Know before you go
Entry feeAccess by permit only
If you have a permit, please avoid trampling the hay crop (May to June) and disturbing grazing animals (August to Feb).
Access by permit only. Reserve can be accessed via a public footpath that crosses the site, running north-south, just inside the western boundary. Visitors are advised to keep to the marked paths so to avoid disturbing the wildlife.
When to visit
Opening timesAccess by permit only
Best time to visitApril to July
About the reserve
The reserve is an ancient meadow and has not been chemically treated or ploughed in recent times. The ancient ridges and furrows are clearly visible. This traditional meadow has a variety of flowers and grasses, including cowslips, green-winged orchid and yellow rattle. Unimproved pasture such as this is scarce in Nottinghamshire, so it is a must see!
It is maintained by a traditional method of allowing the grassland to grow throughout the spring and early summer, before cutting it back for hay in July. The livestock on site then keep the grass short through late summer and autumn before being removed just before Christmas, a method that maintains a wide variety of flora, moths and butterflies on the reserve.
Amongst the plant species you can expect to see are cowslip; the beautiful green-winged orchid with its rich purple flowers lined in emerald; yellow rattle on which yellow flowers give way to dry fruit whose seeds rattle when you shake them and the floral fried egg appearance of the oxeye daisy. The grassland also offers a home for moths and ground based species of butterfly like the meadow brown, the ringlet, and the attractive orange and brown gatekeeper.
The hedgerows around the site are another important habitat; look out for yellowhammers, a member of the bunting family whose almost luminously yellow head is a giveaway and has a song that goes “a-little-bit-of-bread-and-no-cheeeeese”. It is even said that the yellowhammer has another song that inspired Beethoven's 5th symphony!