It’s time to let our eyes take in the glorious colours of verdant hedgerows, and let the warmer days inspire us to get out and enjoy the best of what Yorkshire has to offer. June heralds the brightest and most active time for our wildlife busy feeding and raising their young; butterflies flutter by in glorious meadows, dragonflies and damselflies skim over ponds, and the late evening is punctuated by the swoop of swifts, bats and the occasional owl.

With three beautiful months of summer stretching out ahead of you, a wild reserve adventure awaits. Here are Yorkshire Wildlife Trust’s top tips on where and how to go a little wilder this summer…

Go batty

Bats are most active in the summer months following hibernation and can be spotted hunting insects especially around sunset or sunrise when it is warm and dry. A summer evening stroll along the Lines Way near Leeds will offer a glimpse of bats foraging overhead. Potteric Carr nature reserve near Doncaster is also a great place to spot bats – the car park closes at 5pm, but it is possible to stay later if you arrive ahead of time and speak to staff - and Staveley nature reserve in north Yorkshire is particularly good for an evening stroll to spot pipistrelle bats, as well as resident barn owls.

Yorkshire Wildlife Trust bat-spotting events can also help you spot these flittering creatures at Spurn, Castle Howard, and reserves near Barnsley, Hull and Leeds.

Join a summer seashore safari. Join a summer seashore safari. (Image: Tom Marshall)

Seaside safari

Our stunning coastline may be the number one draw in the summer and if you head to Flamborough Cliffs nature reserve this month, you’ll spot internationally important numbers of breeding seabirds including kittiwakes, guillemots, and puffins - creating quite the raucous. You could even enjoy them from an open-water cruise in a traditional Yorkshire fishing coble! Alternatively, adventure down to Spurn Point nature reserve at the very tip of Yorkshire, where as well as marine mammals like seals and porpoises you can enjoy the spectacular views from the spit and the top of our restored lighthouse.

Really keen to get stuck in? There are a multitude of craft sessions happening at Yorkshire Wildlife Trust’s Living Seas Centre at Flamborough including seaweed soap making and sea glass jewellery crafting – or enjoy a rockpool ramble searching for starfish, a shoreline search at low tide for kelp forests and sea slugs, shark egg searches or beach litter picks.

See globeflower in bloom at Ashes Pasture. See globeflower in bloom at Ashes Pasture. (Image: Graham Standring)

Wildflower wonders

Our wildflower meadows are bursting into a riot of colour which attract swathes of butterflies, moths and bees. There’s a beautiful wildflower meadow for every corner of the county; Brockadale’s famous valley slopes, nestled in near Pontefract, are covered in pyramidal orchids, clustered bellflowers and subtly beautiful hellibores, whilst marbled white and fritillary butterflies flutter by. Further south, reserves like Fen Carr and Carlton Marsh have some wonderful wetland flowers to offset their grassland displays.

A walk through Kiplingcotes Chalk Pit near Market Weighton in high summer is accompanied by an explosion of wildflowers including pyramidal and common spotted orchids, field scabious, harebell and lady’s bedstraw – all in contrast to the bright white of the reserve’s chalk faces.

Ashes Pasture and the other reserves smattered in the lee of Ingleborough mountain are flushed with colour in the summer; mountain pansies, bird’s-eye primroses and orchids galore are offset by the yellow flush of the giant buttercup-like globeflower.

Wetlands go wild

Finally, if you’re looking for something a little different this summer, seek out the cooling shaded pools of our wetland reserves. North Cave Wetlands near Hull has sprung out of the remains of an old gravel quarry to become a series of lakes brimming with wildlife, including some nationally-significant populations of wading birds and some wonderful sensory trails.

Potteric Carr in Doncaster is also an experience not to be missed; with several hours’ worth of trails to explore, glittering lakes trimmed with swaying reedbeds and brimming with dragonflies, mini mammals and wading birds, and vast wooded areas sounding with the song of woodland birds, there is a new adventure available for every visitor. The reserve is home to a widely varied events programme, this summer including charcoal pencil-making sessions, and a wildflower ID course, and also has a fantastic café with some locally famous chip butties!

Choose your next wild adventure with Yorkshire Wildlife Trust and find out more about the work to protect, restore and inspire a love of nature across our region, including our packed programme of events, at