Groby Pool

    Conservation Status

    SSSI

    Wildlife Highlights

    There are good numbers of water birds and the Pool has one of the few heronries in Leicestershire. There is also a sizeable gull roost, particularly in winter. Some of the beetles and spiders found here are rare in the Midlands. At the bank-side and pool edges there are upright chickweed, crow garlic, hoary cinquefoil, water mint, common reed, reedmace, lesser reedmace, reed sweet grass, meadowsweet and hemp agrimony. Groby Pool and the surrounding area is designated as a SSSI. The text below is Natural England's citation explaining why it was designated.

    Groby Pool is considered to be the largest natural expanse of water in Leicestershire, created by a natural ‘dam’ of igneous syenite.  The northern and western margins of the pool support fine stands of common reed Phragmites australis while to the north-east the marginal vegetation is more diverse and includes lesser bulrush Typha angustifolia, round-fruited rush Juncus compressus, great pond sedge Carex riparia and reed sweet grass Giyceria maxima.  The plant communities of the open water are characterised by the presence of fennel-leaved pondweed Potamogeton pectinatus, broad-leaved pondweed P natans, yellow water-lily Nuphar lutea, fringed water-lily Nymphoides peltata and horned pondweed Zannichellia palustris.  To the north and west of Groby Pool, on alluvial soils, the fringing marsh grades into wet woodland dominated by alder Alnus glutinosa and which contains oak Quercus robur, ash Fraxinus excelsior, crack willow Salix fragilis and hazel Corylus avellana.  The ground flora is characterised by the abundance of opposite-leaved golden saxifrage Chrysosplenium oppositifolium, meadowsweet Filipendula ulmaria and P australis, and by the large number of plant species typical of wet woodland such as dewberry Rubus caesius, hemp-agrimony Eupatorium cannabinum, pendulous sedge Carex pendula and valerian Valeriana officinalis. To the north of the site, on both sides of a stony, clean-water stream, a grassland community typical of slightly acid, loamy soils has developed on clays of the Triassic Keuper Marl.  This community is characterised by the abundance of such grass species as common bent Agrostis capillaries, sweet vernal grass Anthoxanthum odoratum and crested dog’s tail Cynosurus cristatus, and by the presence of such herbs as pignut Conopodium majus, betony Betonica officinalis and lady’s mantle Alchemilla vestita.  By contrast grassland to the north-east of Groby Pool developed on siliceous soils is characterised by the presence of bird’s-foot Ornithopus perpusillus, red spurrey Spergularia rubra and thyme Thymus drucei. Additional interest is provided by the numbers of wintering wildfowl which utilise the site, the variety of the breeding bird community and by the diversity of the invertebrate fauna.

    Further Information
    Getting There

    Groby Pool is on the Newtown Linford/Groby Road, accessed via Groby village or from the A50. Only the bank side adjacent to the road is publicly accessible. A free car park is present at the Groby side.

    Wild places

    Total species seen at this site: 210

    Description

    Groby Pool is situated on the southern edge of the Charnwood Forest and is reputedly the largest natural expanse of open water in Leicestershire, covering 38 acres (15 ha). There was no mention of a lake in the Domesday Book, though it has been referred to since 1297. Research into the Lake sediments has confirmed that Groby Pool is of relatively recent origin. It may have resulted from the damming of Slate Brook in the 12th/13th century by the monks from Leicester abbey.

    The complex plant and animal communities make Groby Pool one of the most significant wildlife areas in Leicestershire. Wet areas such as this are often drained so the land can be cultivated and this destroys the environment that some plants and animals need to survive. The unusual combination of habitants includes alder woodland, wet and dry grassland, marsh, reed swamp and open water. This supports a diverse range of plants and animals including breeding and over wintering bird communities and may species of butterflies and dragonflies. Groby Pool and the surrounding area are of great ecological importance and in recognition of this, the area was notified as a Site of Special Scientific Interest in 1956.

    Latest records

    Common Name Latin Name Date Recorded Recorded By
    BlackbirdTurdus merula30/09/2018G D McPhail
    WrenTroglodytes troglodytes30/09/2018G D McPhail
    CormorantPhalacrocorax carbo30/09/2018G D McPhail
    MagpiePica pica30/09/2018G D McPhail
    Tufted DuckAythya fuligula30/09/2018G D McPhail
    Mute SwanCygnus olor30/09/2018G D McPhail
    MallardAnas platyrhynchos30/09/2018G D McPhail
    Wood PigeonColumba palumbus30/09/2018G D McPhail
    Long-tailed TitAegithalos caudatus30/09/2018G D McPhail
    Great Crested GrebePodiceps cristatus30/09/2018G D McPhail
    Black-headed GullChroicocephalus ridibundus30/09/2018G D McPhail
    Grey HeronArdea cinerea30/09/2018G D McPhail
    JayGarrulus glandarius30/09/2018G D McPhail
    Grey WagtailMotacilla cinerea30/09/2018G D McPhail
    RobinErithacus rubecula30/09/2018G D McPhail