This page enables you to search for some of the best places to see wildlife in Leicestershire and Rutland. It's not comprehensive but we will keep adding new sites as we get records and images. If you have a favourite site that you would like to see added, let us know.
zoom into the map and click on any site to show its details below,
use the filters below to find sites in your district or parish,
type any part of the site name to search for a particular site.
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Key:Wild Places (outlined in red); Public Rights of Way (green); county boundaries (blue), parish boundaries (lilac)
Map Key: Wild Places (outlined in red); Public Rights of Way (green); VC55 boundary (blue)
The large Rutland village of Whissendine is adjacent to the Leicestershire border and is approximately 6 miles north-west of Oakham. The village is split into two by a brook and the older part of the village is sited around the church to the east. The church dates from the 13th century, and is dominated by a tall Barnock-stone tower. It also contains some interesting interior features which may be of interest. The churchyard is reasonably large and well-maintained.
Designated a Local Wildlife Site in 2004, Whitwell verge lies to the east of Whitwell village and is 230 metres in length, on only the north side of Whitwell Road (A606). The main habitat is mesotrophic grassland.
Willesley Wood was the first site within the National Forest to be planted with trees over 25 years ago. This beautiful wood is now contains a mosaic of maturing woodland, flower meadows and wetland. The neighbouring Oakthorpe Picnic Site contains a mixture of habitats including woodland, semi improved grassland and wildflower areas. Both sites are home to a wide range of increasingly interesting flora and fauna.
This is a small lozenge shape of embankment and stream between the Winstanley College and the Lubbesthorpe Way. It was originally part of the school grounds but was fenced off in 2006-7 for security reasons. The land has now reverted to scrubland with boggy edges to the stream.
This site was established by Cawrey Homes and the National Forest along the line of a brook. It has newly planted woodland and rough grassland, bordered by mature hedges. A public footpath runs through the site which forms part of a circular walk from Ratby.
This large semi-improved grassland field borders the River Anker along the west and is the site of the former Witherley Mill. The remnant mill race bisects the centre of the site, providing a mainly marshy habitat with some areas of shallow standing water. A large pond lies to the north of the site. The field is used for grazing cattle and has a few scattered shrubs around the site, mainly Hawthorn Crataegus monogyna and Holly Ilex ilicis. A few standard trees have been planted within fenced cages to prevent cattle access.
This is a small mixed wood planted in the 1890’s for bird shoots and the like. Despite the surrounding recently erected commercial factory/warehouse units this wood has remained unchanged and unmanaged since the 1970’s.
This 4 hectare site has a number of different habitats, principally mesotrophic grassland, wet woodland, a pond and flood meadow. It additionally has areas of rough grassland and scrub and several mature Ash and Oak trees.
This verge is being managed to improve biodiversity as part of the County Council/Parish Council verges biodiversity trial. It was surveyed in 2021 by NatureSpot volunteers but we would welcome additional wildlife records from the community, whether plants, animals or fungi.
These meadows are owned by the Leicestershire & Rutland Wildlife Trust and were originally part of common land used by Wymeswold villagers, traditionally for cattle grazing. The land is unimproved grassland on calcareous Boulder Clay and bisected by a stream which is deeply cut into the meadows.
This is a small woodland located just SE of Wymeswold and the River Mantle runs through the centre of the woodland. It is managed by local landowners through the Defra Countryside Management Stewardship Scheme and one of the ongoing plans is to dam the river to create a small wetland.
Wymondham Rough covers 12.5 ha and is owned by the Leicestershire & Rutland Wildlife Trust. Part of the reserve is a Site of Special Scientific Interest. Habitats include neutral grassland, a length of disused canal, deciduous and mixed woodland, ponds, and a marshy area developing between canal and railway.