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.
Total species seen at this site: 381
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.
|Common Name||Latin Name||Date Recorded||Recorded By|
|Butterbur||Petasites hybridus||09/04/2019||Lindsi Donovan|
|Cuckooflower||Cardamine pratensis||09/04/2019||Lindsi Donovan|
|Goldeneye||Bucephala clangula||24/02/2019||Peter Smith|
|Cetti's Warbler||Cettia cetti||24/02/2019||Peter Smith|
|Small Tortoiseshell||Aglais urticae||21/02/2019||egaten|
|Great Crested Grebe||Podiceps cristatus||21/02/2019||egaten|
|Redwing||Turdus iliacus||16/12/2018||G D McPhail|
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.