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Daneshill Lakes

Daneshill Lakes Daneshill Lakes is a former gravel extraction area which has now been carefully restored to benefit wildlife. The gravel pits themselves have been flooded to create an open water habitat surrounded by willow woodland. Many wild flowers also grow here, attracting butterflies such as brimstone, common blue, meadow brown, gatekeeper and ringlet.

How to get to Daneshill Lakes

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The reserve (SK666866) is on the north and south side of the minor road from Torworth to Lound, off the A638 north of Retford. There is a car park on the south side of the road. For SatNav purposes use DN22 8LW and follow the directions above.

Why not explore this nearby reserve? Idle Valley.


Daneshill Lakes is an area of restored and flooded gravel pits that now provides a home to a diverse range of wildlife. The reserve is leased from Nottinghamshire County Council and is a designated Local Nature Reserve. Previously the Trust only cared for the north part of Daneshill Lakes, but in 2013 the charity extended its responsibility and now cares for the whole site. The main points of interest are the lakes, but there are also important areas of marginal vegetation, grassland and willow woodland habitat supporting many species of birds, butterflies and other wildlife.

There are also areas of drier woodland and scrub and rabbit-grazed grassland. The dry woodland and scrub occurs around the periphery of the site and includes trees such as oak, birch, blackthorn, hawthorn and rowan; flowers include wood sage and foxglove on sunny edges. Bramble and gorse attract many species of invertebrate including butterflies such as the bright yellow brimstone, common blue, meadow brown, gatekeeper and ringlet.

Good numbers of willow warbler, whitethroat and blackcap are present in summer, and in winter you may spot a siskin or a goldcrest. Down by the wetland, water rail may be also seen – or if not seen, at least heard! This is also a good site for damselflies and dragonflies, and if you’re lucky, you might spot a grass snake; they are present but rarely seen.

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.]


A network of footpaths allows access to all parts of the reserve.

Opening times

The reserve is open at all times.


Events at Daneshill Lakes

News from Daneshill Lakes

Brewery re-launches special Idle Valley ‘Reserve’ Ale

Friday 22nd April 2016

Brewery re-launches special ‘Reserve’ Ale to highlight Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust’s largest nature reserve.

Find out more


Celebrating 50th Anniversary of wildlife charities special meeting

Friday 11th March 2016

Celebrating 50th Anniversary of wildlife charities special meeting – leading to the formation of county-wide network of local groups.

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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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