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Rodley Nature Reserve

Rodley Nature Reserve

A haven for wildlife. The reserve is completely man made and is now a flyover for migrating birds.

Rodley Nature Reserve

The Rodley Nature Reserve is unique compared to most nature reserves, as it was made from scratch from the grassland close by to the River Aire. As an important area for migrating birds, damselflies and dragonflies, Rodley Nature Reserve offers the wildlife freshwater habitats and ponds that were built purposely for their use.

The reserve is open Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday and most Bank Holidays. Take a look at the Rodley Nature Reserve website for more information on opening times.

Location Details

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Take a look around

  • Rodley Nature Reserve
  • Rodley Nature Reserve entrance road over river
  • Rodley Nature Reserve path to hide
  • Rodley Nature Reserve field
  • Rodley Nature Reserve pond
  • Rodley Nature Reserve pond
  • Rodley Nature Reserve sign
  • Rodley Nature Reserve pond
  • Rodley Nature Reserve path
  • Rodley Nature Reserve bug hotel
  • Rodley Nature Reserve field
  • Rodley Nature Reserve path to hide
  • Rodley Nature Reserve sign
  • Rodley Nature Reserve path to hide
  • Rodley Nature Reserve
  • Rodley Nature Reserve
  • Rodley Nature Reserve
  • Rodley Nature Reserve
  • Rodley Nature Reserve sign
  • Rodley Nature Reserve seeds
  • Rodley Nature Reserve
  • Rodley Nature Reserve
  • Rodley Nature Reserve field
  • Rodley Nature Reserve entrance road
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Things to Note

Rodley Nature Reserve has the following on-site or nearby:

  • Accessible Toilets
  • Bird Hides
  • Disabled Access
  • Disabled Parking
  • Nearby Food & Drink
  • Nearby Parking
  • Nearby Shops
  • On-site Food and Drink
  • On-site Toilets
  • Parking
  • Pushchair Access
  • Rubbish Bins
  • Wheelchair Access


Four miles from the hustle and bustle of Leeds sits Rodley Nature Reserve, winner of BBC Countryfile Magazine’s ‘Nature Reserve of the Year Award 2018‘. Just around the corner from Bramley Falls, the reserve is a tranquil escape from the city. It offers a wide array of wildlife, including some of the rare species of newts and birds that you wouldn’t usually see anywhere else in Leeds.

Things to Do

Some of the best things to do at Rodley Nature Reserve are:

Visitor Centre

Rodley Nature Reserve has a visitor centre with a café that sells light refreshments, bird food and craft items. There’s also some information on the site too!


There is one looping walk around the reserve that take in some of the best wildlife at the same time. The circular route has been flattened most of the way.

Pond Dipping

During the warmer months the Rodley Nature Reserve offers free guided pond dipping for the children, which makes it a popular family location for a day out. Bring a net and start dipping to get a matter of centimetres away from nature.

During the warmer months supervised pond dipping for children is available at certain times. Personal nets are not allowed, this is to avoid the spread of diseases between amphibians. However the Reserve does provide nets and trays (even better, one less thing to remember to bring!).

There is no charge for pond dipping, but a small donation is appreciated.

Bird Hides

There’s around 5 large bird hides that are ready to spot some of the birds that use or fly over the reserve. At any time of the year you could see Little Grebe, Tufted Duck, Gadwall, Northern Shoveler, Common Kingfisher, White-throated Dipper, Eurasian Oystercatcher and Northern Lapwing.

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Rodley Nature Reserve has a short history in terms of nature reserves and parks in Leeds. In 1993 Yorkshire Water PLC decommissioned the Rodley Water Treatment Works, the land was proposed as a nature reserve. The nature reserve was approved and created after several years of planning and creation. It took 7 years, between 2002 and 2009 to create the four ponds that are within the reserve. Between 2002 and 2009 a marsh and several other areas of open water were added.


There is a picnic area, toilets, a dedicated visitors centre for more information on site.

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Food and Drink


There is a café on site serving up hot drinks and homemade pastries. To cool you down during the summer months cold drinks and ice creams are available. Pop in for a tea or coffee and on most weekends you can try homemade cakes and buns specially made by our volunteer team. You might be lucky enough to see the Barn Owls and Kestrels nesting on the live screen!

Food & Drink

The Rodley Barge is situated on the Leeds-Liverpool canal. It’s got some cracking beer gardens with one of these right on the rivers edge. Food is quality and home cooked and there’s a great range of drink to boot with it. The Owl is a pub that constantly churns out a fantastic range of meals at really affordable prices.

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Car Parking is available on site just after crossing the bridge over the River Aire. Further parking and blue badge parking is available adjacent to the Visitor Centre.


Rodley Nature Reserve is known for being great for people of all ages and abilities, having won Open Country’s ‘Good Access Award’ for 2018. It’s accessible for all, though – it should be noted – only registered assistance dogs are allowed because of the wildlife. Free scooter hire is available to help you get around, but you should book ahead if you require one.

How to Get To Rodley Nature Reserve

Google Map Directions


The Rodley Nature Reserve is sign posted from the A6120 Leeds Outer Ring Road and then from the A657 Rodley Town Street. (Brown direction signs).

The Reserve does not have a specific post code but LS13 1HP will take you to Rodley Town Street (Google Map Directions).


To get to the reserve by bus, routes 35 and 60 both have nearby stops on Rodley Town Street.

Other Experiances in Leeds

Other Locations Near Rodley Nature Reserve

Looking for other places near Rodley Nature Reserve? Here are three other locations just around the corner.

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