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Biggest Twitch
Biggest Twitch
Biggest Twitch
Biggest Twitch
Biggest Twitch
Biggest Twitch
Biggest Twitch
Biggest Twitch
Biggest Twitch
Biggest Twitch
Biggest Twitch
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Biggest Twitch

A groundbreaking Cave!

North Cave Wetlands, Yorkshire Wildlife Trust Nature Reserve

We'll admit to a touch of trepidation as we went to give our talk on The Biggest Twitch to the Hull Literary and Philosophical Society on Tuesday. OK, we have both written books and Ruth has her nose in a good book as often as she can, but neither of us can exactly claim to be either literary or philosophical. Wearing Black Tie just added to our concern - and no, we're not including any photographic evidence for you here!

But we needn't have worried. We walked into the auditorium to find an audience of 300 wonderfully welcoming people who seemed to really enjoy our talk, relishing all our photos and laughing at our tales of the highs and lows of our Big Year. So many thanks to our host Steve Martin - no, not that Steve Martin, this one is much nicer and even more entertaining! - for inviting us to speak and to join in the dinner afterwards to meet his guests for the evening. Not to mention Steve and Carol's kindness in inviting us to stay at their wonderful home and looking after us so well. We were quite overwhelmed by everyone's warm welcome.

Steve Ruth North Cave

Steve and Ruth, the morning after the talk

Steve was very keen to show us around North Cave Wetlands the next morning before we departed, and what a treat was in store for us. This reserve could really be described as Steve's baby. It was his creation as he acquired the land in 2000 from a gravel extraction company called Humberside Aggregates and Excavations and hard work over the years has turned this into a haven for wildlife. It's still quite a young reserve now part of the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust portfolio, and thanks to the tireless efforts of Steve and the staff and volunteers of the YWT it is proving a real paradise for nature. Provide good habitat, and the wildlife will soon move in.

Lapwing North Cave

Lapwings taking advantage of the reserve's facilities!

Spring North Cave

Signs of spring all around us

Human visitors are well looked after too: this reserve has some great hides, some of which are a bold and original design taking full advantage of the site layout and giving great views in all directions. With a friendly tea bar at the entrance to refresh the inner birder this is a great place to visit, and makes the perfect stopping-off point on your way to or from Spurn.

Turrent hide North Cave

The Turret Hide provides a grandstand view over the lagoons

Turrent hide inside North Cave

A hide that's really been designed with birders in mind

Steve seems to have limitless energy and not content with the day-to-day management of the existing acreage, he is working tirelessly to expand the reserve. He is working hand-in-hand with the gravel extractor to add new areas to the reserve. As the gravel pits have been worked out, the diggers have turned their shovels to creating a series of pools, scrapes, grips and islands perfect to attract breeding waders and wildfowl. What a brilliant example of industry and conservation working hand-in-hand and it just goes to show how much more can be achieved when the two parties work together rather than against each other.

New work North Cave

New habitat being created on the reserve as the diggers move out

New Hide North Cave

Another impressive hide giving all-round views

Steve is justifiably proud of what's been achieved and excited about future plans for this reserve. We really enjoyed our visit here and now we've found this gem of a reserve, we'll definitely be visiting it again to enjoy it as it goes from strength to strength. If you'd like to learn more about it, check out their own website on and see the entry on Yorkshire Wildlife Trusts's site on . But best of all, go and take a look at the reserve yourself, we highly recommend it!

Once again, a huge thank you to Steve and Carol for looking after us so well, and to the members of the Hull Literary and Philosophical Society for making us so welcome.


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