Know before you go
Parking informationThere is a small parking area on Linton Lane, just beyond Hawthorn Cottage and south of the level crossing.
Grazing animalsThe reserve is grazed by sheep and horses/ponies.
Routes to the hides are level. There is a network of paths and permissive bridleway routes across the reserve. The access paths to the ponds are level and even, and the grass track around the woodland is uneven and can be boggy in places. There are several new benches along the circular walk north west of the bridleway from the level crossing, starting at NZ256912.
The main entrances to the reserve are immediately north of the level crossing (NZ256908). From Linton Lane, there are entrances to the west pond (via single, wide latch gate onto a level grass track) and the east pond (through an offset fence) on either side of the lane. 400m north along Linton Lane, there is open access onto a grass track which loops around the woodland (NZ256913).
When to visit
Best time to visitDuring the spring/summer for butterflies and flowers.
About the reserve
The larger of the two pools is a subsidence pond fringed by emergent vegetation such as reedmace, with surrounding woodland and grassland. The second, eastern, pond was created as part of the site restoration and is also surrounded by pond edge vegetation and grassland. The area surrounding the smaller pond is being allowed to develop into marshland, grading into alder/willow carr, species-rich grassland, woodland and scrub. The ponds attract a variety of bird species including whooper swan and other waterfowl.
The northern portion of the site is a large area of maturing woodland containing alder and birch along with oak and ash. This is punctuated with wet patches providing valuable woodland edge habitat and glades. These wet areas contain species such as northern marsh orchid and hare’s-tail cottongrass. The areas of mature woodland and hedgerow attract birds such as yellow hammer and tree sparrow.
There are two wildlife watching hides, one at each of the two pools. One wildlife hide is accessed via a small ramp, and the other via a level entrance. There is a picnic table at the northern end of the woodland area, and a small bench along the path to the East pond.