Know before you go
Parking informationParking on Grange Avenue and Oak Lane
Paths meander through the reserve, may be wet underfoot in some areas.
Relatively flat, soft patches and can flood in winter.
When to visit
Opening timesOpen at all times
Best time to visitMarch to September
About the reserve
Originally this reserve would have been grassland and a natural marsh but for much of the twentieth century it formed the railhead for Binley Colliery. As a result, a wide range of habitats have developed from the relics of the original marsh to bare ground and dry grassland. Later, industrial development was forestalled by discoveries of 49 nationally and regionally scarce insects, and the site was given SSSI status, saving it from destruction.
Explore the range of habitats and wildlife here on the paths that meander through the reserve. Bare ground provides a range of small, native plants making it a sanctuary for bees, wasps and beetles. In the grassland, flowers such as bird’s-foot trefoil and hare’s-foot clover and drifts of Yorkshire-fog attract local butterfly species such as marbled white and small heath. Look out for common spotted-orchid, yellow loosestrife and tutsan. Visit in June to see the dozen different dragonfly species flit across the small pools. Frogs, toads and smooth newts hide amongst the purple loosestrife, rushes and reeds.