- Watton Nature Reserve has never been owned or run by Yorkshire Water - in spite of its proximity for which many have attributed it so.
- If you want to view the site please do so responsibly with due regard to wildlife, observers and local land owners. Contrary to details the site is best viewed by parking at Wilfholme Landing and walking north along the public footpath on the west bank of Beverley and Barmston Drain and viewing from the public hide (we've had folk wandering around the reserve and leaving gates with neighbouring stock open).
- We've heard various interesting interpretations of a nature reserve by prospective purchasers so read on to learn more of the site and its inhabitants.
And the installation of tern rafts:
The site too has hosted a number of rarities in its time notably stone curlew, white stork, temminck's stint, avocets and often holds wintering bittern and a roost of little egrets:
The site is overlooked by a Yorkshire Water hide with around 10,000 visits per annum. We note that the sales agreement states that shooting and fishing rights are to be retained which is reassuring for its conservation.
The sale of the reserve is on behalf of the Environment Agency as part of a wider sell off of surplus assets (So please direct any enquiries there or with the selling agents)
As the site is on the open market it is unclear who the eventual recipient will be. As has been suggested in the brochure the site does have development potential - in my personal opinion for selective thinning of the shelterbelt, well timed constructive grazing management and upkeep of viewing facilities for the variety of wildlife it hosts (if you need any inspiration simply look at Tony McLean's site here).
For other uses please consider that it is an overlooked public site so unsympathetic management with respect to its protected species, designations and restrictions would be unlikely missed. That said many will be glad to assist a new owner keen to build on the success of a very special place for East Yorkshire's wildlife as part of the river Hull corridor of excellent wetland habitats.