Martinshaw Wood

Wildlife Highlights

Martinshaw is a great habitat for insects. The widened rides allow enough light to encourage a range of flowering plants which provide nectar sources for many species. Damselflies, hoverflies, bees and other hymenopterans are abundant in the warmer months. There is also a good variety of moths in the wood. It isn't particularly rich in bird life, though you should see the usual woodland species. Occasionally woodcock can be seen. Foxes, squirrel and badgers all live in the wood too. In Autumn, it is a very good site for fungi.

Wild places

Total species seen at this site: 547


Martinshaw Wood is an excellent site for invertebrates and fungi. It has had a troubled past but is today protected and managed by the Woodland Trust. The Wood has ancient origins and has been managed since at least the 13th century as part of the estate of Lords of the Manor of Groby. In the 19th century it was planted with North American conifers and was sold in 1925 and clear-felled for its timber. It then naturally recolonised but during the second World War was clear-felled again. It was acquired by the Forestry Commission in 1954 and planted with hardwoods and conifers, including Western Red Cedar and Western Hemlock, which are prevalent in parts today. In 1967 it was bisected by the M1 motorway. In 1985 the wood was purchased by the Woodland Trust who are gradually removing the exotic conifers and restoring the broad-leaved woodland. Martinshaw is now in two parts, divided by the M1. Both are interesting but the motorway noise is worse in the smaller western side.

Latest records

Common Name Latin Name Date Recorded Recorded By
Yellow BrainTremella mesenterica11/03/2018AJ Cann
Vertagopus cinereus11/03/2018AJ Cann
Common Rough WoodlousePorcellio scaber11/03/2018AJ Cann
Dicyrtoma fusca11/03/2018AJ Cann
Lepidocyrtus lignorum11/03/2018AJ Cann
Orchesella cincta11/03/2018AJ Cann
Orchesella villosa11/03/2018AJ Cann
Pogonognathellus longicornis11/03/2018AJ Cann
Ground-ivyGlechoma hederacea25/01/2018David Nicholls
Garlic MustardAlliaria petiolata25/01/2018David Nicholls
HoneysuckleLonicera periclymenum25/01/2018David Nicholls
Pedunculate OakQuercus robur25/01/2018David Nicholls
HollyIlex aquifolium25/01/2018David Nicholls
Silver BirchBetula pendula25/01/2018David Nicholls
HazelCorylus avellana25/01/2018David Nicholls
Further Information

For more information on the history of Martinshaw and Ratby in general, plus a walking guide around the wood, get a copy of 'Ratby Walks in the National Forest', available from Ratby Post Office, price £5.

Getting There

The main access is from Markfield Road in Ratby where there is a small car park on the edge of the village. From here a pedestrian bridge crosses the M1 into the large section of the wood. There is a good network of paths and rides and it is easy to get lost (the motorway noise is a helpful guide to find your way back). There is also an extensive option of walks from Martinshaw through the newly planted Pear Tree Wood and around the historic Ratby Burroughs area.

Group Common name Latin name Last seen
Barklice & BookliceGraphopsocus cruciatus14/06/2008
Barklice & BookliceValenzuela flavidus09/09/2011
Bees, Wasps, AntsArtichoke Gall WaspAndricus foecundatrix15/09/2017
Bees, Wasps, AntsOak Marble Gall WaspAndricus kollari19/10/2016
Bees, Wasps, AntsArgogorytes mystaceus07/07/2007
Bees, Wasps, AntsGarden BumblebeeBombus hortorum07/07/2007
Bees, Wasps, AntsRed-tailed BumblebeeBombus lapidarius30/04/2016
Bees, Wasps, AntsCommon Carder BumblebeeBombus pascuorum19/05/2016
Bees, Wasps, AntsFour Coloured Cuckoo BeeBombus sylvestris30/04/2016
Bees, Wasps, AntsVestal Cuckoo BumblebeeBombus vestalis23/06/2007
Bees, Wasps, AntsCherry Gall WaspCynips quercusfolii09/09/2011
Bees, Wasps, AntsMedian WaspDolichovespula media09/09/2011
Bees, Wasps, AntsCommon Red AntMyrmica rubra12/03/2011
Bees, Wasps, AntsMyrmica ruginodis20/03/2009
Bees, Wasps, AntsSmooth Spangle GallNeuroterus albipes09/09/2011
Bees, Wasps, AntsOyster Gall WaspNeuroterus anthracinus19/10/2016
Bees, Wasps, AntsSilk Button Gall WaspNeuroterus numismalis19/10/2016
Bees, Wasps, AntsSpangle Gall WaspNeuroterus quercusbaccarum30/06/2011
Bees, Wasps, AntsNomada leucophthalma20/03/2009
Bees, Wasps, AntsSabre WaspRhyssa persuasoria30/05/2008
Bees, Wasps, AntsRed WaspVespula rufa09/09/2011
Bees, Wasps, AntsCommon WaspVespula vulgaris31/08/2013
BeetlesAbax parallelepipedus22/01/2017
Beetles2 Spot LadybirdAdalia bipunctata30/06/2006
Beetles10 Spot LadybirdAdalia decempunctata15/05/2010
BeetlesAgriotes pallidulus15/05/2010
BeetlesCommon Sun BeetleAmara aenea09/05/2009
BeetlesAmara ovata31/05/2013
BeetlesAmara similata16/05/2009
BeetlesEyed LadybirdAnatis ocellata05/11/2011