One and a quarter miles north of Wakefield city centre, Stanley Marsh consists of woodland, marsh, open water and grassland and is ideal for a quiet walk through the nature reserve to observe the wildlife, including nuthatches and great spotted woodpecker. If you are quiet you may spot Bank Voles feeding in the undergrowth. As dusk approaches listen out for Tawny Owls and watch Pipistrelle bats twist and dive between the trees as they try to catch insects.
This area was once fields but shallow flooding occurred after the Second World War due to the clogging up of surface water drains and mining subsidence.
The Marsh was once part of the multi-pit Victoria Colliery which had working shafts between Outwood and Stanley Ferry. The pit here was sunk about 1835 and was known locally as Deep Drop Pit. It had its own pumping engine whose foundations can still be seen. A colliery railway passed through the site between 1837 and approximately 1840 and can be seen today as the embankment. The colliery closed in 1896.
Now you can take a relaxing stroll on the circular path that runs around marsh and look out for dragonflies, frogs and newts, not to mention the many insects and birds calling the reed beds their home.
Want to learn more about the marsh? Look out for interpretation boards dotted around the circular path.
The path around the marsh is suitable for wheelchairs and pushchairs and leads straight from the car park, where free parking is available.
- Wheelchair Accessible