National recognition as Rodley Nature Reserve named as a top spot for wildlife

rodley nature reserve
Rodley Nature Reserve

Rodley Nature Reserve is officially one of the nation’s favourite spots for wildlife after it finished fifth in a hotly contested national poll.

To celebrate their 60th birthday, BBC Wildlife Magazine asked 60 people from its network of conservationists, writers, presenters and photographers to share their favourite places for wildlife in the UK.

The resulting array of locations across the country – from remote Scottish isles to the north Cornish Coast – were then put to a public vote and the Top 10 was then decided. Rodley finished top in the regional poll for Yorkshire and Humber.

The overall winner was the stunning Causeway Coast, a wild place of outstanding natural beauty with dunes, sheer cliffs and the amazing rock formations of the magnificent Giant’s Causeway.

The top ten as voted by the public is:

  1. Causeway Coast (Northern Ireland)
  2. Wimbledon Common (London)
  3. Scaur Glen (Scotland)
  4. Isles of Scilly (Southwest)
  5. Rodley Nature Reserve (Yorkshire)
  6. RSPB Ynys-hir (Wales)
  7. Winter Hill (North)
  8. Middleton Lakes (Midlands)
  9. St Catherine’s Hill (Southeast)
  10. Canvey Wick (East and Jersey)

A spokesperson from Rodley Nature Reserve said they were delighted by the national recognition and thanked everyone who had voted for them: “We are delighted to announce that, thanks to your votes, Rodley Nature Reserve came top in BBC Wildlife Magazine’s poll to find the favourite wildlife spots in Yorkshire and Humberside.

“This meant that we went into the national final and came fifth overall in the list of brilliant wildlife locations in the UK – wonderful company to be in!

“Nominations were made by a panel made up of 60 conservationists, writers, presenters and photographers who produced a shortlist by region, which was then put to the
public vote.

“Massive thanks to all our volunteers, friends, visitors and supporters who have made this possible, it’s great to have all our efforts appreciated in this way.”

The reserve opened on reduced hours for much of last year due to building work on the Moss Swing Bridge which leads to it.

A magazine spokesperson said: “As the nominations flooded in for exquisite forests, lofty hills, shimmering wetlands and windswept shores across the country, we’re reminded that, despite the pummelling nature has taken in recent decades, there are still many corners of the UK where wildlife thrives.”

Pam Taylor, trustee of British Dragonfly Society, said of Rodley Nature Reserve: “Nestled between Horsforth and the River Aire, Rodley is a dragonfly and damselfly hotspot on the edge of the city. At least 18 species have been recorded here, with jewels such as banded demoiselle, emperor and four-spotted chaser.”

Winners are profiled in the June issue of BBC Wildlife out now, priced at £5.50.


  1. Pity the new housing development (which is surely going to be approved today despite the objections and bridge problems, usual LCC cut-and-dried) is going to spoil it all.

    • As we all knew today’s meeting was just a formality, and the plans have been approved.
      Make the most of the reserve everyone, before the Reserve’s work is compromised.

  2. Can’t wait for the no parking yellow lines to be painted on the bridge which will surely be full when the new residents are trying to leave site and a barge needs to go through.
    A yellow box should be painted because boaters have PRIORITY to open the bridge for transit.
    The canal was there long before the road / bridge / nature reserve and the former airedale mills site


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