Humberhead Peatlands National Nature Reserve, Goole

#8 of 10 in Wildlife in East Riding of Yorkshire
Thorne and Hatfield Moors form the largest area of lowland raised peat bog in the United Kingdom. They are situated in South Yorkshire, to the north-east and east of Doncaster near the town of Thorne, and are part of Hatfield Chase. They had been used for small-scale extraction of peat for fuel from medieval times, and probably much earlier, but commercial extraction of the peat for animal bedding began in the 1880s. The peat was cut on the moors and, once it had dried, transported to several works on narrow gauge tramways, always called trams locally. The wagons were pulled by horses to works at Creyke's Siding, Moorends, Medge Hall, Swinefleet and Hatfield. There was also a network of canals supplying the Moorends Works.The industry suffered a downturn between the two world wars, as working horses were replaced by lorries and peat demand dropped, but after the Second World War peat was used by the horticultural industry in increasing volumes, and harvesting expanded again. From 1947, experiments were made with locomotives on the tramways, and they soon replaced horses. A total of 23 had worked on the system by the time it was closed down. The extraction process was mechanised in the 1960s, with the introduction of machines that could cut and stack the peat turves. In 1981 mechanical loading of the turves into the trains was introduced. Surface milling of the peat was introduced in 1985, which completely stripped the surface of large areas of the moors.
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Humberhead Peatlands National Nature Reserve Reviews
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21 reviews
  • August 16, 2017
    This is massive area of woodland and small lakes. It was an area where pest was extracted on an industrial scale but is now returning to big land. However one get around fairly dryly on well laid out ...  more »
  • February 19, 2017
    Today we went for a walk around the area of the Moors near Hatfield and Blanton just off the A614. This is the only area of the moors we have visited and is a very peaceful (apparent from the occasion...  more »
  • September 11, 2016
    I visited the east part of the reserve. I felt it could have been signposted better, particularly to the car park(s?). There wasn't a large amount of wildlife evident, just grazing sheep and a few wil...  more »
  • March 10, 2017
    The best place I can reach on an easy day trip where I can see adders. There are very large numbers and if you go at a suitable time and weather etc. lots are around. There are also much smaller numbers of grass snakes.
  • April 25, 2017
    Amazing and beautiful countryside. One of the most important natural areas nationally.
  • June 4, 2017
    Lovely walk, just on the doorstep, its like being on a different planet. Wellys are advisable. Not suitable for MTB's.
  • April 22, 2017
    It's like the land that time forgot- very scenic views and a lot of local wildlife
  • September 2, 2017
    Lovely and quiet, helpful staff and well maintained paths and walkways

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