Know before you go
Entry feeFree access
Parking informationParking at Portland park
Grazing animalsOnly grazing sheep in the summer
Various footpaths lead to and around the reserve. Contact the Trust for more information.
When to visit
Opening timesOpen at all times
Best time to visitApril to July
About the reserve
The reserve lies in the District of Ashfield less than 1km south of Kirkby-in-Ashfield. The reserve also has fine views over the Erewash Valley, the river flowing from the north east and runs through the centre of the reserve, part of its length being through pipes under the former colliery line embankment. The site contains fine examples of calcareous grassland, characterised by such species as greater knapweed, burnet saxifrage, St. John’s wort, and cowslip. In addition, there is a variety of orchid species, some of which are rare in the county.
The dry slopes of some of the embankments (which are reminiscent of the Sussex chalk downs), support such chalk grassland species as tor grass, yellow wort and quaking grass. Other grassland areas on the site tend to be more neutral in character and the nature of the soils of the old track-beds support such ruderal species as rosebay willowherb, ox-eye daisy and silverweed.