This 1.8 acre bijou reserve was acquired in September 2017 and represents another small but significant investment by the Society in its quest, “creating a better place for wildlife”.

No specific fund-raising effort was required for the purchase of this land as we had saved from member’s subscriptions and donations for years, waiting for such an opportunity to arise.

Toffling Hill is a small, easily accessed reserve purchased to thank all those who have contributed to the aims of this society and have waited so patiently for such progress.

The field was established as a nature reserve by Dr Janice (Jan) Crowther and her late husband, Dr Peter Crowther, in 2002. The reserve has an interesting history being noted as one of only five internationally-recognised pantheistic nature reserves. Our Society’s motto, “creating a better place for wildlife”, is an expression of pantheism although we are not linked to this group.

The reserve is located midway between Ivy House and Hollym Carrs Nature Reserve along the green lane section of South Carr Dales Road. Given time this will be sign-posted and site access will be more evident. For those of you with OS maps the Grid Reference is TA3325 and the entrance is in the North-East corner.

Caution: The site is new to us and we are in the process (October/November 2017) of assessing site hazards and taking steps to reduce risks. We advise staying on open grassy areas because overhang from boundary trees is concealing barbed wire. The pond, although shallow, has a steep bank. Please be careful.

What can be seen there?
As this is being written, shortly after acquisition in September 2017, the reserve is largely rather ‘rank’ and weedy grassland. Peripherally there are magnificent hawthorn, willow and ash tree boundaries. There are some planted trees now in ‘full spurt’ growth and there’s a little scrub on the brow of a hill overlooking a pond.

The future?
Once we have assessed and reduced some of the perceived risks on the site and have a sufficiently large group of people interested in developing and running the reserve, we will develop a management plan.

One thing is for sure – we need people to come on board and help us to develop and manage this little reserve.