop: Yes
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