Know before you go
Parking informationCars can be parked on the road verge outside Long Nanny Wood and Farm Pond (usually space for 2 vehicles). Quarry Meadow is best accessed from this point, around 100m along a minor road.
There is a broad, level footpath through Farm Pond and Long Nanny Wood, which can be muddy. There is one boardwalk/bridge in Long Nanny Wood with no side rails. There are wheelchair accessible hides at Farm Pond and Quarry Meadow.
There are three entrances to the reserve – the first is from Farm Pond (NU193286) through a latch gate. The second is through Quarry Meadow (NU194287) via two five-bar gates and a single latch gate giving access to a bird hide. The third is through Long Nanny Wood (NU193282) via a narrow single-latch gate and down a flight of steps. The terrain at Farm Pond is level and well-surfaced, whereas Quarry Meadow consists of tussocky grassland, and Long Nanny Wood is a muddy path with undulations and nine steps down from the gate.
When to visit
Best time to visitAll year round
About the reserve
Three of the five sites are accessible to the general public, Long Nanny Wood, Farm Pond and Quarry Meadow.
Long Nanny Wood is a small (1.6ha) woodland. The Long Nanny Burn runs through the centre of the site. The woodland is dominated by ash, elm and sycamore. The wet areas along the stream contain a more diverse range of species than the rest of the woodland. The burn is used by otters and the wood is used by many birds and contains a rookery. Access to the reserve is by a gate at the roadside and a permissive path leads to an old millrace on the other side of the burn.
Farm Pond is a small pond in a disused limestone quarry, surrounded by scrub and rough grassland. The quarry has also been used in the past as a dump, while most of this has been removed some still remains. The pond takes up approximately half the site, which is about 0.5ha. The pond has no outgoing surface drainage; land drainage and rainfall maintain the pond level. The site is reasonably diverse, with a mixture of trees, shrubs and waterside vegetation. The site is of value as an area of open water, particularly for toads; in autumn thousands of tiny toads make their way from the pond. There is disabled access, in the form of well-maintained paths and a bird hide designed to accommodate wheelchair users. Coot and moorhen breed here while heron and kingfisher are regular visitors.
Quarry Meadow is a rough pasture containing a limestone quarry. The quarry is covered in dense scrub, hawthorn, elder and ash. The pasture has been dominated by thistles but grazing is reducing this dominance. There is a hide at the edge of the pasture for viewing the badger sett in the quarry. This site is under Countryside Stewardship, the main aims being to maintain access to the hide and diversify the pasture.