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Visiting Waters Edge

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Discover the rich and varied wildlife at Waters Edge Country Park and Visitor Centre. Visit our café and gift shop. Find out about our business centre. Book one of our meeting rooms.

Waters Edge Country Park and Visitor Centre

The Waters Edge Country Park and Visitor Centre is next to the Humber Bridge, on the waterfront at Barton upon Humber.

Our park is home to rich and varied wildlife – including many rare and migratory birds.

Whether you are feeding the friendly ducks that live in the visitor centre pond, or spotting the wading birds that visit the larger ponds and the Humber bank, you’ll find something of interest. You can follow a series of walks around the ponds – taking you through reed beds, woodlands, and wildflower meadows. Children will love the two adventure playgrounds and interactive displays and games.

The visitor centre is open seven days a week. Admission and parking are free.

Waters Edge Country Park is set in 110 acres of picturesque woodland, wetland, and wildflower meadows, split over two sites.

The first 86 acre site is home to the visitor centre. It includes:

  • two Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI)
  • ten ponds
  • native woodlands
  • seven walks around the park
  • two adventure playgrounds

The second site is located across the Haven, at the Humber Bridge viewing area and is home to our:

  • Humber Bridge walk route
  • two adventure playgrounds
  • wildflower meadows and woodland

Wildlife and conservation

The Humber (one of Britain’s largest estuaries) supports abundant wildlife. Wildfowl occur in great numbers, while wading birds inhabit the mud of the foreshore and offshore.

In winter, Dunlin, Ringed and Grey Plover, Redshank, Knot and Bar-tailed Godwit all feed on the mud flats at low tide. In May and August, passage waders such as Curlew, Sandpiper and Whimbrel occur, whilst Black-tailed Godwit and Oystercatcher have been frequent visitors in recent winters.

The upper shore is clothed in salt marsh with cord-grass, sea plantain, scurvy grass and sea aster, there are also areas of common reed. Kingfishers are frequent here in winter and mixed flocks of finches may be seen feeding on the seeds of the salt marsh plants.

Freshwater lakes are important for wildlife and the clay pits provide some substitute for the great wetlands of Lincolnshire lost through drainage. The water at Far Ings is rich in microscopic life that provides food for many invertebrates, which in turn support fish such as eel, roach, rudd and perch. Heron, Grebes and Kingfisher then prey on the fish.

Many types of duck (including Mallard, Pochard and Tufted Duck) nest on the islands and margins. In winter many more wildfowl live here, including Wigeon, Teal, Goldeneye and Gadwall, Goosander and occasionally Smew. Great Crested Grebe, Little Grebe and Water Rail also nest here.

The Humber Estuary is important for nature conservation, with significant parts of the estuary designated as a Special Protection Area (SPA) under the Birds Directive. It is also an internationally important wetland site under the Ramsar Convention with the intertidal foreshore and some of the adjacent North Sea coastline identified as a potential SPA and proposed as a Ramsar site.

The Honey Pot Café serves meals and snacks. It has an attractive decked area overlooking the ponds which is open during the warmer months.

Our well-stocked gift shop sells a range of handmade gifts, local interest books, ‘pocket money’ children’s toys and everything you need to spot wildlife. There’s a great selection of quirky gifts that you won’t find on the high street.

Waters Edge Country Park and Visitor Centre is less than a mile from the historic town centre of Barton upon Humber.

By road

From the south: take the A15 to Barton upon Humber.

From the north: take the first exit after the Humber Bridge (A15), signposted Barton upon Humber.

Brown signs will direct you through the town to Waters Edge.

The country park is at the very end of Maltkiln Road and there is a large free car park immediately to the left as you enter the park.

If you are using a satnav, enter the postcode DN18 5JR into your device to navigate your way to Waters Edge.

By bus

There are regular services running to Barton upon Humber from Scunthorpe and Hull. Call Traveline on 08712 002233 or visit the Traveline website for details of bus services in the area. The nearest bus stop to Waters’ Edge is at Barton Railway Station, which is a short walk away along Maltkiln Road.

By rail

Barton Railway Station is a short walk from Waters Edge down Maltkiln Road. Please call 0845 748 4950 or visit the National Rail website for details of services.

By sea

The P&O Ferries terminal at Hull is half an hour’s drive from Waters Edge. There are daily sailings from Zeebrugge and Rotterdam, please visit the P&O Ferries website for more information.

By cycle or on foot

From the Humber Bridge, leave the bridge and follow Far Ings Road towards Barton. Turn left at the Sloop Public House and follow Waterside Road until you reach the footbridge. Cross here and follow the path to the building. The centre can also be reached from the riverbank by following the paths to Barton Haven and crossing the footbridge.

