The reserve is part of the disused Darlington to Tebay railway line.
Main habitats: Woodland
Area: 40 Ha.
Although most NNRs are managed by Natural England, 88 are wholly or partly managed by other bodies approved by Council, under Section 35 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.
Smardale Gill NNR is owned and managed by the Cumbria Wildlife Trust.
The reserve is 6 km east of another NNR, Great Asby Scar.
Within much of the reserve area the railway line follows the valley of Scandal Beck. This valley, or 'gill', is steep in places and much of it is heavily wooded.
The reserve's name comes from Smardale Hall, which is 0.5 km south east of the northern end of the NNR.
The reserve is approximately 4 km long. Its northern end is 1 km south of Crosby Garrett village and its southern end is 1 km north of Newbiggin-on-Lune on the A685.
We encourage the use of sustainable transport whenever possible.
Crosby Garrett is near Route 71 of the Sustrans National Cycle Network.
The nearest train station is Kirkby Stephen, 4 km to the south east.
For details of local bus services go to the Travel Search website.
By car, access to the site is via minor roads from the A685, B6259 and B6260.
Please note: away from the disused railway line access to the reserve is by permit only though Wildlife Trust members have free access.
Part of the northern end of the reserve offers relatively easy access and is suitable for wheelchairs.