Wild places

    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.
    You can:

    • 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.

    Just click on APPLY when you have entered your selection. Alternatively you can browse the full list below.

    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)

    This large reservoir straddles the border between Leicestershire and Rutland. Access is limited but good views of the northern end are available from the road.  It is a good bird watching area and has produced a number of rare species. The reservoir has a famous history as it was the test area for the revolutionary 'bouncing bomb' used in the Dambuster raids during World Word II. It was built between 1937 and 1940 by damming the Eye Brook and the site now covers around 200 hectares (150ha of open water).

    Feanedock and Boothorpe are new woodlands planted on former farmland in the Ashby Woulds, both sites are owned by the National Forest Company. The neighbouring Mayberry Wood and Rawdon East Wood are examples of reclaimed habitats on former coal mining sites.

    Purchased by the Woodland Trust in 1996 and covering an area of 8.77 ha (21.67 acres), Felicity's Wood lies in the heart of the ancient hunting Forest of Charnwood and it is also within the boundary of the National Forest. Felicity's wood has Beacon Hill Country Park, to the south; The Outwoods ancient woodland to the east and Charnwood Lodge NNR to the west as well as numerous copses and spinneys in the surrounding farmland.The site is on a north facing slope and from the main entrance there are spectacular views over Charnwood Forest and northward to the Trent valley.

    The churchyard of the historic church of St Michael and All Angel's and lies in the centre of the village of Fenny Drayton. Most of the churchyard is grassland which is regularly mown and a ring of veteran Yew trees Taxas baccata encircles the boundary.

    This is a wide belt of mature woodland running along the western edge of an old golf course. Fishley Belt appears on maps going back to the nineteenth century and is one of the best examples of ancient woodland in Blaby District. In spring it is awash with native Bluebells and other wildflowers. The woodland is covered by a blanket TPO.

    In 2004 Fishpond Plantation was bought by the Parish Council on behalf of the village with villagers’ donations and grants from Leicestershire County Council and Charnwood Borough Council. The Plantation is close to the centre of the village and covers 1.6 hectares; all that remains of a larger wood. There has been woodland here for at least 300 years, probably due to the area being quarried for gypsum and then being unsuitable for agriculture.

    This verge is being managed to improve biodiversity as part of the County Council/Parish Council urban verges trial. It was surveyed in 2020 by NatureSpot volunteers.

    This drainage feature provides damp grassland habitat for most of the year, with standing water at times after rain. The basin supports wetland plants such as Reedmace and Great Willowherb with drier grassland around the edges. It is accessible directly from the A50 and is adjacent to the Glenfield Wildlife Meadow.

    Fludes Lane is a linear semi-natural broadleaved woodland site, connecting Oadby to the wider countryside. A path runs the length of Fludes Lane, following the course of the Washbrook; it is hard surfaced from the A6 entrance up to Severn Road and then forms a natural woodland track leading to footpaths to Great Stretton and Stoughton.

    These ancient fishponds lie within Exton Park, around 2 miles south-east of Greetham. Trees, marsh and calcareous grassland surrounds the two ornamental lakes.

    This site of approximately 20 acres was opened in 1993 with extensive grassland, woodland, ponds and a small lake with a bird hide. The areas of woodland are maturing well now and the whole site supports a rich diversity supporting good populations of birds and insects.

    Foxton Locks is located on the Leicester line of the Grand Union Canal about 5 km west of Market Harborough and named after the nearby village of Foxton. There are ten canal locks consisting of two "staircases" each of five locks. Alongside the locks is the Foxton Inclined Plane, built in 1900 to resolve the operational restrictions imposed by the lock flight. It was not a commercial success and only remained in full-time operation for ten years. It was dismantled in 1926 but a project to re-create it commenced in the 2000s.

    This verge is being managed to improve biodiversity as part of the County Council/Parish Council verges biodiversity trial. It will be surveyed in 2021 by NatureSpot volunteers but we would welcome additional wildlife records from the community, whether plants, animals or fungi.

    This area had been fields up until the late 1930s when new housing development started. However, as war was imminent no further house building took place and the field was turned over to the Ministry of Food. After the war the field was acquired by Leicester City Council for allotments. Part of the allotments were sold to the Town Council in the 1970s and converted into Franklin Park, all the existing hedges were retained.

    George Henry Wood is situated next to the village of Stretton, and borders Stretton Wood. It is newly-planted wood (32.50 ha/80.31 acres), which was made possible by the legacy of George Henry Sellars, who lived and worked all his life in the nearby village of Greetham. It was planted over four years from 2007, and is enclosed within a deer-exclusion fence. The site has a good network of pedestrian-only paths and the higher ground affords good views over the surrounding landscape.

    Covering an area of 0.98 ha (2.42 acres), Georgina's Wood is a small woodland bordered by the Tamworth Road to the north and Measham Road to the east. It was planted in 1996 with native broad-leaved trees, predominantly Oak, Ash, and Wild Cherry. The former pasture was donated by a former Head Master of Appleby Magna School, who wanted a new native woodland planted in memory of his late wife Georgina.

    Gilroes Cemetery is Leicester's largest municipal cemetery. Opened in 1902, it contains Leicester's main crematorium. The site contains many mature trees, shrubs and wide pathways.  It forms part of Leicester’s green wedge and is well connected to surrounding Local Nature Reserves and Local Wildlife Sites.
    The site has recently been extended to the north-east which provides an open expanse of grassland which has been seeded with native neutral meadow wildflowers and which is separated by mature hedgerows and field ponds. 

    The former brick quarry was designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) in 1981.  It is one of the smallest SSSIs in Leicestershire and is designated for its geological importance (Gypsum quarry made up of mudstones and dolomitic limestone with rich sulphide minerals).

    Approximately two miles east of Uppingham is the village of Glaston. It is bisected by the busy A47, but the churchyard thankfully lies to the north of the village away from the main road, opposite Glaston Park. The earliest parts of the church itself date from around 1200. The moderately-large churchyard is enclosed by a dry-stone wall around the perimeter, but borders an industrial area to the north with few trees to block the view. The eastern end of the churchyard is more attractive however, and this is where the main entrance is.

    This verge is being managed to improve biodiversity as part of the County Council/Parish Council verges biodiversity trial. It will be surveyed in 2021 by NatureSpot volunteers but we would welcome additional wildlife records from the community, whether plants, animals or fungi.