white horse logo

Drax power station seen from the Barlow Common Nature Reserve
Drax power station seen from the Barlow Common Nature Reserve

Menu:

National Parks

| 2001 walks | 2002 walks | 2003 walks | 2004 walks |
| 2005 walks | 2006 walks | 2007 walks | 2008 walks |
| 2009 walks | 2010 walks | 2011 walks | 2012 walks |
| 2013 walks | 2014 walks | 2015 walks | 2016 walks |
| 1993-2000 library | Find a Route | A few Routes to print out |

Request a Route...

Route No. 527 - Friday 3 January 2014
Barlow Common Nature Reserve, R. Ouse Flood
Bank, Barlow Village, Carr Lane circuit - 9km
Selby . . .

Route map from Ordnance Survey Open Space service.

Map: OS Explorer 290 York at 1:25000


Start of the path from the car park along the old railway bed towards Barlow Common Nature Reserve
Start of the path from the car park along the old railway bed towards Barlow Common Nature Reserve

Path along the old railway to Barlow Common Nature Reserve
Path along the old railway to Barlow Common Nature Reserve

Track to the nature reserve entrance
Track to the nature reserve entrance

We set off from the car park in bright sunshine with clear skies, along the old railway path. After a few hundred metres we passed a popular fishing lake with numerous anglers already established at the little timber fishing jetties dotted around the lake edge. Just beyond this lake we turned right and after about 150m from the turn we came to the path into the main nature reserve.

This morning, my mate, Jim, & I drove to the Barlow Common Nature Reserve next to Drax Power Station a few kilometers southeast of Selby. We parked at the nature reserve car park at map ref. SE637282. It's on a disused railway line south of the village of Barlow. The weather forecast for the first part of the day was quite good with a bright sunny period between two nasty wet & windy fronts.

Fishing lake adjoining the nature reserve
Fishing lake adjoining the nature reserve

Drax power station seen across the fishing lake
Drax power station seen across the fishing lake

Footpath into the nature reserve from the picnic area and amenity building
Footpath into the nature reserve from the picnic area and amenity building

There's a good footpath through the reserve
There's a good footpath through the reserve

Teasle plants abound
Teasel plants abound

The gravel footpath around the reserve
The gravel footpath around the reserve

There are a great many teasel plants with their spiky heads and the site is renowned for it's woodpeckers.

At the start of the path around the reserve there are picnic tables here and a building which has a public toilet at one corner. We followed a path from the building out to two large ponds at the western end of the site where our appearance prompted a flock of ducks to make a scramble to the far end of the pond. We continued along the path making a circuit of the reserve, through some woodland and back to the building at the reserve entrance.

The larger pond at the western end of the reserve
The larger pond at the western end of the reserve

A lovely silver birch tree in the sunshine
A lovely silver birch tree in the sunshine

The smaller pond at the western end of the reserve
The smaller pond at the western end of the reserve

Track heading northeast from the reserve to the road
Track heading northeast from the reserve to the road

The road towards Commonside Farm
The road towards Commonside Farm

At the road we turned left and walked along the road around several bends for about 500m to map ref. SE633292, about 250m before Commonside Farm.

From entrance to the nature reserve site we followed the track heading northeast for about 300m to a minor rad at map ref. SE635288.

The road towards Commonside Farm
The road towards Commonside Farm

Our turning off the road (Commonside Farm in the background)
Our turning off the road (Commonside Farm in the background)

Start of the path to the R. Ouse flood bank
Start of the path to the R. Ouse flood bank

Owl nesting box by the path
Owl nesting box by the path

Path through the woodland by the drainage ditch
Path through the woodland by the drainage ditch

We crossed the bridge and continued along the edge of the ditch in the edge of the woodland. About 150m beyond the far end of the woodland we came to a gate and a stile onto a minor road at map ref. SE638301, next to the River Ouse flood bank.

Here we turned right off the road to follow a footpath between the fields. After about 500m we came to the corner of some woodland and here there was a small timber footbridge over a large ditch on our right, into the edge of the woodland.

