Saturday 7 February 2015

Newark's Forgotten Nature Reserve

I've been meaning to write a piece on this little patch of ground for a while now, and my afternoon walk post Parkrun gave me the ideal opportunity.

It's the old nature reserve between Beacon Hill Road and Sleaford Road, just below the cycle path bridge.

The location

The entrance steps

Once upon a time, there was a sign here by the stairs, marking the entrance. I think it was run by the council rather than Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust, and I have no idea why it was abandoned. Possibly due to its apparent use as a late night party venue by the local folk, perhaps lack of budget.

Snowdrops in bloom

The drainage ditch

There's plenty of evidence that is used as a drinking den, but I was actually surprised at how tidy it was relative to my worst fears. I was thinking it would be knee deep in beer cans and other detritus. You might be shocked that I consider this better than I expected.

Beer can dam

Voddy and coke, anyone?

The fact is, that given a bit of love and attention, and some community support, this would be a pleasant little oasis between two busy roads. There is plenty of life down here; blackbirds and dunnock are bathing in the water, sparrows are "singing" in the bushes, and the trees are budding out.

Hazel catkins

Unidentifed budding, almost like mini magnolia

Life with the lichens

Someone needs to adopt it, get it tidy, and make sure it is looked after. Sadly, this may be too much to ask, but I'm glad to bring attention to a neglected piece of open space that could actually be of benefit to the public.


Looking back from Sleaford Road exit


  1. Hi Simon , it's a shame about the mess as it dose look like a nice little place to visit, perhaps take a bag with you and fill it up on your way round.
    It's one of those places you could record all the things you see from birds to Butterflies. It would be interesting to see how it changes over the months.
    Amanda xx

  2. Oh I shall keep an eye on the place, and include it on my patch rounds. Thanks for dropping by!

  3. Hi Simon,

    I think I know the place you mean, I might have volunteered there years ago. Is it this place or somewhere nearby? Either way it might have rare moths in it, another string to the bow when it comes to getting it sorted out.


  4. Hi Andrew, it is actually a much smaller space further down the hill, tiny little spot. Beacon Hill is doing fine, a great place to spot butterrflies, and now bee orchids. Too bad they are building a bloody great housing estate next to it, but it will survive