7. County Wildlife Sites and Local Nature Reserves

Springwell Plantation

Parish: Ashby-de-la- Launde

A small wet, mixed plantation, which supports the nationally rare native black poplar. One of the most important black poplar sites in Lincolnshire and of significant importance nationally.

Blankney Brick Pits

Parish: Blankney

A small group of former clay workings, now disused and flooded, and surrounded by marsh and woodland. The range and quality of its habitats (open water, woodland, mixed plantation and marginal habitats) is unusual, and it supports a range of marsh and marginal plant species that is usually confined to unmanaged ditches and former mineral workings.

Gilbert’s Wood

Parish: Blankney

One of the more species-rich small woodlands in the District, with a particularly rich ground flora for a woodland of this type and size.

Murray Wood and the Belt

Parish: Blankney

Mixed woodland, with a particularly diverse understorey, and a ground flora that suggests that the site has supported woodland for centuries. One of the richest woodlands in the District and an integral part of a complex of woods of County importance in this area.

Oak Holt

Parish: Blankney

A remarkably diverse, mixed woodland on soil that varies from light and sandy to a heavy loam, giving a range of woodland types with a varied ground flora, which suggests that this is an ancient woodland site. It is also within a complex of ancient woodlands in this part of the District that are of County importance.

Scopwick Long Wood

Parish: Blankney

A small copse of broad-leaved woodland that may be semi-natural, but is certainly quite old. The understorey and ground flora are exceptionally rich for a wood of this small size.

Boothby Graffoe Protected Road Verge

Parish: Boothby Graffoe and Metheringham

A 700-metre length of road verge, which supports the very dry, limerich grassland typical of the thin soils of the Lincoln Edge - a habitat that was once widespread, but which is now scarce.

Branston Delph

Parish: Branston and Mere

A drainage ditch of approximately 3 kilometres in length, which contains many aquatic and marginal or marshy plant species.

Branston Island

Parish: Branston and Mere

Approximately 200 hectares of arable land, which is used as a flood defence washland in periods of high water levels. The site is used by large numbers of bird species in the winter (plover, curlews, snipe and
Bewick’s and Whooper swans) and, in periods of inundation, also attracts wildfowl such as mallard, shoveler, shelduck, wigeon, mute swans, redshank and other wintering species. It is one of the most important inland flood washland sites in Lincolnshire.

Curtois’s Holt

Parish: Branston

A mainly ash woodland of 9 hectares, which has a rich understorey and ground flora. It is both an important part of the Blankney Woods complex and a distinct wood within it, reflecting both the slightly acidic conditions and the close proximity of Potterhanworth Wood.

Moor Wood

Parish: Brauncewell

A small, but species-rich mixed woodland, probably plantation but with a rich enough ground flora to suggest that the site may have supported ancient woodland.

Flowerpot Brick Pit

Parish: Burton Pedwardine

This site contains areas of open water, scrub, and grassland. The water body and scrub are species poor, but the pockets of grassland that have developed on lime-rich clays (resulting in marshy calcareous grassland) are particularly species rich.

Carlton Le Moorland Grassland

Parish: Carlton Le Moorland

A small (0.5 hectares) fragment of wet unimproved grassland on clays - a habitat that was once relatively common in this part of Lincolnshire. The sward contains high numbers of species, which suggest antiquity.

Cranwell Grassland

Parish: Cranwell & Byard’s Leap

A small (2 hectare) area of limestone pasture, with adjacent copse and with hawthorn scrub, which is very rich in plant species.

Whisby Nature Park

Parish: Doddington, Whisby and Thorpe-onthe- Hill

Former gravel workings, which represent one of the largest (103.7 hectares) complexes of inland wetland in the County, as well as supporting a wide diversity of habitats from dry grassland to reedswamp. The site supports large numbers of breeding, passage and wintering bird species, nationally scarce plant species, plant species notified as vulnerable or endangered in the County, and nationally scarce invertebrate species. It is one of the best wetland sites in the County, and certainly the most extensive wetlands in the District. This site has also been designated as a Local Nature Reserve.

