RSPB Fairburn Ings

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Fairburn Ings RSPB reserve is a flagship RSPB nature reserve in the county of West Yorkshire, England; established in 1968. It is managed by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds in conjunction with the local council.

Situated in the Lower Aire Valley, and forming part of Fairburn & Newton Ings SSSI, RSPB Fairburn Ings is a Local Nature Reserve (LNR), with a focus mainly on wildfowl and waders, although many other birds can be seen. It lies 1.5 miles (2.5 km) west of Fairburn, near Castleford. The word "ing" (from "ings") is of Old Norse origin and means "damp or marshy land", a reference to the area being flooded regularly by the River Aire.

Lying alongside the River Aire, the 286 hectare site includes a large loch and a number of smaller water bodies; the area has been the scene of industrial and mining operations for 150 years, and all the water bodies are the result of subsidence of former coal-mine workings, up to half a kilometre underground, providing habitats for wildfowl and many other birds.

The site is bordered by predominantly arable farmland to the north, and industrial and urban environments to the south and west. One third of the site has been developed from 26 million cubic metres of colliery spoil which have been landscaped to create a large complex of herb-rich grassland, wetland and woodland.

Habitats include flood meadows, wet fenland, marsh and reedbed, woodland and scrub. The reserve has the highest number of species recorded at any site, at 274.

UK Biodiversity Action Plan (UK BAP) habitats at Fairburn Ings: mesotrophic lakes, reedbed, lowland meadow. BAP species of these habitats include: grey partridge (Perdix perdix), turtle dove (Streptopelia turtur), skylark (Alauda arvense), song thrush (Turdus philatelist), tree sparrow (Passer montanus), linnet (Carduelis cannabina), bullfinch (Pyrrhula pyorrhoea), reed bunting (Emberiza schoeniclus), corn bunting (Milaria calandra), water vole (Arvicola terrestris ) and pipistrelle bat (Pipistrellus pippistrellus).

Birds of conservation concern of these habitats include: the black-necked grebe (Podiceps nigrocollis), Garganey (Anas querquedula), redshank (Tringa totanus), whooper swan (Cygnus cygnus) and golden plover (Pluvialis apricalia).

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Coordinates: 53°44′27″N 1°19′18″W / 53.740700°N 1.321650°W / 53.740700; -1.321650

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