Open every day
One and a quarter miles north of Wakefield city centre, Stanley Marsh consists of woodland, marsh, open water and grassland and is ideal for a quiet walk through the nature reserve to observe the wildlife
Facilities and activities
A circular path runs around the Marsh|
Benches with views of the open water
Information panels provide historical and wildlife interest
This area was once fields but shallow flooding occurred after the Second World War due to the clogging up of surface water drains and mining subsidence.
The Marsh was once part of the multi-pit Victoria Colliery which had working shafts between Outwood and Stanley Ferry. The pit here was sunk about 1835 and was known locally as Deep Drop Pit. It had its own pumping engine whose foundations can still be seen. A colliery railway passed through the site between 1837 and approximately 1840 and can be seen today as the embankment. The colliery closed in 1896.
March 1879 while 250 men and 36 horses were at work, there was a large explosion which killed 21 men and boys.
The site is designated as a Local Nature Reserve.
The woodland is a good place to spot Nuthatches and Great Spotted Woodpecker. If you are quiet you may spot Bank Voles feeding in the undergrowth. As dusk approaches listen out for Tawny Owls and watch Pipistrelle bats twist and dive between the trees as they try to catch insects.
The meadow has lots of wildflowers especially in early summer which is great for butterflies and bumblebees. Dragonflies and damselflies are attracted to the wetland areas.
A visit to Stanley Marsh would not be complete without seeing the swans and ducks on the open water.
The Friends of Stanley Marsh help the Countryside Officers (rangers) to improve and maintain the Marsh. Recent activities include path improvements and control of invasive species. For more information on the group please visit their
If you are interested in local volunteering opportunities on this and other sites please get in touch.