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History and Development

Phase 2 – North Cave Wetlands, 2008 Onwards


The existing 96 acre North Cave Wetlands site was purchased by the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust on the 1st November 2000 after a planning application to turn the site into landfill was successfully opposed by the villagers of North Cave & Hotham & turned down by the Planning Inspector.

From2001 to 2003 the site was developed by YWT with the help & support of Humberside Aggregates. Over 250,000 tonnes of materials were moved, infilling old quarries with inert waste, & creating new shallow lakes, shelves & islands. We added paths, hides, gravity water control & many other features to create the reserve as we know it today.

In 2004 YWT was approached by Humberside Aggregates with a plan to extract a further 3 million tonnes of aggregate from 105 acres of land to our immediate south & west. Humberside Aggregates offered to restore the resulting quarries to our design, & to donate them on a phased basis back to the Trust. In early 2006 planning permission was granted ‘for the extension of North Cave Wetlands Reserve by the extraction of sand & gravel’. There was not a single local objection.

Quarrying for Phase 2 will commence in 2008 & will take approximately 4 years to complete, with restoration taking up to 2 further years. Processing plant will be located to the south west of the reserve & access will be exclusively via Newport Road & Crosslands Lane to the south. The existing reserve &Dryham Lane will be largely undisturbed. To our south a 45 acre flood meadowland is proposed to a design prepared by the consultancy arm of the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust. We have targeted breeding waders in the summer, & feeding wildfowl in the winter. The remainder of the new site is expected to consist of lakes with shallow water margins incorporating islands, but the plans will depend on how much inert infill Humberside Aggregates can attract from other contractors during the life of the project.

When this is complete North Cave Wetlands will be over double its present size. Phase 2 will therefore substantially extend, enhance & diversify our existing habitat for the conservation of birds & other wildlife.

Western Extension, from 2012 Onwards


With quarrying now underway on Phase 2, Humberside Aggregates is preparing a further and final planning application for submission by the end of 2008 for quarrying to the west and south west of our site. Some 140 further acres after quarrying will be restored to our design and gifted to Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, along with some 30 acres of fishing lakes to the south in which we will have no interest. Extraction is estimated to start in 2012, and will take at least six years plus two years restoration. Humberside Aggregate’s plant, currently sited to the south of Newport Road, will be moved to the south west corner of the 45 acre flood meadowland of Phase 2, where it will remain until the completion of the western extension. In 12 years time, North Cave Wetlands will therefore consist of :

The initial site acquired in 2000                                       96 acres

Phase 2 to be completed about 2014                             105 acres

Western extension to be completed about 2020           140 acres

Giving a total of                                                             340 acres

A substantial capital fund reserved specifically for the maintenance of North Cave Wetlands is being built up by Yorkshire Wildlife Trust with the help and commitment of Humberside Aggregates; the fund already stands at over 50% of our long term target. Income from the fund will pay for full time professional on-site management, probably from the end of Phase 2, as well as routine maintenance.

The three lakes at the western end of Phase2 and the deep lakes 4B and 5 in the western extension are in the area of deepest extraction. From the bottom of lakes 4b and 5 Humberside Aggregates will extract a considerable volume of clay, to be mixed with silt from the refining process and imported inert material (topsoil from building sites etc.) to fill in quarries in areas 1A, 2A, 3A and 4A. These areas will be finished with saved topsoil, and form primarily wet grassland areas 9similar to the 45 acres field that is currently being restored as part of Phase 2 immediately to the south of the existing wetlands) about 1 metre below existing land levels.

The deep water lakes will have shallow verges to improve the habitat for waders and wildfowl. The west grassland areas will be targeted at breeding waders, but will also probably include reed-beds. Public footpaths will stay as they currently are, and with service strips around the perimeter further paths and hides will be planned into the final restoration plan. The prime access point and car park to the Reserve will remain off Cliffe Road, North Cave, as now