I’ve been meaning to visit RSPB Fairburn Ings for ages, so with just my Daughter to entertain I thought it would be a nice Mummy and Daughter day out. The nature reserve not far from Castleford is a protected area, with pond dipping and walking trails it sounds just our sort of place to explore.
On arriving at the visitor centre, we got a map and picked from the three main trails which we would explore. It was purely based on the colour and my daughter picked the longest red route. We walked about 6km in total and walked along a path with wooded areas, bird hides to sit in and glimpses along the way of the main lake. I was kicking myself I hadn’t hired the binoculars for the day but we still got to see all the birds on the lake. We were treated to a display from the geese flying over our heads a few times, and decided that they were the visitor formation team showing off for our benefit! Too quick to get a photo unfortunately.
Returning to the visitor centre we grabbed a sandwich from the little shop area, took advantage of the toilet facilities before buying a pond dipping kit. The kit is a hire of net and bucket with booklet on how to pond dip and what you might catch. There are a couple of areas along the boardwalk where you can do the pond dipping and we set off enthusiastically.
My Daughter isn’t the quietest child and maybe her constant chatter scared the pond wildlife but we weren’t very successful at pond dipping! We did have a great time trying and I was thankful my little chatterbox didn’t fall in.
After pond dipping we went into the play area, my Daughter heading for the den building and tree house. We attempted some den building which was fun and then had a little walk through the garden area. My Daughter loved playing the woodland drums.
We spent about four hours there and could have easily stayed longer, we hadn’t even tried the discovery trail. We’ll just have to go back with the whole family.
There is lots of parking which you pay for inside the visitor centre £3, free for RSPB members
Pond dipping is £2 for hire of the net and bucket, again free for members.
Ask about binocular hire! I wish I had.
Have you visited the nature reserve? What wildlife did you see? Let me know in the comments