Metheringham Heath Protected Road Verge

Parish: Metheringham

A grassland site on thin soils over limestone, resulting in a very dry sward rich in species. It is one of the few remaining examples of Lincoln Edge lime-rich heath habitat.

Eagle Wood and Protected Roadside Verge

Parish: Eagle

A spruce plantation with a particularly rich ground flora, which includes many primary woodland indicator species, suggesting that this is an ancient woodland site. The ground flora can also be seen along the adjacent road verge.

Hurn Wood

Parish: Eagle and Swinethorpe

Hurn Wood is clearly secondary, but the richness of the ground flora suggests that the wood is certainly old, and probably semi-natural. It also has a role as important cover for breeding birds. One of the richest woodlands in the District.

Kirkby-La-Thorpe Pit

Parish: Kirkby-La-Thorpe

A flooded pit, but also includes areas of willow scrub and grassland, some of which is quite marshy. Supports a variety of neutral grassland plant species, as well as aquatic and marginal species.

Fulbeck - Leadenham Dismantled Railway

Parish: Leadenham & Fulbeck

This site contains calcareous grassland, scrub, disturbed ground and secondary woodland. It is the mix of habitats that gives the site much of its importance, but some of the grassland areas support a rich limestone flora. There are damp hollows and dense hawthorn scrub, which supports a number of birds.

Green Man Wood

Parish: Metheringham

A large area of broad-leaved and mixed woodland (approximately 50 hectares), which is obviously plantation in places, but which has a rich ground flora suggesting that at least part may have been replanted on the site of ancient woodland.

Gorse Lane

Parish: Navenby & Wellingore

Gorse Lane Parish: Navenby & Wellingore

Bloxham Lane Woods

Parish: Nocton

A relatively small wood (3.6 hectares) which contains some extremely large and mature trees, which suggests that it is a site of some antiquity. The shrub layer is very rich, and the ground flora is patchy, but very rich in places. It is an important wood, and is one component of a complex of woodlands that is of County importance.

Long Holt

Parish: Nocton

A small strip of broad-leaved woodland, probably ancient, that is an important corridor feature joining up with the larger Neville’s Wood. The ground flora is very rich and indicates the sandy nature of the soil.

Neville Wood

Parish: Nocton

An area of ancient, broad-leaved woodland, with a ground flora that reflects the slightly damp and acid conditions.

Nocton Delph

Parish: Nocton and Dunston

A long drainage ditch, with particular interest present in the water edge habitat, which has a marshy, fen type character.

Nocton Wood

Parish: Nocton

An outstanding wildlife site, and the central part of a complex of woodlands in this part of the District that are of County importance. It is also one of the largest woodland blocks in the District. The woodland type varies from high forest to coppice, and the shrub layer is rich. The soil is sandy and the ground flora is therefore quite different to the other woods in the area. The wood is an important bird habitat and, in overall terms, is one of the finest non-SSSI woodlands in Lincolnshire.

Heath Farm Road Verge

Parish: North Rauceby

One of very few sites of unimproved calcareous grassland in the District, containing a rich variety of wild flowers characteristic of limestone soils.

Wilsford Bank Protected Road Verge

Parish: North Rauceby

The verge is botanically rich and has been colonised by plant species typical of short calcareous turf – species that are becoming uncommon in the County.

Enfield Farm Meadows

Parish: North Scarle

Two meadows rich in plant species, typical of the type of wet neutral grassland that has been lost throughout much of Lincolnshire since the 1930s. The site is bounded by large mature hedgerows with standard trees.

Hill Holt Wood

Parish: Norton Disney

Probably the best example of wet, acid woodland in the District. It has developed on sands and gravels, with wet areas and a predominantly acidic soil, and supports a wide range of species of plants and animals.

