The Recording Area 



Clifton Grove

The Grove

The Grove area is situated in the Trent Valley on the south/West of Nottingham. The Grove is 17.3 hectares in size and is situated on a steep escarpment that runs alongside the river Trent. At the top of the escarpment is a footpath that runs through an avenue of trees ,the footpath leads down to the base of the escarpment and along the side of the river, this footpath forms part of the Trent Valley Way. The steep cliff of the Grove support a mixed deciduous woodland.

An excellent area for the commoner woodland species and with a bit of luck all three woodpeckers can be found in this area but the Lesser-Spotted Woodpecker has became very scarce in recent years.


Clifton Grove


The River Trent Clifton Grove


Holme Pit

Holme Pit is a man made pond that was designated a SSSI (Special Scientific Interest) site in 1982. The area is managed by the Holme Pit Action Group. The pond is 3.5 hectares in size and has a good size reed bed  and is also surrounded by wet grassland and willow carr vegetation. The pond is a excellent habitat for Water Rail that can be seen on most visits in the winter months. The area holds good numbers of breeding Sedge and Reed Warbler in the summer. Wildfowl numbers are quite poor with only small numbers of Tufted Duck, Gadwall, Eurasian Teal and Northern Shoveler seen. Wildfowl such as Goldeneye and Goosesander are very scarce on this location due to its shallow depth . Bittern has been seen in the reed-beds on a few occasions, so it is always worth looking for in the winter months.

Clifton Woods

Clifton Wood runs at the back of Clifton Hall and is 12.1 hectares and are a part of a series of woods that run for several miles along this stretch of the Trent valley. This deciduous woodland holds most of the common species of woodland birds and as with the grove all three Woodpeckers can be seen. In spring the woodland floor turns blue with flowering Bluebells. The area is also a excellent place to see Badger and Pipistrelle bat feeding on the woodland edge as it passes Holme Pit. 


The Alder Plantation

The Alder Plantation is situated at the rear of Clifton Woods, This small plantation consists of young Silver Birch and Alder trees  and is a magnet in the winter months for a variety of speices including Siskin and Lesser Redpoll  feeding on the Alder seeds. This area has also attracted Brambling and Hawfinch and is also very good for Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, I have also seen Roe Deer in this area on a few occasions but have had no recent sightings.

This area is accessed by walking through Clifton wood towards Barton-in-Fabis. On walking out of Clifton wood turn left and walk up the steep slope, at the top of the slope walk over the stile and into the Alder plantation. Follow the path to the left viewing the many Alder Trees for feeding finches. You Can also access the area from Hawksworth Crescent, Barton Green and follow the footpath that leads through the Alder Plantation.

The Rough Wood

The Rough Wood is a small woodland situated along the footpath between Clifton Woods and Branshill Wood. The woodland has many dead trees that in turn attract Woodpeckers. It also seems to be a favored location for Garden Warbler in the summer months. In September 2008 five Spotted Flycatcher were found feeding here as they passed through the area. 

In recent years the Hedgerow that runs from the edge of the Rough Wood to the entrance of Branshill Wood has been an excellent location for passerines moving through the area in late august and september. Acting as a corridor between the two woodlands. The hedgerow also has a many autumn berrys that in turn attract migrant warblers that are passing through.


Foxcovet Lane and the surrounding area

There are many excellent areas of  farmland either side of Foxcovet Lane that hold some of the scarcer bird species. Tree Sparrow numbers seem to be doing well in this area but only breed in very small numbers. Corn Bunting was a regular sighting in this area but has proved very scarce here in the last two years. The fence posts along Foxcovet Lane are an excellent place to see wintering Stonechat from October to early March. Along Foxcovet Lane is a small pond Known as the Yellow Gate Pond due to the fact of its location next to a yellow Security gate. This small pond has attracted small numbers of Common Snipe and regular roosting Tree Sparrow in the winter months, but is fairly quite the rest of the year.