Path between the fields to the R. Ouse flood bank
Path between the fields to the R. Ouse flood bank

Footbridge over the drainage ditch
Footbridge over the drainage ditch

Gate at the road by the R.Ouse flood bank
Gate at the road by the R.Ouse flood bank

Fishing pond by the path shortly before we reached the road at the River Ouse flood bank
Fishing pond by the path shortly before we reached the road at the River Ouse flood bank

River Ouse almost up to the flood bank
River Ouse almost up to the flood bank

Crossing the stile to the River Ouse flood bank
Crossing the stile to the River Ouse flood bank

Leaving the flood bank to drop down to the road
Leaving the flood bank to drop down to the road

We walked along the flood bank for about 500m to a fence across it and at the fence we crossed the stile to drop down to the road just before a sharp right hand bend.

At the road we turned right and after about 50m along the road we took a stile on the left to climb to the top of the flood bank and walk along it with a good view of the swollen River Ouse below us and Drax power station directly ahead.

Path along the top of the River Ouse flood bank
Path along the top of the River Ouse flood bank

Donkey & ponies by the roadside
Donkey & ponies by the roadside

The road heading for Barlow village
The road heading for Barlow village

Barlow village tiny brick church
Barlow village tiny brick church

The road through Barlow village
The road through Barlow village

To my eye, it's not a pretty village. There's no particular style to the buildings, they all seem to be modern houses that would not be out of place on a town housing estate.

We walked along the road, round the bend and continued along the road past an old brick church into the village of Barlow. In the village we came to a 'T'-junction with a small green next to it. We turned left at the junction and continued through the village.

Village green at the road junction in Barlow
Village green at the road junction in Barlow

Leaving Barlow village along Carr Lane
Leaving Barlow village along Carr Lane

Heading south west between the fields along Carr Lane
Heading south west between the fields along Carr Lane

Small rise in Carr Lane to cross an access track
Small rise in Carr Lane to cross an access track

We continued along Carr Lane which beyond the houses became a rather muddy track between the fields. After about 700m from the junction our path crossed a track and then dropped down to a footbridge across a wide drainage ditch.

About 400m from the junction, at map ref. SE648285, we turned right on to Carr Lane. Beyond our turning the road is a dead end at the gates and boundary fence of Drax power station. There is a visitor centre there but it seems to be for school parties on arranged educational visits.

Heading south west between the fields along Carr Lane
Heading south west between the fields along Carr Lane

Bridge over a wide drainage ditch
Bridge over a wide drainage ditch

Drax power station seen from the bridge over the drainage ditch
Drax power station seen from the bridge over the drainage ditch

Path from the bridge through some woodland to the fields
Path from the bridge through some woodland to the fields

Then we continued along a track around the edge of a field to a minor road at map ref. SE642275.

Over the bridge we followed the path through some woodland to the fields beyond.

Path around the field edge from the woodland to the road
Path around the field edge from the woodland to the road

Looking back along the power lines to Drax power station
Looking back along the power lines to Drax power station

Camela Lane leading to Barlow Road
Camela Lane leading to Barlow Road

Approaching the entrance to the Barlow Common car park
Approaching the entrance to the Barlow Common car park

Here we turned left off the road to follow the access track to the nature reserve car park and the end of our walk. The whole walk had been about 9km and it had taken us three hours to walk including a short stop for a coffee and sandwiches.

At the road we turned right and walked along the road for about 800m to a junction at map ref. SE636277. At the junction we turned right and walk along this road for about 450m to the entrance to the Barlow Common Nature Reserve at map ref. SE638281.

Joining Barlow Road from Camela Lane
Joining Barlow Road from Camela Lane

Sign at the access road to the car park
Sign at the access road to the car park

Nearing the Barlow Common Nature Reserve car park along the access road
Nearing the Barlow Common Nature Reserve car park along the access road - the end of our walk

Top of Page