Cossington Meadows

    Wildlife Highlights

    The deeper pools attract wildfowl such as gadwall, tufted duck and great crested grebe and in winter parties of wigeon and teal are common and rarer ducks seen have included velvet scoter and garganey. Around the muddy edges of shallow water can be found waders such as green sandpiper, greenshank, oystercatcher, redshank, lapwing and little ringed plover. Grey herons are always present and other birds like kingfisher, grey wagtail and kestrel can often be located. Short-eared owls regularly winter on the reserve. Grass-snakes, toads and frogs all breed on the reserve. Migrant hawker and black-tailed skimmer are two of the dragonflies commonly recorded. Amongst the more notable wildflowers are flowering-rush, purple loosestrife, ragged-robin and blue water-speedwell.

    Wild places

    Total species seen at this site: 388


    Cossington Meadows covers 86 ha and is the largest of the Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust’s six nature reserves in the Soar valley. The area was quarried for gravel during the 1980s and 1990s, the pits then being filled and the area relandscaped, with several deep holes in the north of the site filling with water to form lakes. The Trust has created new wader scrapes and grazes the grassland areas.

    Latest records

    Common Name Latin Name Date Recorded Recorded By
    Sloe BugDolycoris baccarum01/06/2019JoniCook
    PeacockAglais io01/06/2019JoniCook
    BrimstoneGonepteryx rhamni01/06/2019JoniCook
    Red-and-black FroghopperCercopis vulnerata01/06/2019JoniCook
    Reed BuntingEmberiza schoeniclus12/05/2019GavinGamble
    CormorantPhalacrocorax carbo12/05/2019GavinGamble
    Great Crested GrebePodiceps cristatus12/05/2019GavinGamble
    Common TernSterna hirundo12/05/2019GavinGamble
    LapwingVanellus vanellus12/05/2019GavinGamble
    WhitethroatSylvia communis12/05/2019GavinGamble
    Meadow PipitAnthus pratensis12/05/2019GavinGamble
    MallardAnas platyrhynchos12/05/2019GavinGamble
    TealAnas crecca12/05/2019GavinGamble
    Black-headed GullChroicocephalus ridibundus12/05/2019GavinGamble
    Small Black AntLasius niger12/05/2019GavinGamble
    Getting There

    The reserve is situated to the west of Cossington village, alongside the River Soar. Cars can be parked off the road outside the main entrance on the Syston Road or in the small public car park adjacent to Cossington Parish Church. There is also access at several other points, where public footpaths enter the reserve.

    Group Common name Latin name Last seen
    Bees, Wasps, AntsTree BumblebeeBombus hypnorum16/07/2013
    Bees, Wasps, AntsDiphyus quadripunctorius08/07/2010
    Bees, Wasps, AntsBedeguar Gall WaspDiplolepis rosae02/10/2014
    Bees, Wasps, AntsSmall Black AntLasius niger12/05/2019
    Bees, Wasps, AntsSilk Button Gall WaspNeuroterus numismalis06/10/2013
    Bees, Wasps, AntsSpangle Gall WaspNeuroterus quercusbaccarum06/10/2013
    Beetles2 Spot LadybirdAdalia bipunctata12/07/2009
    BeetlesAphodius prodromus26/03/2017
    BeetlesCantharis cryptica08/07/2010
    BeetlesCantharis nigra08/07/2010
    BeetlesCarabus granulatus16/10/2016
    BeetlesThistle Tortoise BeetleCassida rubiginosa08/07/2010
    BeetlesCassida viridis11/10/2011
    BeetlesChrysolina polita08/07/2010
    Beetles7 Spot LadybirdCoccinella septempunctata12/07/2009
    BeetlesLesser Stag BeetleDorcus parallelipipedus07/08/2010
    BeetlesGreat Diving BeetleDytiscus marginalis07/08/2010
    BeetlesGreen Dock BeetleGastrophysa viridula23/05/2017
    BeetlesHarlequin LadybirdHarmonia axyridis12/07/2009
    BeetlesCommon Malachite BeetleMalachius bipustulatus08/07/2010
    BeetlesNettle WeevilPhyllobius pomaceus23/05/2017
    BeetlesCommon Red Soldier BeetleRhagonycha fulva08/07/2010
    BirdsSparrowhawkAccipiter nisus28/11/2016
    BirdsSedge WarblerAcrocephalus schoenobaenus02/05/2017
    BirdsReed WarblerAcrocephalus scirpaceus02/05/2017
    BirdsCommon SandpiperActitis hypoleucos03/05/2017
    BirdsLong-tailed TitAegithalos caudatus18/02/2018
    BirdsSkylarkAlauda arvensis19/03/2016
    BirdsKingfisherAlcedo atthis09/11/2009
    BirdsEgyptian GooseAlopochen aegyptiacus06/08/2016