Birding in Leeds

As well as teaching people about birds, I love to show people all the special places in my city to watch wildlife

When I hear the phrase, “I’ve lived in Leeds all my life and I never knew this place existed”, I feel that I’ve achieved something wonderful. The great thing is that I hear that a lot!

Leeds is one of the greenest cities in Europe with around 4,000 hectares of green space being managed by Leeds City Council. This includes estates such as Lotherton Hall, Temple Newsam and Roundhay as well as an extensive network of woodland, public rights of way, parks and nature reserves. Some of these areas are managed in partnership with the RSPB and the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust. There are also special places such as the Harewood estate, where the Yorkshire Kite Project was born; Eccup Reservoir; Rodley Nature Reserve; and areas managed by the Canals and Rivers Trust in the Aire Valley. Farmland and moorland add more valuable habitat for wildlife around the perimeter of the city.

Here’s a few lovely nature reserves to visit in Leeds

At this year’s Birdfair at Rutland Water, I was hoping to give a talk about Leeds and its wildlife.

Instead the Birdfair organisers have created a Virtual Birdfair and you can see my talk until the end of November  Wild Leeds: an alternative city break

Start Birding Black necked grebe and chicks

Black necked grebe and chicks

Did you know that over 252 birds have been recorded in the Leeds area? Some of these are very special birds too such as bittern, bearded tit, black-necked grebe, dipper, kingfisher, barn owl, swift and red kite. We have peregrines in the city centre; a regular pied wagtail invasion in the winter and even occasions where you can watch watch large flocks of waxwings in the city centre parks.

Start Birding Dipper at Bolton Abbey


Visiting birders

There’s so many great reasons to come to Leeds. Whether you’re here for business or pleasure, what makes Leeds special is that wildlife is so easily accessible.

Start Birding Little owl, Rodley

Little owl

  • Book a bespoke session and get picked up from your hotel or B&B
  • Choose how long you’d like to be out
  • Choose which habitat you’d like to visit

I can provide lunch on request. I can also provide trips to places further afield such as the Yorkshire Coast, Bolton Abbey, Spurn Point, Humberhead Peatlands, Saltholme and The Yorkshire Dales National Park.

Alternatively, If you’re touring or you’d rather go birding alone, I can compile a schedule with links showing the best places to see birds in and around Leeds.

It’s so easy to get to Leeds by car (A1, M1, M62), rail or by plane (Leeds and Bradford Airport) and you can even get here by boat via the Leeds and Liverpool Canal.

Start Birding in Leeds

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