People are being asked to share their favourite memories of Fairburn Ings to help mark its 60th year.
The RSPB site, which was once a coal mine, was designated as a nature reserve in 1957, thanks to a campaign by local naturalists. It is now one of the biggest and most biodiverse sites in Yorkshire, and has become an important rest site for migrating birds.
Staff and volunteers are appealing for visitors to share their experiences, from pond dipping to bug hunting and duck feeding too camping at the yearly Big Wild Sleepout.
Abbie Sellers, visitor experience officer, said: “Fairburn Ings is a truly magical place. Developed from what once looked like a mining moonscape, the wildlife attracted to here is brilliant. However, the buzz you feel around the discovery trail and visitor centre is really inspiring.
“Children clanking pond dipping nets and the squeals of excitement of den making really are the first nature memories they won’t forget.”
The site will be running an exhibition from July in the visitor centre, where people will be able to pick up a blank memory card to fill in. The cards will be displayed at the centre, while the memories will be used to create a new totem pole installation on the reserve’s Coal Tips trail.
There will also be a series of guided walks detailing the site’s history entitled From the Coal Face to a Wild Place to encourage visitors to share their experiences. The next one will take place at 1pm on June 24.
For more information, visit www.rspb.org.uk/fairburnings, search for RSPB West Yorks – Fairburn Ings and St Aidan’s on Facebook or follow the reserve on Twitter @RSPBAireValley.