A cycle rack is located next to the main entrance.

All events and activities at Waters Edge are currently suspended due to the national lockdown.

We hold a number of craft fairs during the year where you can book a table.

We also have retail space available for hire in the building on a regular or occasional basis.

We hold themed craft fairs three times a year:

  • a Valentine’s and Mother’s Day fair every February
  • an Easter Fair during Easter bank holiday weekend
  • a Christmas Fair in November

Crafters come from all over Lincolnshire and Yorkshire to exhibit at our fairs, so if you are looking for a unique gift or are even a crafter yourself, please contact us.

Waters Edge Visitor and Business Centre is home to a large ground floor visitor space with a staffed reception desk, gift shop, café and displays. The first floor and part of the ground floor are home to purpose-built office spaces.

This is an ideal location for your business to grow. The offices have panoramic views of the country park, estuary, and Humber Bridge, are self-contained and finished to a high standard.

Tenants can also make use of facilities within the building such as the seminar and meeting rooms (by arrangement), as well as the on-site café. The building reception is also manned seven days a week by a friendly, helpful, and professional customer service team.

Accredited with a BRE Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) rating of 80.6 per cent, the centre has excellent ‘green’ credentials. It is the perfect place for businesses that care about the environment as well as their workforce.

Please contact us if you would like any further information.

Mike Holden room

Seats up to 16 people boardroom style or 30 people theatre style.

£65 for half a day
£85 for a full day
Prices exclude VAT

Lake view room

Seats up to 30 people boardroom style or 50 people theatre style

£65 for half a day
£85 for a full day
Prices exclude VAT

Education room

Occasional use for exhibitions and events only

£25 per day including weekends

Refreshments

The on-site café can provide a range of refreshments for delegates, from hot drinks to a full lunch.

Please contact us if you would like further details or wish to make a booking.

Between the early 19th century and the middle of the 20th century, the site on which Waters Edge stands was quarried for brick and tile clay.

In 1955 the last brick works were demolished, although the clay quarries to the south of the brick works are still in existence. The remains of a number of the quarries can be seen in the form of fresh water reedbeds. The quarries located to the west of the works were filled in and later built upon.

Other industries associated with the area and the site before 1874 include rope making, malt kilns and fertiliser production. The Ropewalk, a quarter-mile long building located only a few minutes’ walk from Waters Edge, has a display that tells the story of Barton’s rope making heritage.  Local clay pantiles are still made in The Old Tile Yard, which is now a visitor attraction. This was once Blyth’s Tile Works one of the busiest in the UK.

By the 1950s a large production factory was well established on the site, making fertilisers from animal waste. The process had advanced and the factory was a well-established chemical plant with facilities to make acids. Unfortunately, these fertiliser materials and the associated chemicals contaminated the site.

The site was bought by Glanford Borough Council from BritAg (a subsidiary of ICI) in 1989 and MTM in 1995. North Lincolnshire Council inherited the site from Glanford Borough Council in 1996 and work soon began to convert the site to a country park.

The old, contaminated soil was stripped back, layer by layer. It was moved in convoys of lorries off site and buried in a secure site. The ponds were excavated and local topsoil from the nearby Far Ings Nature Reserve was brought in.

Thousands of reeds were hand planted along the banks of the ponds and an area of native woodland was created. The first part of the country park opened to the public in 2003.

A design competition was launched to develop an innovative, sustainable green building on the site to act as a centre for visitors to the park and also to house local businesses. The winning design was from Gerard Bareham Architects of Leeds and was opened three years later in 2006.

The park

  • The country park is set in 110 acres overall and has a number of walks, at differing lengths suitable for visitors of all ages and abilities.
  • There are a number of lakes throughout the country park; some of which have deep water.
  • Walks are marked by coloured way markers, and these are also shown in the park leaflet, which is available from reception.
  • The main pathways are gravelled (and can be uneven underfoot in some places) or wooden walkways. All are at least 1.8 metres wide and designed to be suitable for both push and wheelchairs.
  • There are two wooden seating areas located at either end of the wooden boardwalk which crosses part of the main lake close to the visitor centre.
  • Areas to the side of the pathways are often left natural to encourage insects such as butter-flies and unusual plants.
  • There are two children’s play areas located near to the main visitor car park.
  • There are large interpretation boards located around the park.

Car parking and arrival

  • There are four designated disabled parking bays directly outside the visitor centre. The car park surface is tarmac and there is a drop kerb for ease of access to the main entrance.
  • There is a large gravel car park on site, which can take 100 cars, approximately five minutes’ walk from the main entrance, leading to a paved pathway which leads to the main entrance.
  • There is a drop off point at the main entrance with a drop kerb.
  • The main entrance door is automatic and opens two metres wide.
  •  here is a bus drop off and collection point for coaches with a raised access point only a minutes’ walk from the entrance to the visitor centre.

