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.
Total species seen at this site: 538
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.
|Common Name||Latin Name||Date Recorded||Recorded By|
|Hummingbird Hawk-moth||Macroglossum stellatarum||30/06/2017||MFBraker|
|Stinking Iris||Iris foetidissima||23/03/2017||David Nicholls|
|Aspen||Populus tremula||23/03/2017||David Nicholls|
|Lords-and-Ladies||Arum maculatum||23/03/2017||David Nicholls|
|Jelly Ear Fungus||Auricularia auricula-judae||23/03/2017||David Nicholls|
|White Dead-nettle||Lamium album||23/03/2017||David Nicholls|
|Hairy Bitter-cress||Cardamine hirsuta||23/03/2017||David Nicholls|
|Common Groundsel||Senecio vulgaris||23/03/2017||David Nicholls|
|Common Chickweed||Stellaria media||23/03/2017||David Nicholls|
|Wood Pigeon||Columba palumbus||23/03/2017||David Nicholls|
|Wall Screw-moss||Tortula muralis||23/03/2017||David Nicholls|
|Grey-cushioned Grimmia||Grimmia pulvinata||23/03/2017||David Nicholls|
|Xanthoria parietina||23/03/2017||David Nicholls|
|Atrichum undulatum||23/03/2017||David Nicholls|
|Robin||Erithacus rubecula||23/03/2017||David Nicholls|
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.
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.