If you turn left out of Skelton towards Saltmarshe there are two nature reserves managed by the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust. Saltmarshe Delph was established in 1972 and is now owned by the Trust. It was created when the railway was installed and the land was dug out to create the sides for the track. The reserve of approximately 5.5 hectares is in two parts: 4 hectares to the south-east of the railway line and 1.5 hectares to the north. About half is open water and the remainder a mixture of reedbeds and open pools. The open water has an average depth of 1.5 metres.
The reed beds consist mainly of common reed, bulrush and lesser bulrush (or reed mace). Strange as it may sound one of the most interesting things about the reserve is its water, which is rich in nutrients. This causes excessive plant growth, which gives rise to a large and varied micro-fauna.
One hundred and twenty six species of bird have been recorded since 1974 including 10 species of duck, notably teal and pochard. Great crested and little grebes have also bred. Other sightings have included bearded tit, bittern, marsh harrier, osprey, great reed warbler, garganey - the only summer visiting duck, water rail, green sandpiper and cormorant. Mammals found on the reserve include water vole and harvest mouse. The bittern could, with luck, be seen on passage in winter. The Trust works to control the encroachment of willow, keeping the ponds and reedbeds in their present form and condition.
The parish is blessed with beautiful country side and a good range of walks open to the walker and many to horse riders too.
Skelton is on the Transpennine trail. The Trail (TPT) is an exciting route for walkers, cyclists and horse riders linking the North and Irish seas, passing through the Pennines, alongside rivers and canals and through some of the most historic towns and cities in the North of England. You can find out all you need to know about this trail at
Just a mile outside Skelton towards Saltmarshe is the beautiful park. You are welcome to use the permissive bridle way that has been created under Natural England's Environmental Stewardship Scheme. At the heart of the new route is the historical parkland of Saltmarshe Park which is being restored under the Scheme. There are alternative circular routes around the parkland and a longer circular route around farmland that is being managed for wildlife in a number of ways. Please keep dogs under control.
For a map please go to see http://cwr.defra.gov.uk/mapboards/pdfs/AG00307014.pdf (You will need to cut and paste this into your browser.) This link is not working
You can also walk around the Riverbank from Skelton to Saltmarshe (through Sandhall Estate). Keep on the bank and dogs should be under control. It is a lovely walk with great views of the Goole Docks. Don't be fooled by the 2 miles as the crow flies distance. This is a hearty walk, so set aside three hours and why not make a day of it and take a picnic and plenty to drink. Good for the soul if not for the feet!
A Link to the The Howden 20
A number of other shorter paths are well signed throughout the parish.
Please respect the countryside and close any gates that you pass through.
What and where
All public rights of way are highways, which you are entitled to use at any time. Rights of way are classified according to the nature of their use. There are four categories of rights of way.
Marked with a yellow arrow and should be used by the public on foot only.
Marked with a blue arrow and may be used by the public on foot, cycle or on horseback.
Byway Open To All Traffic (BOAT)
Marked with a red arrow and are available for use on foot, cycle, on horseback and motorised vehicle.
PUBLIC RIGHTS OF WAY IN THE PARISH.......
All walks in the Riding can be found at the following link
A long bridle route called the Saltmarshe saddle up can be found here.
Please note that there is foot path clearly marked in Skelton which directs people through some large metal gates down the drive way of Smithy Cottage. This walk is from Skelton to Saltmarshe Station and goes through Smithy Cottage and over open agricultural land to Saltmarshe Station This IS a footpath and whilst people are often reluctant to go through what appears to be private land it is perfectly okay to do so. It is a historical public right of way which remains current.