OS: 121 GR: TF 167754 Map ref: 83
4.00 hectares (9.80acres) Freehold 1987
Habitat type: Grassland
Location and Access
Situated on the north side of Hatton Wood, access is from the Wragby-Horncastle A158 road and via a hard track, which, if travelling from Horncastle, is on the left shortly after the Midge Inn and opposite the entrance to the British Gas site. Cars may be parked at the side of the track (see map). It is about a kilometre (0.6 miles) walk to the reserve. The hard track turns into a green lane shortly before the meadows. Please keep to the mown path before the hay is cropped. A circular walk can be made by using the two footbridges.
Description and Management
The reserve consists of two small damp meadows adjoining Hatton Wood (SSSI). Tall hedges surround most of the meadows and contain both species of hawthorn as well as crab apple, field maple, blackthorn, purging buckthorn and a few large oak trees.
A small beck with a gravel bed makes a dog-leg course through the meadows, and there are two small ponds in the west field in which common water-plantain, yellow flag and water-crowfoot occur. Great burnet is common in the meadows and there is much meadowsweet in the wetter areas. Greater and lesser pond-sedge, lesser stitchwort, common spotted-orchid, greater burnet-saxifrage, sneezewort, cowslip, ragged-robin, yellow rattle, creeping-Jenny and lady's bedstraw are also present.
Along the edge of Hatton Wood, woodland species, such as primrose, giant bellflower and wood avens, can be found, and angelica, valerian and water avens can be seen on the sides of the ditches. The tall hedges and proximity of Hatton Wood make the site attractive to birds with many breeding on the reserve, including garden and willow warblers, blackcap and nightingale. Many butterflies, including some scarce species, have been recorded, among which are purple and brown hairstreaks, white admiral, common blue and large skipper.
A return to the traditional management of hay-cutting and aftermath grazing with sheep since acquisition has allowed the sward to become more open, thus improving both the variety and quantity of herbs. Management work includes stock fencing, and hedge and ditch maintenance.
Supported by the
Heritage Lottery Fund