Foxcovet Lane

The Yellow Gate


Beeston Weir

Beeston  weir can be an excellent place in the winter for wildfowl such as Goldeneye and Goosander and also hosted the only Red-Breasted Merganser seen here in 1997. The steps of the weir can produce feeding Grey Wagtail and Common Sandpiper. The fields near to beeston weir have attracted  passage migrants such as Northern Wheatear and Whinchat in spring and autumn and has also turned up the odd surprise such as a female Snow Bunting in November 2005.



Branshill Wood

Branshill wood is a mixed deciduous woodland with some large conifers that until March 2007 held a large heronry . The heronry was one of the largest in Nottingham with about 40+ pairs breeding from February onwards. In March 2007 the Heronry was deserted due to constant harassment from Common Buzzards that moved into the area. Common Buzzard is now a common sighting over Branshill Wood with 4 to 6 birds present on most visits. An escaped Red-tailed Hawk has also took up territory in the area and has been present in the area since December 2005. This woodland has been a raptor hotspot in the last few years with sightings of Goshawk, Hen Harrier, Marsh Harrier, Osprey, Red Kite, Peregrine and Hobby all recorded in the vicinity of this woodland.

Branshill Wood Ponds

On the edge of Branshill Wood are two small ponds, this area is an excellent place to see Hobby in the summer months as they hawk Dragonfly's from over the ponds. The largest of the two Ponds attracts small numbers of wildfowl that include a record of a female Gargany in September 2007. The more common species recorded here are Mallard, Tufted Duck, Gadwall, Eurasian Teal and Northern Shoveler. Little Grebe is resident on the largest pond but can be very elusive. Water Rail has yet to be seen in this area but it must be there somewhere. In September 2006 2 female Marsh Harrier spent 20 minutes quartering over this area before drifting off towards Holme Pit. 

 Branshill Moor

The large area of fields opposite Branshill Wood known locally as Branshill Moor has attracted large numbers of passage migrants in recent years. Large numbers of Northern Wheatear, White Wagtail and Yellow Wagtail and a single Blue-Headed Wagtail  were all seen in April 2006. The Autumn passage can also be very productive with an amazing 7 Whinchat recorded on the evening of the 5th September 2006. The area of fields to the left of  the ponds has been left as set-aside now for many years and  is a excellent place to find Common Stonchat from late September to  early April. Autumn and winter can produce a large variety of finch and Buntings feeding on the seeds in the many seta-side fields in this location. Merlin and Short-eared Owl have all frequented this area in winter.


Cottages Flash and River-side fields

Cottages Flash is a small flooded area near the river viewable from both sides of the river. This is the only location in the area that is likely to attract any waders that are on passage, with recent records of Black-tailed Godwit, Greenshank, Little Ringed Plover and Common Sandpiper it is always worth spending time viewing over this area. The fields that surround the flash are regularly grazed by Cattle or Sheep, and attract a number of passerines in spring and autumn. This is probably the best place to find Northern Wheatear, Yellow Wagtail and White Wagtail.

Barton Flash

Barton Flash is situated just to the right of Barton Island. The area remains dry for most of the year but can flood after heavy rain.This area can produce good numbers of wading birds if it is holding water when waders on on passage. The area in the winter userly attracts good numbers of Common Snipe and the occasional Jack Snipe. Near the flash are many set-aside fields that can attract Short-eared Owl and large numbers of finch and buntings in the winter months. This area is on private land and permission must be granted from the land owners before visiting this site.

Barton Village Ponds and Surrounding Area

On the South West of the village are a small group of ponds joined together by a small brook. Good numbers of Gadwall and Eurasion Teal have been seen on these ponds in the winter Months. Several Reed Warbler were heard singing early this year so possibly breed in the area. The fields between this side of the village and Thrumpton are very good in the winter and regularly attract Peregrine and Merlin. A large herd of Mute Swan userly winter in this area and in turn can attract migrating wild swans to the area.

