Cattersty Gill

Welcome to Cattersty Gill Nature Reserve

Cattersty Gill sits in a secluded valley perched high on the cliffs above Skinningrove. The nature reserve protects wildflower-rich grassland and offers a landfall for migrant birds which stop to rest and refuel among its hawthorn bushes.

Facilities & Accessibility


FREE parking is available at Skinningrove near Cattersty Sands (turn left at the intersection of Cliff Terrace and Marine Terrace, the car park is right on the coast).


The reserve is about half a mile north-west, through the dunes and up some steep steps.



Unfortunately, there are no toilets available on site.


Unfortunately, this reserve can only be enjoyed on foot. The reserve is reached from the beach car park or via the Cleveland Way along the clifftop.

Dog Bins:

There are no dog waste bins on the reserve. KEEP DOGS ON A LEAD – CLEAR UP AFTER YOUR ANIMALS – DON’T DISTURB THE WILDLIFE. Thank you!


The reserve itself is fairly steeply sloped, though it can be enjoyed from the path at the top without even having to enter the reserve. As the reserve is situated at the top of the headland, most visitors will have to navigate steep slopes / steps to get there.


Paths are all unsurfaced, uneven and on sloping ground. The site is fairly free draining and benefits from not getting too muddy after rain.

More info

This little valley was once used as a tip for slag waste from a nearby iron works. After some initial reclamation in the 1970’s, natural re-colonisation resulted in a community of plants which can tolerate the lime-rich soil conditions.  Each spring and summer the grassland is filled with the colour and scent of kidney vetch, pyramidal and common-spotted orchid, centaury and yellow wort.

The western side of the reserve has a dense covering of hawthorn scrub and this provides food and shelter for migrating birds making their first landfall after crossing the North Sea.

The nature reserve lies to the north west of Skinningrove, just inland from Cattersty Sands. It offers an interesting diversion from the Cleveland Way, and is particularly enjoyable for walkers seeking shelter from an offshore wind.

Nearby Nature Reserves

Photo of common spotted orchid on the grassy slopes at Hunt Cliff. The beach at Saltburn is visible in the background.

Hunt Cliff

(2.5 miles by foot)

A photo of Saltburn Gill. Taken from low down near the relatively calm waters. Rocks have built up against the bank on the left hand side of the image. A geological outcrop is visible to the right side of the stream. The water is orange from iron discharge. There is a lot of green on the river banks from ferns, ramsons, hazel and ash trees.

Saltburn Gill SSSI

(2.5 miles by foot)

Photo of the foreshore at Hummersea. Large rocks emerge from an expanse of seaweed. The cliffs above Skinningrove are visible in the background.


(1.5 miles by foot)




From the A174 follow signs for Skinningrove. Drive through Skinningrove, at the main square turn left down Cliff Terrace, follow this to the seafront car park. From the car park walk along the Cleveland Way leading to the west, go over the old jetty and onto Cattersty beach. Continue through the dunes following the footpath, and up the cliff. At the top of the cliff follow signs for the reserve.