A new moth species for the reserve

A new butterfly for the reserve

Brockadale gets bigger

About the reserve

Brockadale is a Nature Reserve of the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust and lies between the villages of Wentbridge and the Smeatons just to the east of the A1, 10 miles north of Doncaster.

Its name derives from 'broken dale', aptly describing the craggy outcrops of limestone which dominate parts of the reserve. Many of the steep-sided slopes are covered in semi-natural woodland, or meadows which have been long unploughed.

Brockadale became a Yorkshire Wildlife Trust reserve in 1966, but with several extensions is now about 2km long and covers much of the valley between Wentbridge and the Smeatons. Most of this beautiful reserve is classed as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).

The reserve has one of only two sites in England where a minute snail called Truncatellina cylindrica can be found.

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One of the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust’s 80 nature reserves.

    Where is it?

It can be reached from Little Smeaton, Kirk Smeaton and Wentbridge along public footpaths, but the reserve car park is down an unmarked lane (Leys Lane) off New Road, Little Smeaton, about 1 mile west of the village. See Map


Yorkshire Wildlife Trust

1 St George’s Place

York YO24 1GN

Tel: 01904 659570

Fax: 01904 613467





Site updated:

December 2013


Highlights of winter

The first part of winter has been windy and occasionally wet, but there has been little in the way of frosts. This means that some plants are still flowering - look for white dead-nettle and clustered bellflowers.

The valley is home to a large number of fieldfares at the moment. These thrushes have arrived from northern Europe and are escaping from harsh weather there. They are feeding on hawthorn berries and ash keys, which are plentiful this year. Also look out for redwings - a smaller bird which is often found alongside the fieldfares.  There are more blackbirds around than in the summer too - these are also migrants from the colder parts of Europe. Later in the winter we usually see these birds on ivy berries, which ripen in Jan/Feb.

Other birds which are easier to see at this time of year include the family parties of long-tailed tits, goldcrests (eg in the yew trees), jays and bullfinches.