Clifton Pastures & surrounding areas

Clifton Pastures & Gotham Moor

Clifton Pastures is a large area of flat low-lying farmland of approximately 550 acres that lies to the south of the Clifton Estate. The area also comprises Barton. Gotham and Ruddington Moor. With a stream(Fairham Brook) running across its whole length and a network of drainage ditches criss-crossing the land this is an ideal habitat for some very special bird species. A small resident population of Corn Bunting has been present in this location for many years and are still recorded in good numbers throughout the year. In the summer months Hobby can be seen catching insects on the wing, scarce breeding species include Meadow Pipit, Skylark, Yellow Wagtail, Reed Bunting, Grey Partridge and possibly Quail with small numbers of male birds heard singing most summers. Winter has produced scarce species such as Hen Harrier, Merlin. Short-eared Owl, and regular wintering Common Snipe, Stonechat, and large flocks of Skylark, Golden Plover and Northern Lapwing.  


Fairham Brook

The Drift


The area of the Drift is located between the A453 and the Nottingham/Gotham Road. This area is mainlyagriculture land that rises up from the Nottingham/Gotham towards the A453. Two small plantations are present within the area the Drift Lane Plantation that encroches onto the A453 and Heart Lees Plantation that is viewable from the Nottingham/Gotham Road. This area is very important for Corn Bunting that  have bread and wintered in the the area in the last few years. In the winter of 2007/2008 large numbers of Golden Plover overwintered in this location and the area also hosted a ringtail Hen Harrier in 2008. This location is all private land but can be viewed from either Barton Lane or the Notting/Gotham Rd layby.

Drift Lane

The Drift - looking towards Heart Lee's Plantation.

 Barton Lane

Barton Lane is situated between the A453 and the Gotham Road. Although this road is used as a rat run to avoid the stretch of the A453 entering Clifton at peak times, it still remains the favored site for the small population of resident Corn Bunting. Singing males can be reliably seen along the road from late March to early August. Either side of the road are uncultivated drainage Dykes and unkept verges that provide idea breeding sites. 

Drainage dyke - Barton Lane

Clifton Estate Nature Reserves



Breck's Plantation

Breck�s Plantation

Breck�s Plantation is a mixed urban woodland which covers almost 2.5 hectares. Although mostly a plantation woodland, the site provides valuable habitat for wildlife and offers local residents an opportunity to experience nature right on their doorstep. The reserve is managed by the Trust under licence from Nottingham City Council.

About the Reserve

Most of the site was planted sometime between 1887 and 1901. This was later added to when the western part was planted with conifers. As a consequence of its artificial origins, the woodland is made up of small stands of oak, ash, sycamore, larch and Norway spruce. In 1994, approximately 80 hybrid black poplars were felled because they were diseased and dangerous. These trees were originally planted as matchstick timber in the 1950s. The area has since been re-planted with oak, ash, rowan and silver birch. Other trees such as elder, blackthorn and birch are also common.

A mixed hawthorn and hazel hedge marks the southern boundary and a hawthorn hedge the western boundary. The woodland is a valuable area for the range of common plants and animals and is popular with local residents.

The ground flora is dominated by tall herbs such as nettles and rosebay willow herb, with open areas of grassland and thickets of bramble. A number of common woodland birds can be seen including all three species of woodpecker, spotted flycatcher, treecreeper, greenfinch and fieldfare. Wood mice and a number of butterflies and other invertebrates can also be seen.

Conservation Management

As with most of the woodlands in the city, rubbish dumping is a constant problem. Management objectives include maintaining the site as a valuable amenity and educational resource for the local community, whilst enhancing the woodland�s value for wildlife. The management priorities at this site are to maintain the re-stocked poplar area, and reduce fly tipping. Other tasks include the installation and maintenance of nest boxes, selective tree removal and re-planting with a range of native tree and shrub species.

