Potteric Carr Nature Reserve

Potteric Carr Nature Reserve

Potteric Carr Nature Reserve
4.5
Nature & Wildlife AreasHiking Trails
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
About
Nature paths suitable for wheelchairs and pushchairs will wind you around a stunning, safe wetland habitat littered with pockets of woodland and wildflower meadows, and a cracking cafe is a great place for you recharge with friends. Hides allow you and your family to get up close and personal with birds such as woodpeckers and kingfishers and during your wander you may also encounter mammals such as roe deer and hedgehogs. The meadows during summer are full of butterflies on the wing in comparison to a snow laden winter where you may be lucky enough to spot our overwintering bitterns - this globally threatened species a real highlight to see for any wildlife watcher.Please note that we close over the Christmas period, check our website for details. We will be open every other day of the year (weather permitting) please see are website for further details. Unfortunately dogs, horses, bike, scooters etc are unfortunately not permitted on site.
Meets animal welfare guidelines
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4.5
313 reviews
Excellent
214
Very good
65
Average
18
Poor
11
Terrible
5

RMC
1 contribution
Sept 2023 • Couples
We have visited Potteric Carr many times in previous years and were always keen to make the 120 mile round trip to what we once considered to be one of the finest reserves in the area. Our most recent visit was during the first week in September on a warm and sunny day. It would have been useful to know the latest sightings but the link on the YWT Website hasn’t been updated since 2021.
Being retired we used to receive a concession on the entrance charge but this is no longer available so we paid the full £10 for a couple. The cafe at the entrance was quite busy so we expected to find lots of people out on the reserve, only to see four people throughout the day.
There were lots of mosquitoes and biting insects around but since we came prepared with repellent it was not too much of a problem.
Potteric Carr used to be a well managed nature reserve but we were disappointed to find that the site is showing signs of neglect and has changed from the time of our last visit, and not in a good way.
The first areas we passed through were the dragonfly ponds and reed beds around Loversall Field/Delph which were very overgrown and neglected.
We always take time to visit all parts of the reserve but walking around the paths in most areas was not a pleasant experience. Most of the reed borders were so dense and tall that viewing the adjacent marsh was virtually impossible.
Viewing from some of the hides was also an issue, especially in the ones overlooking Willow Pool and Decoy Marsh.
Wildlife sightings were relatively sparse, most birds being seen from the Roger Mitchell hide, notably Great White Egret, Bittern, Hobby and Buzzard.
There is only 1 feeding station which is situated by reception. We asked why they feeders by Willow Pool were no longer in use and were told it was to deter vermin.
All in all we had a disappointing day. It is such a shame to find the reserve in such a poor and neglected state especially since it was once named as one of the flagship sites of the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust. Sadly it will probably be some time before we return.
Written 25 September 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Lesley M
104 contributions
Sept 2023 • Couples
What a super area to walk around. Staff in centre were very helpful, wildlife a bit quieter than usual owing to atrocious weather conditions on our visit, but, we still had a great time.
Written 22 September 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Geo D
Doncaster, UK206 contributions
Jan 2023
Lovely walk around, we went in January so the floor was wet and muddy but manageable considering the weather. Dog friendly, easy to find, would recommend
Written 18 April 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

crispycard
Retford, UK143 contributions
Apr 2023
Large reserve so plenty of walks, hides and a great cafe and shop. Helpful staff if you are not a nature expert. No need for a playground as there are so many paths to follow and trees to climb.
Written 15 April 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Rescuedaisy
Doncaster97 contributions
Jul 2022
The nature reserve is fantastic and serves anyone and everyone. Ideal for relaxation and therapy or just for fun.
The cafe is very good and there is excellent toilet facilities.
Written 27 July 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Birder11
Leicester, UK3 contributions
May 2022 • Family
Excellent facilities including toilets and cafe with a great shop and much more at the visitor centre. Very well-kept hides and the birds performed to the camera very well such as Bittern and Black-winged Stilt! Any keen birders across the country have to visit this nature reserve at some point in their lives!
Written 3 June 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Pam R
Doncaster, UK9 contributions
Apr 2022
Had to leave a review after reading that someone called this brilliant nationally recognised nature reserve with it's important and rare habitat 'hell on earth'. I don't think we've visited the same place and I visit Potteric Carr regularly!

