Riverbank Trail  RSPB


Site Details

Recorders: Rachael Tullock                                Distance: 3000m            Walk time:  1.5 hour 

Shaped by a long history of coal mining, Fairburn Ings protects a mixture of habitats. Wetland areas created by subsidence include open water, wet grassland, reedbed and wet woodland. While other habitats, including dry grassland, deciduous woodland and lagoons, have been restored on the former coal spoil tips.   This is mostly a grassalnd site under restoration over magnesian limestone . There are large areas of scrub.

From the west car park the route follows the north side riverbank of the river AireFrom south of Fairburn village the  route follows theeast side of Main bay down to teh river aire and then follows teh riverbank Westwards  back to the heath and teh visitor centre.


S1 is quiet good for grassalnd species  but with floral inteeest for Smal Torstoiseshells 

S2-S10 is somewhat treelined and favours Speckled Woods. 

In S11 back on the heath good grassland with the best section of the route particularly Meadow Brown and Small Skipper but also Gatekeeper. 

Results 2023

Results were compared with another good year in 2019 . Trends  mostly follow the county  with rises in Red Admiral, Holy Blue, Comma, Speckled Wood, Gatekeeper and Meadow Borwns and losses largely down to Greeen Viened white and Ringlet. 

Differences from the county trends are good increases in Small Copper  and Common Blue  which we have seen elsewhere where the drought has thinned the sward and allowed their foodplants to grow.