How to Get There

The plantation lies to the east of Clarewood Grove, Clifton Estate, and access is available from this side (map ref. SK 553333). The eastern boundary is Summerwood Lane and there is an entrance to the plantation opposite the playing fields. The site is open to the public at all times.

Further Information

If you would like further details about the reserve, or if you are interested in getting involved in the management of the site, please call the Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust office on 0115 958 8242.

Breck's Plantation Reserve Map


Fairham Brook


Fairham Brook

The site covers 10.8ha of grassland and scrub and the left bank of the northward-flowing Fairham Brook and is relict lowland fen bog. The site has been leased from Nottingham City Council since 1970.

About the Reserve

Formerly an area dominated by marshy grassland, the reserve has been affected by a lack of grazing and a significant drop in water table in recent decades. Today, the grassland has become rather rank and is being replaced by willow scrub whilst a small area retains an exceptional flora including great burnet, dropwort, lady�s bedstraw and tormentil. Areas of dry reedbed still remain and a recently excavated pond supports frogs, toads and newts.

Some species, including harvest mice and various breeding birds and invertebrates have benefited from the transformation of the grassland areas, but the Brook itself has declined in value for wildlife since it was partly canalised.

The reserve holds a good variety of invertebrates including butterflies, moths and dragonflies including at least one county rare moth, the cream-bordered green pea. The variety of birds seen on the reserve is quite varied with many species of farmland bird mixing with the more urban and wetland species. In recent years hobby has been regularly observed, probably attracted by the numbers of dragonflies available. Farmland species such as pheasant and quail are occasionally flushed from the rank vegetation and kingfishers have been seen along the brook.

Conservation Management

For many years the site has suffered from vandalism and dumping, and much management effort has therefore been devoted to counteracting these problems. It is hoped that future work will be able to concentrate on positive action, such as continued scrub control and sensitive management of the grassland to retain its value for both flora and fauna.

How to Get There

The main point of access to the reserve (SK562338) is on Green Lane, Clifton. The reserve stretches south from here and follows the west bank of Fairham Brook for half a mile. It is open to the public.

Further Information

If you would like further details about the reserve, or if you are interested in getting involved in the management of the site, please call the Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust Office on 0115 958 8242


 Glapton Wood


Glapton Wood

Glapton Wood is a mixed urban woodland which covers almost 4 hectares. The site provides valuable habitat for wildlife and offers local residents an opportunity to experience nature right on their doorstep. The site is owned by Nottingham City Council.

About the Reserve

Glapton Wood is thought to be a remnant of the old Clifton Woods, which were mostly cleared during the late 1950s to make way for the construction of the Clifton Housing Estate. It is situated on Mercia Mudstones and dominated by oak standards with an understorey of predominantly elder and hawthorn. Other tree and shrub species include ash, Scots pine, sycamore and hazel. The ground flora includes bramble and rosebay willowherb. A number of birds can be seen in the wood including great spotted woodpecker, goldcrest, spotted flycatcher and pied wagtail. Whilst many dangerous trees have been felled a number of dead ones have been left as valuable habitat for insects and fungi.

Situated on the southern edge of the site is an interesting area of grassland, which supports a number of herbs and grasses including false oat grass, Yorkshire fog grass, agrimony, and black knapweed and ox-eye daisy.

Conservation Management

Management objectives include enhancement of the woodland structure through selective felling, coppicing and replanting. The grassland is cut annually in late summer and a number of wildflowers have been introduced in selected areas. Damage resulting from vandalism and general visitor pressure is a constant problem and people are encouraged to follow the paths provided.

The management of the site is supported by The Boots Company, through the Trust�s Wildlife Guardians Scheme. This support will enable the Trust to carry out a wide range of on site improvements and to establish closer links with the local community.

How to Get There

Glapton Wood is situated in the Clifton estate (SK548339) and is accessible from Wycombe Close and Ridgemont Walk.

Further Information

If you would like further details about the reserve, or if you are interested in getting involved in the management of the site, please call the Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust office on 0115 958 8242

Glapton Wood Reserve Map

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