Empingham Old Wood
Selected Wild Place / Other Wild Places / Public Rights of Way / VC55 boundary
A public footpath runs along the northern boundary and this track is a continuation of Loves Lane to the north of Empingham.
Total species seen at this site: 1
This ancient woodland covers 30 ha but now consists of only four separated fragments of the original site, the remainder having been destroyed. Some planting of broadleaves and conifers has taken place, but semi-natural stands still predominate. The geology is varied, with ironstone, acidic and calcareous clays, giving rise to both mildly acid and neutral to calcareous soils. On the former, Pedunculate Oak Quercus robur, Silver Birch Betula pendula and Hazel Corylus avellana are the most frequent trees and shrubs, with Bracken Pteridium aquilinum abundant in the field layer. The rest of the wood is dominated by Ash Fraxinus excelsior, with a variety of other trees and shrubs including Field Maple Acer campestre, Aspen Populus tremula, Spindle Euonymus europaeus, Wild Service-tree Sorbus torminalis and Wayfaring-tree Viburnum lantana. Sycamore Acer pseudoplatanus is abundant in places and Bramble Rubus fruticosus is widespread.
In the southernmost section there are wide, grassy rides and in the north is an apparently disused reservoir, choked with sedges Carex spp. and where Purple Loosestrife Lythrum salicaria is frequent. Next to the reservoir is a small area of limestone grassland with Southern Marsh-orchid Dactylorhiza praetermissa and Eyebright Euphrasia sp.
Notable herbs recorded include Lily-of-the-valley Convallaria majalis, Broad-leaved Helleborine Epipactis helleborine, Crested Cow-wheat Melampyrum cristatum, Common Cow-wheat M. pratense, Herb-paris Paris quadrifolia and Greater Butterfly-orchid Platanthera chlorantha.
Local Wildlife Site
Private with public footpath alongside.