Annesley Woodhouse Quarry
About the Reserve
Restored quarries can make fantastic spaces for wildlife and this species rich grassland site covering just over 2.25 hectares was designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) in 1981.
The site sits on an outcrop of Magnesian Limestone that only breaks the surface on a handful of sites across the country. The limestone strip was formed 260-285million years ago in the then Zeichstein Sea, when the uk was in sub tropical latitudes and it spanned as far as modern day Poland.
Magnesian Limestone outcrops often produce caves and as such are closely linked to the development of early man with sites like Creswell Craggs showing excellent examples.
From an environmental perspective, these outcrops give raise to fantastic grasslands and wildflowers including interesting plant species including rockrose, bee orchid and common spotted orchid.
The site’s steep open slope supports plants typical of limestone soils, such as tor-grass, quaking-grass, cowslip, yellow-wort, and bird’s-foot trefoil, along with herbs like burnet saxifrage, wild thyme, small scabious and purging flax. More neutral grassland dominated by tall fescue is found on the more level ground.
A range of birds breed on the site, including willow warbler and redpoll. The sunny grassland slopes provide habitat for a wide range of invertebrates, such as butterflies. Species recorded include common blue, meadow brown and small heath.
Hebridean sheep were introduced to the site in 2002. A combination of low intensity grazing and selective scrub removal helps keep the site diverse for wildlife.
Annesley Woodhouse Quarry sits next to the Trust’s no-access reserve ‘Bogs Farm’ and Bentinck Void. There are exciting plans to restore this site for nature after the Trust were instrumental in having it designated a SSSI having saved it from being designated a landfill. Together these sites form an important complex of habitat for wildlife and are part of the Nottinghamshire Biodiversity Action Plan.
For some more pictures of the reserve please go to our flickr set
The main objective is conservation and enhancement of the range of grassland types present, particularly that found on the Magnesian Limestone. Lack of grazing in recent years has been a cause of concern, so the site has been re-fenced recently, to enable the re-introduction of sheep in 2002. A combination of low intensity grazing and selective scrub removal should renovate the grassland within a few years. Retention of limited amounts of scrub will be beneficial to a wide range of invertebrates and birds.
How to Get There
The site lies just to the north of Salmon Lane and runs between Annesley Woodhouse and Selston. Parking for a small number of vehicles can be found in a lay-by near the south western corner of the reserve (SK487532). Two stiles can be used for access to the reserve, the first being on Salmon Lane, on the south western corner of the reserve. The second stile is on the north-eastern corner of the reserve located on a public right of way from Annesley Woodhouse. For SatNav purposes use NG17 9GW and follow the directions above.
Why not explore this nearby reserve? Bentinck Banks
If you would like further details about the reserve, or if you are interested in getting involved in the management of the site, please call the Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust Office on 0115 958 8242.