Rabbit Ings is a country park located on the former colliery yard and spoil heap of the Monkton Colliery and then the Royston Drift Mine, which closed in 1989. The 64-hectare site, situated near Royston in South Yorkshire, is home to an array of wildlife – including newts, snakes and herons.
The park provides soaring footpaths and cycle tracks that offer stunning views, as well as sports pitches for use by the community. Rabbit Ings was officially opened in 2011 under the ownership of Wakefield Council. In 2012 the Council transferred the land into the ownership of the Land Trust.
A striking image of a rabbit is carved on the hillside which can be seen from miles around. The rabbit, similar to the black rabbit on Water Ship Down, is a Norse image which ties in with the name of the site – ‘ings’ being a Norse word or description of low lying wetland and of course a rabbit! The rabbit was created with the help of 192 local school children. Spectacular views can be enjoyed from the viewpoint at the top of the hill. Whilst at the foot of the hill woodland and wetland provide a marvellous variety of habitats where wildlife can thrive. In springtime Skylarks, Wheatear and Meadow Pipits fill the park with glorious birdsong.