Croft Pasture

    Getting There

    OS map ref: SP509958

    The reserve lies on both banks of the River Soar on the northern edge of Croft Village, about 12 km southwest of Leicester. Park on the minor road near the Heathcote Arms (SP 511960). Walk up Station Road to the entrance track, which is on the right. N. B. The site is liable to flooding after heavy rain.

    This reserve is easily accessible by public transport to Croft village, contact Traveline for further information www.traveline.org.uk or phone 0871 200 22 33.

    Managed By
    Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust
    Wild places

    Total species seen at this site: 278

    Description

    This Wildlife Trust reserve was glebe land, and is mainly unimproved grazing, with the exception of the south eastern corner, which has been top-dressed at some time in the past. The River Soar runs northwards and eastwards across the reserve, and was excluded from the 'improvement' when much of the upper Soar was deepened and canalised in the early 1970s. Habitats include running water, river bank, and neutral and siliceous (sandy) grassland. The main form of management is by grazing with livestock, supplemented by slashing back of nettles, thistles, etc, in some years.

    Wildlife Highlights

    The major interest lies in the grassland flora. Birds-foot grows at the top of the cliff at the eastern side of the reserve, near Station Road, while wild clary can be seen below the boundary wall in the north eastern corner. A small rocky knoll in the field north of the river supports many uncommon species, including upright chickweed, meadow saxifrage, common stork's-bill and subterranean clover.

    Further Information

    Group Common name Latin name Last seen
    Beetles14 Spot ladybirdPropylea quattuordecimpunctata27/06/2016
    Beetles22 Spot LadybirdPsyllobora vigintiduopunctata09/05/2014
    Beetles7 Spot LadybirdCoccinella septempunctata22/05/2015
    Lacewings & ScorpionfliesAlder FlySialis lutaria13/05/2019
    MothsAngle ShadesPhlogophora meticulosa02/04/2018
    WildflowersAnnual KnawelScleranthus annuus12/06/2016
    BeetlesApple Fruit WeevilNeocoenorrhinus aequatus14/05/2019
    WildflowersArrowheadSagittaria sagittifolia14/07/2014
    WildflowersBalkan SpurgeEuphorbia oblongata27/06/2016
    Dragonflies and DamselfliesBanded DemoiselleCalopteryx splendens11/06/2017
    Grasses, Rushes & SedgesBarren BromeAnisantha sterilis22/05/2016
    Flies, Gnats and MidgesBee FlyBombylius major17/04/2019
    WildflowersBird's-footOrnithopus perpusillus09/05/2014
    WildflowersBittersweetSolanum dulcamara27/06/2016
    WildflowersBlack HorehoundBallota nigra27/06/2016
    WildflowersBlack MedickMedicago lupulina27/06/2016
    BirdsBlackbirdTurdus merula27/03/2019
    WildflowersBlinksMontia fontana17/04/2019
    Dragonflies and DamselfliesBlue-tailed DamselflyIschnura elegans26/06/2014
    BirdsBlue TitCyanistes caeruleus02/04/2018
    WildflowersBluebellHyacinthoides non-scripta22/05/2015
    WildflowersBog StitchwortStellaria alsine22/05/2016
    WildflowersBranched Bur-reedSparganium erectum26/06/2014
    ButterfliesBrimstoneGonepteryx rhamni14/04/2018
    Flies, Gnats and MidgesBroad CenturianChloromyia formosa27/06/2016
    WildflowersBrooklimeVeronica beccabunga09/05/2014
    Flies, Gnats and MidgesBrown Heath RobberflyMachimus cingulatus06/08/2009
    WildflowersBulbous ButtercupRanunculus bulbosus17/06/2019
    BirdsBuzzardButeo buteo27/03/2019
    BeetlesCabbage Stem WeevilCeutorhynchus pallidactylus22/05/2016