Quern Dyke Holt

Parish: Potterhanworth

A small (4 hectares) ancient, broad-leaved wood, which is part of a complex of woodland of County importance in this part of the District. However, it is situated on a sandy soil and the water table is high, and consequently it is considerably wetter than others in the complex. The shrub layer and ground flora are unusual, reflecting the damp and acid soil.

Scopwick Heath Old Quarry

Parish: Scopwick

An abandoned limestone quarry, dominated by scrub. Calcareous grassland is developing on the quarry floor and is, in parts, exceptionally rich. One of the best examples of this habitat in the District.

Skellingthorpe Big Wood

Parish: Skellingthorpe

Approximately 175 hectares of ancient semi-natural broad-leaved woodland and coniferous plantation, which s one of the finest examples of woodland in Lincolnshire. The tree cover is primarily pendunculate oak, birch, with some small-leaved lime, ash and hazel coppice. The ground flora is varied, reflecting variations in soil type and wetness.

Lollycocks Field

Parish: Sleaford

This land was declared a Local Nature Reserve in 1993, since when it has been managed by the British Trust for Conservation Volunteers for a range of habitats – as a spring meadow, a summer meadow, several groups of trees and shrubs, an area of wet tall fen, and a pond. Its value lies principally in its accessibility for the public (and especially local schools) to enjoy a site with a range of quality habitats.

Sleaford Fen

Parish: Sleaford & Quarrington

An area of willow scrub and open ponds, which contains nationally rare pond and lake-edge plant species. It also represents an important site for breeding birds.

Rauceby Quarry

Parish: South Rauceby

An abandoned limestone quarry, which now supports recolonising limestone grassland and scrub. It represents one of the best calcareous grassland sites in the District, supporting a wide variety of wild flowers typical of this habitat.

Beckingham Ranges

Parish: Stapleford & Beckingham

The largest area of open grassland habitat in the District – approximately 450 hectares. Much of the grassland is fairly rough pasture, but the site also contains wet areas where marsh and marginal habitats can be found. Scrub, copses and arable areas are also present within the site. The site’s importance comes from the amount of grassland that it supports, the range of habitats present and the relative lack of disturbance.

Stapleford Moor

Parish: Stapleford

A large area (120 hectares) of woodland, unimproved acid grassland and heathland. It represents one of the last remaining fragments of heathland in the District, and supports a variety of breeding birds.

Stapleford Wood

Parish: Stapleford

A very large (280 hectares) conifer plantation on sandy soil, with wet area and areas of oak and birch. It retains a heathland interest, and represents the last and best remaining example of the habitat type in the District, supporting a number of plant species that rare and declining across the County. A number of rare bird and invertebrate species have been recorded. It is one of the most important wildlife sites in the District, and is of County importance for its remnant heathland habitat, and its invertebrate and breeding bird populations.

Tunman Wood

Parish: Thorpe on the Hill

A 19 hectare wood situated partly on sandy, free-draining soil and partly on wet loams and clays. The sandy soil supports a species-poor coniferous plantation, but the remainder of the wood has a diverse flora and bird fauna.

Waddington Pasture

Parish: Waddington

A pair of neutral unimproved grassland fields bounded by large hedgerows. Both are botanically rich, but the western field has an outstanding range of plant species. The site also includes a marshy area, where the flora is quite different.

Washingborough Junction

Parish: Washingborough

A small, marshy grassland site, also containing a small copse. The marsh and open water support a wide variety of wetland plants, and the site as a whole supports a number of birds of marshy and wet grassland, as well as barn owls.

Wilsford Carr

Parish: Wilsford

One of a declining number of semi-natural, wet woodland sites in the County, which supports a variety of habitats, including willow carr, reed swamp, freshwater marsh and scrub. These habitat mosaics, plus the relatively large size of the site result in an important wildlife site.

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