Wharram Quarry Nature Reserve credit Tom Marshall

Book Tickets Online


A species rich chalk grassland, Wharram Quarry is home to many of the characteristic flowering plants that thrive on the thin Wolds soil. Butterflies flit from flower to flower and in the sky you many see and hear the buzzards that nest in the nearby woods.

The nature reserve was actively quarried for chalk between 1919 and the 1940s and was offered to Yorkshire Wildlife Trust in the 1960s by owner Lord Middleton after he noticed bee orchids growing on the quarry floor.

The quarry floor has variable depths of soil and consequently different plant communities. In the west, where the spoil was deposited, is now dominated coarse grasses and hawthorn scrub. Several species of grasses can be found including cock’s-foot, meadow and false oat-grasses, red and sheep’s fescues, and quaking grass. Glaucous sedge is widely distributed.

The wildflowers present a beautiful scene, they include the yellow flowers of cowslip rough hawkbit, mouse-ear hawkweed and bird’s-foot trefoil; the purple wild thyme and clustered bellflower; the pink restharrow and the blue common milkwort. Common spotted, pyramidal and bee orchids can all be found in June and July.

The quarry is one of the few Wolds sites for thistle broomrape which parasitizes woolly thistle. The endangered red hemp-nettle has been introduced from nearby populations along with small-flowered buttercup on the quarry face.

Butterflies abound on sunny days, including plentiful marbled white, small heath, meadow brown, ringlet and common blue. Dingy skippers can sometimes be seen, particularly in the north east corner.

In order to maintain the succession of plants areas of the floor have been periodically scraped back to the chalk. In order to prevent the succession from open flower-rich sward to dense coarse grasses and hawthorn scrub the quarry floor is grazed with the Trust’s Hebridean sheep in winter and parts are mown in late summer.

Book Tickets

Guide Prices

Free entry


Property Facilities

  • Dogs not accepted (except guidedogs)

Map & Directions

Road Directions

At the crossroads on the B1248 in Wharram-le-Street, head west towards Birdsall and the nature reserve is about 0.5 miles on the left as the road descends. Parking is limited and in the gateway.Limited roadside parking by the gateway available.

Wharram Quarry Nature Reserve

Type:Nature Reserve

Station Lane, Wharram, Malton, North Yorkshire, YO17 9TW
Close window

Call direct on:

Tel01904 659570


  • Other AwardsSelf-assessed Accessibility Information Self-assessed Accessibility Information 2020
  • Membership SchemeDiscover Yorkshire Coast – Silver Member Discover Yorkshire Coast – Silver Member 2021

Opening Times

Wharram Quarry Nature Reserve (1 Jan 2023 - 31 Dec 2023)

* Open at all times
Best time to visit - June to July

What's Nearby

  1. Remains of an ancient village abandoned between the 11th and 18thC. The foundations of…

    0 miles away
  2. Showcasing the work of leading wildlife artist Robert E Fuller, this gallery is a must…

    4.11 miles away
  3. Whether you want a relaxing stroll around the beautiful gardens, a fun family day meeting…

    4.47 miles away
  4. The founders of Rare Bird Distillery are a small group of like-minded individuals, with a…

    4.95 miles away
  1. Yorkshires largest Lavender & Herb Farm set on the Northern Edge of the Yorkshire Wolds.

    5.62 miles away
  2. The most northerly chalk hills in Great Britain, this area lies in the south-eastern area…

    6 miles away
  3. Housed within the buildings and grounds of a former Prisoner of War camp, a visit to this…

    6.27 miles away
  4. Scampston Hall is one of the finest examples of a regency stately home in North Yorkshire…

    6.42 miles away
  5. The ruins of this Augustinian priory include a magnificent carved gatehouse declaring to…

    7.6 miles away
  6. Visit Castle Howard, one of Britain’s finest historic houses situated near York. Explore…

    9.3 miles away
  7. Theme Park, Zoo and Holiday Resort

    10.23 miles away
  8. Bluebells, ramsons and other woodland pants offer a tapestry of colour in this idyllic…

    11.42 miles away
  9. Visit Yorkshire’s largest lavender farm ‘Yorkshire Lavender’. The North of England's…

    12.1 miles away
  10. Bordered by the Tabular Hills and North York Moors National Park to the north and the…

    12.21 miles away
  11. Take a trip on one of the world's greatest railway experiences!

    12.24 miles away
  12. Gateway to the North Yorkshire Moors Pickering has a long and fascinating history. Step…

    12.3 miles away
Previous Next
  • Borough of Scarborough Logo
  • Visit England Logo
  • Borough of Scarborough Logo
  • Visit England Logo

Don't Miss

Don't Miss

Don't Miss

Don't Miss

Don't Miss

Don't Miss

Don't Miss

Don't Miss

Don't Miss

Don't Miss