Kirkby on Bain Gravel Pits

what species and habitats can you find?

Birds here include breeding waders such as lapwing and little ringed plover, little egret, wintering wildfowl and a range of open country birds such as reed bunting, yellowhammer and skylark.

Nearby Kirkby Moor is one of the largest remnants of heathland that remains in the area and is known for breeding woodlark, kestrel, cuckoo and green woodpecker. Moor Farm is a nice mix of woodland, heath, pastures and wet bog. A range of species can therefore be found including a good mix of woodland birds such as lesser redpoll, siskin, nuthatch and treecreeper.

Lastly, Kirkby Gravel Pit is worth a stop, even if just to view the open water and reed edges from the hide. In spring and summer, the pits attract many breeding birds such as reed and sedge warbler and the islands have nesting little ringed plover and common tern. The surrounding woodland and scrub support eight species of warbler and the lucky observer may be rewarded with turtle dove. Late summer and autumn bring migrant waders such as green sandpiper whilst kingfisher and green woodpecker can be seen at any time of year.

In winter the reserve is an important refuge for a variety of wetland birds. Wildfowl numbers build at this time of year and it always worth scanning for something more unusual such as a wintering smew. Along with Woodhall Airfield, this site provides the most chance of a rare or scarce species and in the past these have included black-winged stilt, glossy Ibis and American wigeon.

Uncommon birds are always a possibility, particularly in spring and autumn.

Autumn & Winter species

Siskin, lesser redpoll, green woodpecker, little egret, yellowhammer, reed bunting, nuthatch, pochard, goldeneye.

Spring & Summer species

Little ringed plover, common tern, turtle dove, reed warbler, sedge warbler, woodlark, cuckoo, kingfisher.

useful tips

Woodhall airfield used to be the wartime home of the famous 617 Dambusters squadron. It is therefore noted for its aviation history as well as its nature.

The rare breed Hebridean sheep are an important part of the management of the reserve.


There are car parking spaces nearby.

Find bird hides at both Kirkby Gravel Pits and Woodhall Airfield as well as picturesque walking trails.

There are plenty of facilities in nearby Woodhall Spa including toilets, shops and places to eat.

getting here

The reserves are all located just east of Woodhall Spa. The airfield is located on the left-hand side of the B1192 Tattershall Road about 1.5 miles south east of Woodhall Spa. The other reserves are all close by and are best found following the what3words below or visiting the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust website.

There are car parks at all of the sites, barring Kirkby Moor where roadside parking is available. Please note that an access code is required for Woodhall Airfield.

Rare breed Hebridean sheep, Woodhall Nature Reserve


Please note that access to the airfield is via a locked gate and requires an access code. If visiting on a weekend, you will need to contact us for the access code on a weekday before travelling. The code is regularly updated, so even if you've visited before it's best to ring ahead.

The roadside gate at Moor Farm may occasionally be locked ‘out of hours’ due to incidents of misuse. If this is the case, pedestrian access is still available; please park sensibly nearby.

opening times

Free access all year-round. 

nearby town

Woodhall Spa

Woodhall Spa is a beautiful former spa town set amidst magnificent 19 acres of pine woods owned by The Woodland Trust. Regarded as one of Lincolnshire's most attractive villages, Woodhall Spa is famous for its peaceful and relaxing atmosphere, and with many fine hotels and guest houses it is the perfect location for a short break or holiday.