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,
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    • 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)

    Glen Parva Local Nature Reserve covers 27 acres and was officially opened on 17th November 2010. The site is close to the Grand Union Canal and contains unimproved grassland habitat which is part of what was once a country-wide network of hay meadows and unimproved pasture.

    This site was once part of a larger sports field which included what is now Glenfield Wildlife Meadow across the A50. When the site was divided by the road re-alignment, both sites were made public open spaces. Millennium Green is managed by a trust and includes play areas as well as some natural planting to encourage wildlife. It includes a small raised sensory garden.

    Formal pitches but surrounded by mature woodland with a parkland area and small stream. Just off the Rothley Brook corridor and open country it sees surprising numbers of birds.

    This large field is managed mainly as a wildflower meadow, with an annual mow and the removal of the cuttings as is good practice. A number of tree/scrub areas have been planted, including a few non-native species, to diversify the habitat and provide additional interest. A scrape in the north-east corner provides a damper habitat, though it doesn't hold water all year round. Just outside the entrance gate and alongside the A50 is an urban drainage pond that also provides interesting wetland habitat.

    Old maps indicate some gold diggings in this vicinity but this large elongated mound was created with surplus soils from the Manor Farm development some 30 years ago, Left untended it has become a tangled mass of shrubs, brambles and some trees and is an impenetrable wildlife haven straddling the border with the city.

    Goss Meadows LNR is a long narrow strip of grassland that is separated out into a number of meadows demarcated with fencing.  It was an old drovers road into the city and now forms part of the more extensive green wedge on the north-western outskirts of Leicester and stretches from the bottom of Anstey Lane to the major roundabouts at Beaumont Leys.

    The green network of sites adjacent to Goss Meadows adds value with the City Farm and Gilroes Cemetery located directly adjacent to the west.

    Goss Meadows LNR is a long narrow strip of grassland that is separated out into a number of meadows demarcated with fencing.  It was an old drovers road into the city and now forms part of the more extensive green wedge on the north-western outskirts of Leicester and stretches from the bottom of Anstey Lane to the major roundabouts at Beaumont Leys. This smaller stretch is on Anstey Lane jest to the west of the outer ring road.

    The area around the ruins of Grace Dieu Priory are very varied and offer rich and diverse habitats for wildlife. Meadows, ponds, streams, a disused quarry and extensive woodland present a fascinating landscape which has revealed many surprising plants and animals. The area is now managed as public open space (except the old quarry) and there is no charge for entry.

    This central part of the Grantham Canal stretches for 5 miles from Harby eastwards through Plungar and Barkestone-le-Vale to Redmile. A Site of Special Scientific Interest covers most of this section stretching from Rectory Bridge, Harby (bridge no.44) to Redmile Mill Bridge (no.53). The Canal opened in 1797 and was closed to boat traffic in 1929. After several decades of public ownership the management of the Canal passed from British Waterways to the newly formed Canal and River Trust in 2012.

    This western part of the Grantham Canal in Leics stretches 2.5 miles from the county boundary at the River Smite aqueduct north of Long Clawson, eastwards past Hose, to Harby. The Grantham Canal was built to supply coal to Grantham and runs from the River Trent in Nottingham for 33 miles to Grantham. The Canal was opened in 1797 and closed to traffic in 1929.

    Forming the eastern section of the Grantham Canal in Leics this site stretches nearly 4 miles from Redmile eastwards to the county boundary south of Muston. The Canal was built to supply coal to Grantham and runs from the River Trent in Nottingham for 33 miles to Grantham. It opened in 1797 and closed to traffic in 1929.

    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.

    The church of St Peter and St Paul lies at the southern end of the small village of Great Casterton, two and a half miles north-west of Stamford. The churchyard is an open space with few trees, and the church itself is ironstone and dates mostly from the 13th century.

    Designated a Local Wildlife Site in 2006, the verge is a steep bank between the hedge at the top and the A1 sliproad into Great Casterton. The main habitat of the 0.3 hectare site is calcareous grassland. In 2009, the condition was assessed as good but declining.

    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.

    The grassland species diversity on this verge is good and the habitat quality high with 38 floral species, three of which are Local Wildlife Site indicator species (Meadow Buttercup, Autumn Hawkbit and Common Bent grass).

    Floral diversity: 38 species

    At the south eastern tip of Leicestershire is the village of Great Easton set in the Welland valley and very close to the borders with Northamptonshire and Rutland. It is just south of the Eyebrook Reservoir. The earliest parts of the church date from the 13th century, and the structure probably replaced an earlier Norman church built on the site. It is built of ironstone with some grey limestone dressings. The churchyard is well-maintained, and has some mature trees along the perimeter.

    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.

    The survey revealed a high species diversity including three species that are Local Wildlife Site indicators: Common Sorrel, Meadow Buttercup and Red Clover. The grassland habitat quality is very good.

    Floral diversity: 45 species

    LWS Indicator species: 3

    The wood, which covers 12 ha, is owned by the Wildlife Trust and is part of the Eye Brook Valley Woods Site of Special Scientific Interest. 

    Assessed in 2018 and designated a candidate Local Wildlife Site, Greetham Garage verge is located either side of the entrance to Greetham Garage, on Greetham Road by the A1. The verges are wide, flat by the road and banked up to the rear, backed by a tall Hawthorn hedge. The habitat is mostly calcareous grassland, and is species-rich, with wildflowers dominant over grasses. The site is mostly likely of recent origin due to alterations to the junction.

    Designated a Local Wildlife Site in 2003, Greetham verge is located on Thistleton Lane, leading up to Cottesmore Airfield. The site is approximately 1300 metres long, and included the verges on both sides of the road. The main habitats are mesotrophic grassland, calcareous grassland, and mixed grassland.