Former quarry home to new avocet chicks

North Cave Wetlands volunteers are celebrating after 23 avocet chicks were born at the nature reserve.
North Cave Wetlands volunteers are celebrating after 23 avocet chicks were born at the nature reserve.

A former quarry near North Cave has become an important sanctuary for one of Yorkshire’s largest inland colonies of avocets.

Twenty-three avocet chicks have hatched within Yorkshire Wildlife Trust’s (YWT)North Cave Wetlands Nature Reserve so far this year and the hope is, having bred successfully, avocets will remain faithful to the site in subsequent years.

Less than two decades ago the site at North Cave was in the midst of being actively quarried and, in parts, remains so today.

Owners owners Humberside Aggregates have forged a partnership with YWT and local residents which led to the purchase of the original 40 hectare site by the Trust in 2000 and an agreement that, as each subsequent phase of quarrying completed, a programme of restoration would see the wildlife site extended to a 140 hectare area of wetland.

Work is soon to begin on the next phases of the ambitious scheme, with an immediate aim for two further large lakes to be completed by 2019.

Tony Martin, YWT reserves manager for East Yorkshire, said: “It’s a delight to have had so many avocet hatchings this year. The area is safe and secure and we hope they successfully fledge.”

Christopher Hearn, Humberside Aggregate Limited technical and restoration manager, said: “Working with Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, especially Tony and patron Stephen Martin, is highly rewarding in terms of the benefits that successful restoration achieves.”