I discovered that there is a fairly new RSPB reserve, St Aidan's, just to the south-east of Leeds so, one recent, bright day, I went there to explore. It was formerly an open-cast coal mine but in 1988 a breach to the bank of the adjacent River Aire caused catastrophic flooding, resulting in the formation of a large lake. Mining operations were completed and eventually the whole site was converted into a wetland, and transferred into the ownership of Leeds City Council. It is now a 990 acre country park and since 2017 has been leased to and managed by the RSPB (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds).
The habitat includes reedbed, wetland, meadows and woodland and there are miles of paths and bridleways criss-crossing the site. I was there for almost four hours and only saw a fraction of it. It was a lovely, warm, spring-like day and right in the middle of the schools' half-term so there were quite a lot of visitors. People chatting, with children and dogs running about meant there were few birds brave enough to be seen clearly. You need to be up and about early to make the most of the birding opportunities, I think. It was, nevertheless, a most pleasant place to explore.