Filey, with its golden beaches, and golden award from the RHS Britain in Bloom Coastal Resort category, has cause to be proud. Anyone familiar with Filey will be aware of its fantastic floral attributes. Add to this the inestimable work that has been achieved by the Filey Brigg Ornithological Group, formed in 1977, and you have a ‘gem’ on the East Coast of North Yorkshire.
Bird watching is an enthralling hobby that’s gained tremendous popularity in recent decades.
With more people joining the RSPB or other local groups, an increasing number of unusual or even rare birds are being recorded.
Filey is only seven miles south of Scarborough, easily accessed by private or public transport. This short, easy level walk is aimed to direct your steps to Filey Dams Nature Reserve. It’s just one of the successful projects undertaken by Filey Brigg Ornithological Group which opened in 1992.
Being the last wetland area in Filey, its importance for wildlife and waders was recognised by the group.
Together, they’ve created pools, planted trees and erected fences and hides, along with bird tables and nest boxes.
Access over the marshy land to the East Pool hide, coincided with the availability of cheap wood at Filey Station. This enabled a boardwalk and handrails be completed by July 1991.
Since 1994 a wide variety of trees and shrubs have flourished, and local wildlife has secured a long-standing future.
Access to the starting point of this grand little walk for a spell of birdwatching, is by bus, rail or private transport to the car park near Filey’s bus station.
Cross to Station Avenue, turning immediately right along Station Avenue, and first right into Belle Vue Crescent.
At the road junction go right to follow West Avenue past St John’s Church as far as Clarence House.
A blue sign indicated: Town Centre and School. Leaving West Avenue, turn right here along Clarence Drive with its wide verges. Take the subway under the railway line into Clarence Drive, and go straight forward.
Passing Padbury Avenue, bear briefly right past a sign requesting: “Please do not play wall games”.
Cut left into Grange Avenue, which is lined with cherry trees as it approaches Muston Road. Turn right along Muston Road very briefly, and then the first turning left at a postbox enters Wharfedale.
Bear left along the crescent-shaped Wharfedale, with lawned verges and cherry trees enhancing this delightful residential area.
Beyond Barden Place off left, enter the car park and visit the bird hides – not forgetting the East Pool hide with its board-walk access.
Take binoculars, an identification book and a flask, and escape for an hour or two! Shortly the winter migrants will be arriving, so keep a watchful eye.
Leaving The Dams Nature Reserve, take the first turning left along Silverwood Avenue and continue to its junction with Cawthorne Crescent. Turning right, your direct route quickly meets Muston Road.
Turn left, and head for the town centre.
Pass over the level crossing into Station Avenue, passing Silver Birches Residential Care Home on the left.
Proceed past Filey surgery and the library to return to the car park and bus station.
Distance: About two miles of easy walking.
Time: Allow an hour, or even a day depending on time available for bird watching.
Refreshment: None en route, but plenty in Filey’s centre. Take a snack with you.
NB Please don’t take dogs onto the reserve, and maintain silence during viewing and recording bird species.
Suggested: Binoculars, bird book, notebook and pencil and light refreshment etc.