The Humber Bridge Country Park is situated on the north side in what used to be a chalk quarry until it closed in 1960 and it has developed into an area of natural beauty and in May 2004 Nature Trails were opened to emphasise the various aspects of the park. It is one of eleven local nature reserves dotted around the East Riding all designated by East Riding of Yorkshire Council and English Nature in 2002.
The Park is a haven for the wildlife in the area and also a quiet place where you can contemplate on all aspects of the park and the wildlife.
There are a total of 3 nature trails all individually marked with there own way markers.
The Meadow Trail is 1.25 km (0.77 miles) long and is the shortest trail and like all of the trails begins at the Black Mill on Hessle Foreshore.
Going through the meadows on surfaced footpaths this is where you find the most of the butterflies on the reserve, in the grass are the small wood mice, voles which could end as a meal for the local predators, Weasels, Owls and Kestrels. There is also a tunnel of living willow where you can rest and observe the various birds such as Finches, Tits, Robins and thrushes all visiting the bird feeders and tables.
On the Pond Trail, which is 2.5 km (1.55 miles) long there are no steps or steep climbs and with rest areas every 100 metres it is the ideal leisurely stroll. You follow the trail through the woods to the main ponds. During the summer the small pond dries up so the amphibians use it for breeding therefore ensuring the safety of their offspring as there are no fish predators around. There is a smaller pond on the reserve and here you can watch bathing birds and feeding bats in the early evening.
The Cliff Trail is the longest at 3 kms (1.86 miles) and it explores the chalk covered cliff terraces which gives the name of Little Switzerland to the area because it look like a miniature snow covered Alps. The trail follows an old quarry terrace and you can make a detour up just over 100 steps to the High View Point where you can look across the River Humber to the Lincolnshire Wolds. You pass through the woods of Ash trees that grow really well on the chalky soil and with their creeping roots they cling to the rocks in very spectacular places.
This trail is a project by a group called Phoenix, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund Young Roots, and supported by the East Riding's Countryside Access Team. It is a collection of sculptored seats all done by various Sculptors and local groups and are all made from different materials (earth, stone, wood and steel ) from the local area. In total there are ten sculptures and integrated into each of the designs is a Bug . You can enjoy the sculptors and and even look for locate the bugs on each sculpture, this can be helped with a pamphlet from the Tourist Information Centre at the Country Park.
The Nature Trails waymarking Project was designed and installed by sculptor Saffron Waghorn with the help of the local people. The Oak waymarkers were individually transformed from plain timbers into hand carved nature trail posts that guide you around each individual trail on the reserve.
Click on image to enlarge.
A few of the waymarkers. There are many different carvings of the Rabbit, Owl and Frog, marking each trail in the park.