Besthorpe | Nature Reserves | Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust
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Besthorpe Part of a major gravel extraction site, Besthorpe Nature Reserve lies in the Trent floodplain to the north of Collingham, on the east bank of the river. The site comprises two areas, north and south of Trent Lane, totalling around 68 hectares. A further 100 hectares or so of restored gravel pits to the south of Mons Pool will be added to the reserve between 2015 and 2020, when further extraction has been completed.

How to get to Besthorpe

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From the A1133 between Newark and Gainsborough, take the southernmost of two turns into Besthorpe village, and then follow Trent Lane. The car park is signposted off  Trent Lane. For SatNav purposes, use NG23 7HL

Why not explore these nearby reserves? Spalford Warren & Girton Grasslands


Sitting alongside the River Trent in the heart of Trent Vale, Besthorpe Nature Reserve is a great example of how former industrial sites can have a new lease of life as havens for wildlife. Part of a major gravel extraction site, Besthorpe Nature Reserve is now a mix of open water with islands, reedbeds, shingle and valuable wet grassland attracting a wide range of wildlife. Breeding birds include reed and sedge warblers and other birds, such as kingfisher and little egret, are frequently seen. Wild flowers include common cudweed, kidney vetch and orchids. In spring and summer, butterflies, including brown argus can be enjoyed.

The southern part of the reserve features two wildflower meadows, designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest. The meadows are a haven for plants such as Yorkshire fog, great burnet and pepper saxifrage. Sheep are used to graze the meadows to maintain the diversity of wild flowers and grasses. The reserve is also home to an inland colony of cormorants and one of the largest and most important heronries in Nottinghamshire.

Membership helps us maintain the site for the benefit of both people and wildlife.
Donations are also vital to help support our reserves, so please consider making a one off donation by texting NWTR01 £10 to 70070. [Feel free to vary the cash figure after the £sign.]


Paths, boardwalks and viewing hides are available for walkers and birdwatchers.

Opening times

Open at all times.


Events at Besthorpe

News from Besthorpe

Community rallies to help support access improvements at Trent Vale Nature Reserve

Thursday 25th August 2016

On Thursday August 18th, staff and volunteers from Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust were joined at Besthorpe Nature Reserve by members of the local community and local community representatives as the charity unveiled a range of access improvements at this important and popular nature reserve…..

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Birdwatchers raise hundreds of pounds for Wildlife Trust

Friday 26th February 2016

Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust today presented a special ‘Sponsored Birdwatch’ Trophy for the 1st time in over a decade.

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Wildlife Trust Wetland Wildlife Weekend

Thursday 19th November 2015

This weekend, Saturday 21st & Sunday 22nd November 2015 is the Wildlife Trusts Wetland Wildlife Weekend.

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