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Scandal Beck carves its way through Smardale Gill Nature Reserve (a national nature reserve, which is owned and managed by Cumbria Wildlife Trust). The banks rise steeply up from the beck to ancient woodland, where a diversity of flower species are found (bluebell, primrose, wild garlic, many fern species). Birds found here include redstart, wood warbler and pied flycatcher in summer and buzzard, treecreeper and sparrowhawk all year round. In addition, Smardale Gill is one of only two sites in England where the Scotch argus butterfly can be seen. More common species also found here include dark green fritillary, common blue, northern brown argus and dingy skipper. The walk takes you from Smardale Hall near Kirkby Stephen next to the beck through the woodland towards the Smardale Gill Viaduct on well-made paths, which are suitable for wheelchair users, to the far side of the nature reserve at Brownber on the A685.
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From A685, just south of Kirkby Stephen station take turn to Smardale, cross railway, turn left at jct, cross disused railway turn left then left again for car park.