ATTENBOROUGH PITS NATURE RESERVE
NOTTINGHAMSHIRE (Toton; Nottingham), (S)
National Grid SK5149 3388 00o00´/00o00´ 101.18ha 24m, disused gravel workings forming a series of flooded lakes 4.5km long by 1.5km at its widest point, with reeds, Alder and willow stands
Any time (25.4.92)
Birding Site Guide
A visit to this large Nottinghamshire Trust for Conservation site can easily take up a whole day without seeing it all. By vehicle travel to Nottingham and take the A6005 to the sw of the city from the roundabout take Barton Lane s past the sewage works and the area is signed from here. Facilities include a visitor centre and cafe and education centre. There is a picnic area further s, and to reach this rejoin the A6005 go south 1.8km to the 1st of 2 close roundabouts and turn s down Cross Street then Main Street and Meadow Lane. Many paths are suitable for disabled people. At the north end of the lakes but on the south side of the River Trent at Clifton there is a parking area off the A543 (Clifton Lane) along Village Road. The area is accessible by train from Attenborough station which is a short walk away. There are additional access points particularly on foot.
There are numerous paths around the lake along the canals and by the river, not least of which is the Trent Valley Way, which at the pits has a branch both north and south of the Trent.
Anything can turn up on migration, the River Trent being a good north bound feature for birds to follow. Many species of wader pass through, but also species of hirundine such as Sand Martin and Barn Swallow. On my visit I was watching a Bluethroat. As well as these other birds include waterfowl and gulls and terns. The scrub and reeds hold common warblers and Reed Buntings. Peregrine and Common Kestrel hunt over the area while Marsh Harrier and various owls can sometimes be seen. Recent rarities have included Sora and Purple Heron.
Attenborough Nature Centre, Barton Lane, Attenborough, Nottingham NG9 6DY.
Older meadow areas have plants such as Common Centaury Centarium erythraea, Dropwort Filipendula vulgaris , Common Eyebright Euphrasia nemorosa , Great Burnet Sanguisorba officinalis , Kidney Vetch Anthyllis vulneraria , Meadow Crane’s Bill Geranium pratense , Meadow Saxifrage Saxifraga granulata , Musk Thistle Carduus nutans , Salad Burnet Sanguisorba minorand Lesser Yellow Rattle Rhinanthus minor .
In the mainly willow woodlands there are 12 species and varieties of willow as well as plants of note such as Bluebell Hyacinthoides non-scripta and Goldilocks Buttercup Ranunculus auricomus, while fen areas may hold Arrowhead Sagittaria sagittifolia , Branched Bur-reed Sparganium erectum , Bulrush Typha latifolia , Common Valerian Valeriana officinalis , Flowering RushButomus umbellatus , Hemp-Agrimony Eupatorium cannabinum , Lesser Bulrush Typha angustifolia , Mare’stail Hippurus vulgaris , Marsh Marigold Caltha palustris , MeadowsweetFilipendula ulmaria , Purple Loosestrife Lythrum salicaria , Ragged Robin Lychnis flos-cuculi , Square-stalked St John’s-wort Hypericum tetrapterum , Trifid Bur-marigold Bidens tripartita , Tubular Water-Dropwort Oenanthe fistulosa , Unbranched Bur-reed Sparganium emersum and Water Plantain Alisma plantago-aquatica , Water Mint Mentha aquatica and Yellow Iris Iris pseudacorus.
The still re-vegetating areas include plants such as Colt’s foot Tussilago farfara , Common spotted Orchid Dactylorhiza fuchsii , Common Twayblade Listera ovata , Feverfew Tanacetum parthenium , Mugwort Artemisia vulgaris , Southern Marsh-Orchid Dactylorhiza praetermissa , TansyTanacetum vulgare and Wormwood Artemisia absinthium.