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Home / Walks and leisure / Tophill Low Nature Reserve

Tophill Low        

Image of Richard HampshireHi, I'm Richard Hampshire, the warden at Tophill Low - I'd like to welcome you to my online guide to the reserve. 

We're very proud of Tophill Low, not only because it's recognised as a site of specific scientific interest (SSSI) but also due to the richness of wildlife that flourishes in and around the reservoirs.

There really is so much to see - click here and I'll give you a bit of a tour.

What to look out for

Shot of reeds in a reservoirIf you come along to the reserve you can usually find me or one of our volunteers at the visitor centre where I'll be on hand to answer any of your questions and show you where to go if you're looking for anything in particular.

If I'm not there, I'll probably be out and about checking on the wildlife and generally looking after the site. Feel free to stop and ask me anything if you see me around though.

Hide and seek

There are 12 hides dotted around the reserve with great views over ponds, marshes and reservoirs.

Tophill Low butterfly smallKeep tabs on my seasonal diary

Keep up-to-date on all the comings and goings at Tophill in my seasonal blog where I'll be posting pictures and videos of the latest sightings and events.

Follow my blog


View Larger Map


On the A614 Beverley to Driffield Road, leave at Watton (signposted Tophill Low Pumping Station) and follow the brown tourist signs along an unclassified road for 4 miles. Turn right at the main gates and follow the road round to the car park.

We're sorry but dogs are not allowed on the reserve or to be left in cars.

If you ever need to speak to me, just phone me on 01377 270690 - Thanks, Richard


Tophill Low Nature Reserve
Wattan Carrs
YO25 9RH

Opening times

The reserve is open daily:

Summer: 9am - 6pm

Winter: 9am - 4pm

Visits out of hours only via Hull Valley Wildlife Group reserve membership - click here


Adults: £3.30 per person

Concessions: £1.50 (16 and under / 65 and over).

Season ticket: £25.00

Season ticket concessions: £17.00 (16 and under / 65 and over)

Day permits are available from the car park ticket machine which accepts all coins. Please keep your permit with you rather than displaying in the car as you may be asked to produce it around the Reserve.

Please contact the warden to arrange group visits.

Watch the birdie!

Here are some pictures that I've taken whilst walking around Tophill Low - as you'll see there's such an array of wildlife on offer.

Birds swimming Brambling Grass Snake Bird feeding

empexuvia - Martin Hodges Brown Angus - Martin Hodges 2003 Painted Lady Toad - M Flowers

If you've taken any pictures why not share them with us using our blog?

Share your pictures >

I'll pick out the best one's and put them in the gallery.

Green Bottle - DJ Venus Treecreeper - Tony Robinson Garden Tiger - DJ Venus Kingfisher- Tony Robinson

MP3 guidesA pair of muddy boots

To keep you company on your walk around the reserve we've developed a podcast guide which you can download onto your MP3 player.

The guide is packed with interesting facts about the history of Tophill Low and what you're likely to see at different times of the year from the hides dotted around the reserve.

You can download the podcast files directly onto your computer and then transfer them onto your MP3 player.

If you like these podcasts why not try some of our others - you may recognise some of the voices too!
Click here >

Tophill Low sign.JPGInvestment

Our Tophill Low works supplies clean drinking water to thousands of properties in Hull and the surrounding area and in order to meet with future quality standards we're investing £8 million in a new nitrate removal facility.

Currently water is abstracted from the River Hull and is treated at the site to a very high standard, but we need to make improvements to ensure that nitrates can be removed to the required future standards. We'll be constructing a new steel frame building, cladded to match existing buildings on site, and associated pipe lines and chambers. Within the building specialist process equipment will be installed to provide the necessary treatment to the abstracted water.


Our contractors Byzak Entec will be carrying out these improvements on our behalf starting in the week commencing 27th January and finishing in early 2015.

In January and February Byzak Entec will be installing their site cabins - including offices and welfare facilities, and they will need to remove some trees. In early to mid-February for approximately two weeks they will be installing metal sheets , called piles, into the ground. The construction of the new building, including pouring the concrete base, is scheduled for between March and June.

Local residents may notice some additional noise during our work, particularly during the piling works.  Working hours will be between 7.30am and 5.30pm.  We will update this page if these change at any point.

Along with the site cabins you will also notice a  crane and piling rig. There will be additional construction vehicles travelling through the site, but access will be maintained for residents at all times.

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