Skylarks Nature Reserve is an attractive wetland nature reserve owned by Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust. We created this green space back in 1982, specifically designing it so that wheelchair users can easily access the site – this was the first accessible nature reserve in the UK!
Skylarks was once a commercial gravel pit, and has been carefully managed so that now the holes left by extraction are a valuable wetland habitat for a variety of wildlife.
Today the reserve, situated next to Holme Pierrepont Watersports Centre just south of Nottingham, is very popular. Visitors come to enjoy a stroll by the water, and along the boardwalk paths.
Many wetland birds can be spotted, including great crested grebe, kingfisher and reed bunting as well as species such as skylark and lapwing. In winter look out for redwing and fieldfare, and in summer common tern, yellow wagtail, reed warbler and sedge warbler are regular visitors.
In spring and summer, the reserve is also an excellent place to spot damselflies and dragonflies soaring across the water’s surface, or through the surrounding reeds. Butterflies to look out for include meadow brown, common blue, small heath and orange tip,
The wide and varied flora includes marsh marigold, oxlip and cowslip. The delicate Southern marsh and spotted orchids also grow here.
Keep an eye out for frogs, toads and newts enjoying the shelter provided by the densely clustered reeds.
Skylarks is also home to many trees, including several species of willow, alder, ash, rowan, birch and oak.
How to find it:
From the A52 Gamston roundabout follow signs for the Watersports Centre onto Adbolton Lane. The reserve lies to the north of Adbolton Lane approximately 500 yards past the entrance to the Watersports Centre, map reference SK619390. If using satnav, use postcode NG12 2LU; this will take you to a point on Adbolton Lane. You then need to continue driving along Adbolton Lane a little further. There is a small layby on the left-hand side where you can you park, adjacent to the reserve entrance.