WELCOME TO YOUR LOCAL NATURE RESERVE.
The Reserve, created on the site of the former Brinsley Colliery and the old mineral railway line that linked the colliery with Underwood, consists of a variety of habitats, which are linked by well-established paths, most of which can be walked throughout the year.
A recent wildlife survey has found over 240 species of wildflower are now established and this is creating a haven for butterflies with more than 20 species recorded. Birds are also present in good numbers with over 70 species recorded on or around the site.
Leaving the car park on the old mineral line walk through the Headstocks meadow, and around the wooded hill; take the bridge over the brook and keeping left follow the path around long meadow. Stop at the dipping pond where on a warm sunny day you should see a number of dragonflies and damsalfiles flying or sunning themselves around this area.
Carry on along the meadow footpath to rejoin the old mineral railway line, turning right to returning to the car park. Look out for the Grey Squirrels who are often seen in and around trees along the railway line.
Both the brook and the mineral line run the length of the site. A walk around the site in winter is a good time to enjoy the bird life; with the resident woodpeckers around. Tree creepers, siskin and goldcrest can be found in the trees near the brook, and winter thrushes can often be seen in the hedgerows and surrounding fields.
During a quiet stroll in spring bluebells, violets and greater stitchwort can be found on the mineral line, whilst in the long meadow wood anemone, yellow arch-angel and pink purslane are present.
The birds will be in full song, and along with our resident species, summer visitors will be arriving from their wintering grounds in Africa. Keep a watch overhead for the local buzzards which regularly soar over the site and the surrounding fields.
During the hot summer days when wildflowers are plentiful in the two meadows, butterflies can be found in good number, and along with the more common species, the following can be seen:- Small and Large Skipper, Common and Holly Blue, Small Copper, Ringlet and Gatekeeper.
In addition there are some notable trees to be found including a small leaved Lime, the only specimen in the parish, a veteran Ash, and a particularly large example of Dogwood. These are in addition to the many Oak, Field Maple and Alder which are present in good numbers.