We are so lucky to have this natural oasis just outside Doncaster town centre. It's true you can hear the traffic from the nearby road and the infrequent trains that pass, but this is another reason why this place is so amazing with such a diverse range of wildlife and habitats co habiting right next to our busy town.

The reserve is well looked after by the Yorkshire wildlife trust and their brilliant volunteers. None of the buildings on site are derelict and are accessible unlike many other reserves I've visited.

It's true that if you're visiting to see birds you'll spot a lot more if you have some binoculars. I visited yesterday 11th April and saw avocets, pochards, tufted ducks. shovelers, grebes, long tailed tits, gadwalls, lapwings, swans, geese as well as the usual blue tits, robins, chiff chaffs, blackbirds, chaffinches, wrens and much more. I didn't see marsh harriers on this occasion but I usually do. I've seen deer, bitterns, spoonbills, peregrine falcons and a glossy ibis on previous visits.

After about three hours walking around the reserve it was lovely to enjoy a delicious bacon butty and bowl of chips in the cafe overlooking the reserve.

There's so much 'Donny bashing' goes on but there's a lot for us to be proud of in Doncaster and Potteric Carr is one of those things.
Written 12 April 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

castle1_10
Leeds, UK1,342 contributions
Mar 2022 • Couples
Well we wondered what here had to offer so an impulse visit on a sunny Sunday afternoon was partaken
Parking free and not busy at all, we wandered to the entrance where the shop cafe is … nice greeting and the smell of cooking tempted us to first of all take a snack … well it was 1pm so double egg and chips (note the chips was well browned off … top marks there) washed down with a cuppa so that started off well ! .
There are several marked paths to take here all clearly signed plus with the map has well that helps.
Yes parts of the site was bland but it’s March what do you expect ? .
Reed beds pools and well aged trees are around the site plus some carved wooden wild animals to break the walks up.
We spent 4 hours here yes there’s a bit of road railway noise in parts but overhaul you can hear birds twittering away.
Would we return well yes more so in autumn with hopefully the site has more colour to offer.
Written 20 March 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Geoff D
Knottingley, UK79 contributions
Mar 2022
As a member of the YWT for many years, I was very disappointed with my visit to Potteric Carr today, my first visit since Covid. The site has completely changed from the time of my last visit, and not for the better, I'm afraid. The car park is on rough, bumpy gravel and the 'centre' is just a shadow of what it was. During our morning's walk, we saw about 3 birds in total. We see far more in our garden! There was nothing to see from any of the 6 hides we entered and the one with the feeding station, near the old cafe, had no food put out at all, just an empty frame where, I assume, the feeders should be hanging. We will not be making the long journey to this reserve again and I will be cancelling my membership as they obviously don't spend my subscriptions on bird food!
Written 10 March 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Honest4us
Doncaster, UK18 contributions
Oct 2021 • Couples
If you like to be charged £9 per couple for a walk, and then be subject to decaying buildings and road noise everywhere you go.. this is the place for you!!

I don’t mind paying for anything if the cost is reflected in the item/experience received. This place did not deliver in the slightest. Apparently a nature reserve for birds, we saw one duck the whole time we were there. I imagine the wildlife is scared off by the constant drone from the dual carriage way, train tracks, and motorway; which are next door.

The facilities are poorly maintained. Rotten benches, paths and facilities. No idea where the reinvestment goes. To top it off there was a lovely pile of rusty shopping trolleys and push bikes that had been pulled out of the river by staff, and left in eye site of the paying visitors.

There is one million, free, local walks I’ll be going on before returning to this dump.
Written 6 November 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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POTTERIC CARR NATURE RESERVE: All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

Frequently Asked Questions about Potteric Carr Nature Reserve

Potteric Carr Nature Reserve is open:
  • Sun - Sat 09:00 - 17:00