How to get to Girton Grasslands
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The entrance to the reserve is off the busy A1133 Gainsborough Road, near Girton village. Unfortunately there is no parking at the reserve and we would recommend that if you are travelling by car that you park by the River Fleet on Tinkers Lane (which is just to the south of the reserve) or within Girton village, and walk along the main road to the reserve. Please take caution as the A1133 is a very busy major road.
The Girton Grasslands Nature Reserve consists of eight fields of rare floodplain meadow grassland, two of which are in the ownership of Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust and are available for people to explore. Three of the other fields are now also within the management of the Wildlife Trust.
Floodplain meadows make a vital contribution to biodiversity. Flooding from rivers and streams occur naturally, especially benefiting wildlife by providing seasonal high quality habitats and an influx of wildlife. Such meadows used to be commonplace across the UK, however, in recent times floodplain meadows have suffered a dramatic decline, falling victim to agricultural development, flood defences and insensitive management.
As mentioned, floodplain habitats are very important, but what makes the Girton Grasslands area especially important is the rare type of grassland that it supports (scientifically known as ‘Mesotrophic Grasslands 4’ or MG4). What makes MG4 different to other grasslands is that it draws its nutrients from floodwater. This helps to give the grasslands its unique properties, enabling them to support a specific range of common and rare wildflowers, as well as invertebrates, wading birds and mammals. It is estimated that there is less than 1,500 hectares of MG4 remaining in England.
The meadows at Girton Grasslands can attract nationally important species such as the otter, with an otter holt specifically built at one of our current meadows. The meadows also provide potential habitats for the elusive water vole – the fastest declining mammal in the UK. Other species include the nationally rare golden ringed dragonfly, which have been sighted along the Fleet. MG4 support an array of wildflowers including meadow foxtail, common mouse-ear, crested dog's-tail, red fescue, meadowsweet, yorkshire-fog, meadow vetchling, autumn hawkbit, perennial rye-grass, ribwort plantain, meadow buttercup, common sorrel, great burnet, dandelion, red clover and white clover. The grassland also supports rare species of Snake's-head Fritillary and six rare species of dandelion.
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.]
Unfortunately there is no parking at the reserve and we would recommend that if you are travelling by car that you park by the River Fleet on Tinkers Lane (which is just to the south of the reserve) or within Girton village, and walk along the main road to the reserve. Please take caution as the A1133 is a very busy major road.
Girton Grasslands is open to the public at all times; we recommend visiting in daylight hours.