Hay Bridge Nature Reserve



Natural History Group

The Hay Bridge Moss is an area of bog formed from a former lake and has a typical raised bog flora, it is also one of the few places in Cumbria with Royal Fern. Now that the work on restoring the ancient Hay Bridge Moss is complete, Members are invited to join a Natural History Group to monitor the changes that should occur in the flora and fauna.

People who have had previous experience of ecological monitoring would be particularly welcome but anyone who is keen on Natural History and would like to be part of the group should contact Bernie Young on 01229 587391 or young@hillview345.wanadoo.co.uk.


Nestling in the heart of the Rusland Valley, between Windermere and Coniston in the Lake District,Hay Bridge Nature Reserve is a special place. Because it is privately owned, access to the Reserve is limited to members of the Hay Bridge Nature Reserve Society, or by arrangement with the Warden.

Woodland, pasture, open tarn, fen, raised bog, riverbank, fell; such a diverse range of habitats, in such a relatively small area, leads to an equally diverse and varied range of flora and fauna.

Hay Bridge has been established as a nature reserve for thirty years. Originally designated as a wildlife reserve and deer sanctuary by Helen ‘Tissie’ Fooks, in memory of her husband, the reserve is now owned by the John Strutt Conservation Foundation (JSCF), who manage their land to maintain and enhance the diverse range of habitats.

Both the JSCF and the Hay Bridge Society are registered charities, with the twin aims of education and conservation. Now as tenants of the JSCF, the Society’s members have access to the Reserve, subject to some restrictions, and have use of the Study Centre building, which houses rest room and drink making facilities (Members’ Area), as well as a substantial ‘Interpretation Centre’ for the natural history of the Reserve, the Rusland Valley and the Furness Fells beyond.

For details of Society membership, please go to the Join The Society page.