Beacon Hill Conservation Park
Beacon Hill Conservation Park lies to the north east of Newark town centre and is bordered by the Beacon Fields residential area and industrial areas. This site was formerly a gypsum mine and was acquired by the Trust from British Gypsum in 2001, with a substantial endowment for future management.
About the Reserve
The site covers an area of 19.4 hectares and has an extensive network of habitats of significant wildlife value including scrub, woodland, hedgerows and grassland. The large central area of the reserve was previously a landfill site. This has now been restored as a wildflower meadow. At the southern edge is a wooded gully and further woodland can be found in the north eastern section of the reserve. A considerable amount of tree planting has been undertaken using a mix of oak, ash, wych elm, hazel and a variety of other shrubs. The area chosen for tree planting was first seeded with a wildflower mix which will enhance the wildlife value of the site whilst the new woodland matures.
Much of the initial management involved considerable amounts of fencing, the creation of access points and a cycle track. This was done as part of the work to involve the local residents in the reserve and management.
Much still needs to be done in respect of survey work but there are two notable moths called the fern, and Haworth’s pug. These are rare in Nottinghamshire and are dependent on clematis growing in the wooded gully. With the new planting being undertaken and future management work the site will become more attractive to a host of species over the next few years. The meadows already support various butterfly and bird species.
For some more pictures of the reserve please go to our flickr set
Future management will be aimed at increasing the biodiversity of the site. Improvement of the grassland areas will be achieved by the introduction of an annual hay cutting regime.
How to Get There
Pedestrian and cycle access is off Beacon Hill Road between the Beacon Fields Development and the A1 slip road (SK820540). For SatNav purposes use NG24 2JP and follow the instructions above. In the future there will be car parking and further pedestrian access facilities from Jessop Close in the Newark Industrial Estate.
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