Main entrance and reception area

  • The main entrance is situated on the ground floor with level access throughout.
  • There is a hearing loop system installed at the counter.
  • The area is well lit from both natural light and from overhead fluorescent lighting.
  • The counter and reception desk area are clear from obstruction to aid lip reading and visitors with a visual impairment.
  • A pen and paper are available.
  • The shop is level throughout. There is ample room for a wheel or pushchairs to manoeuvre.

Members of staff are on hand at reception should you require any assistance. We look forward to welcoming you to the visitor centre and country park. If you have any queries or require any assistance, please contact us.

Displays and exhibits

  • There are interactive displays throughout the visitor centre; all can be accessed from a sitting or standing position.
  • Interpretation boards are in large text, with some pictorial representation where applicable. All are at a maximum top height of 1.8 metres.
  • There is a range of hands-on and family activities.
  • There are camera feeds played on our video bank displays, and live cameras that visitors can use to look around the country park.
  • There are some wooden benches placed around the visitor centre.
  • The centre is well lit from natural light coming in from the large glass frontage, and from over-head fluorescent lighting.

Public toilets

  • Visitor toilets are located on the ground floor with level access from the display area.
  • There are both male and female toilets, a changing places toilet and an accessible toilet/baby changing facility with a light, easy open door to 90cms wide.
  • The toilets are well lit with fluorescent tube overhead lighting which operate automatically when someone enters.
  • The accessible toilet has an emergency alarm pull cord.
  • In the disabled toilet there is a one metre transfer point to the left of the toilet
  • The toilet is 40cms high.
  • There is also colour contrast with critical surfaces; walls are red, and the toilet and washbasins are white.
  • There are vertical rails either side of the toilet and wash basin and a horizontal rail on the side wall adjacent to the toilet.
  • All wash basins in the toilets are fitted with a lever tap for ease of use.
  • The flooring is non-slip tile.
  • Changing Places toilet installed January 2017 meeting the standards set at the time of installation.
  • A height adjustable, adult sized changing bench
  • A track hoist system providing access to the toilet, washbasin, changing bench and open space to transfer.
  • Adequate space in the changing area for the disabled person and up to two carers
  • A toilet placed in a peninsular arrangement, at least one metre away from the wall on either side.
  • Wide tear off paper roll to cover the bench.
  • A height adjustable washbasin with a clear knee space below the bowl.
  • Shower facility with floor drain and non-slip wet room floor.

Catering

  • The Honey Pot Café is situated on the ground floor and has a direct and level access from the display area and the rear entrance to the visitor centre via a sliding door.
  • The tables are well spaced, and the chairs are upright with no arms.
  • The flooring is resin based.
  • The café area is well lit from both natural light and overhead lighting.
  • The café takes orders via the counter and then the food is delivered to your table. Staff can assist on request.
  • The Honey Pot Café does its best to cater for all dietary requirements and where possible uses locally sourced foods. Please contact the café in advance to check any specific requests you may have on 01652 635 252
  • Large print menus are available, and staff can help by running through it with you.
  • Crockery is colour contrasted with the table where possible.
  • The nearest public toilet with an accessible WC is located within approximately 20 metres of the café.

Shop

  • There is a shop with a range of souvenirs and books, which can be accessed directly from the main entrance.
  • The shop is level throughout
  • There is ample of room for both push and wheelchairs to manoeuvre.
  • Most displays are accessible from a seated position although one or two are at a higher level. Staff can help.
  • The counter has a hearing loop system installed.
  • Staff can help if required.

Additional information

  • All of our staff receive regular training which includes disability awareness training.
  • In case of an emergency evacuation, we have set procedures. In the case of a fire, you will be asked to leave the visitor centre by a fire warden. If you need assistance, they will help you leave the centre and direct you to the nearest assembly point.
  • We do allow dogs in the country park, but they must be kept on a lead. Only assistance dogs can enter the visitor centre. We provide a water bowl at the main entrance for all dogs.
  • We can offer information on nearby accommodation if you need it.

Contact

waters.edge@northlincs.gov.uk

01652 631500

Waters Edge Visitor Centre
Maltkiln Road
Barton upon Humber
North Lincolnshire
DN18 5JR

Opening hours

The main park gates will be locked at dusk

Visitor centre

Weekdays – 9am to 5pm

Weekends April to September  – 10am to 5pm

Weekends  October to March – 10am to 4am

Café

April to September – 10am to 4pm

October to March – 10am to 3.30pm

Food service stops at 3pm