Berridge Lane Nature Reserve

Woodland at Berridge Lane Farm

The woodland on Berridge Lane is managed as a nature reserve with minimal intervention. Though relatively small in area (2.21 ha), it supports a range of habitats including marshy areas and streams.

The permissive footpath running through the wood was previously supported by Natural England with grants for steps, handrails, gates, etc.

Management involves excluding livestock, maintaining open features such as paths and glades, some light thinning particularly of Sycamore, control of Sycamore regeneration and encouragement of regeneration of desirable tree and shrub species. Natural regeneration of Ash and Beech are well under way. Also, standing and fallen deadwood is largely retained in place unless causing a hazard.

Trees and Shrubs:

Tree species include Alder, English Oak, Ash, Sycamore, Beech, Silver Birch and Rowan. Shrub species include Holly, Hazel, Guelder Rose, Field Rose, Spindle, Hawthorn and Bramble.

Wild flower species to see in Spring:

  • Bluebell
  • Wood Anemone
  • Lesser Celandine
  • Yellow Archangel
  • Sanicle
  • Red Campion
  • Wood Sorrel
  • Dog’s Mercury
  • Dog Violet
  • Golden Saxifrage
  • Ramsons
  • Pignut
  • Lesser Stitchwort                                          
  • Wood Speedwell

Wild flower species to see later in the year:

  • Wood Woundwort
  • Yellow Pimpernel
  • Herb Robert
  • Enchanter’s Nightshade
  • Broad Leaved Helleborine
  • Remote sedge
  • Wood Sedge

Birds and Mammals:

Mammals, mainly nocturnal, are active in the woodland though Grey Squirrels are fairly commonly seen in daytime. Occasionally, deer have been seen in the wood.

A variety of bird species are present including Great Tit, Blue Tit, Long-tailed Tit, Jay, Lesser Spotted Woodpecker and Buzzard.

General Information about Berridge Lane Farm

Berridge Lane Farm comprises 14 hectares of permanent grassland and just over 2 hectares of woodland.

The farm has been in Countryside Stewardship since 1997 and is currently under a Higher Tier agreement. This has made it possible to carry out a number of capital works including:

  • Restoration of drystone walls. The last stretch of wall was completed in 2018
  • Hedgerow restoration by laying overgrown hedges, gapping up and new planting with native species. Hedges are trimmed every two years in rotation, always leaving some long growth over winter
  • Pond creation. Two ponds have been made and are now well established
  • Grassland restoration towards species rich meadows. This involves several management methods including low inputs (no inorganic fertiliser and small dressings of composted manure), introduction of wildflower seed, grazing and traditional haymaking methods with late cutting dates to allow mature seed production
  • Creation of a permissive footpath. This links public footpaths and runs through several fields and the woodland.

The farm is assured under the Red Tractor Scheme (for beef and lamb) which requires high standards of animal husbandry and provides traceability of feedstuffs and medication, etc. Plastic farm waste including wrapping film is recycled.  

Animal stocking densities are kept low with a small breeding flock of sheep (typically 30 – 40) and a small herd of pedigree Red Ruby Devon cattle (typically around 8 breeding cows plus calves).

Where next?

The trail passes through the Nature Reserve. There are steps down to the stream and the path can be muddy and slippery. An alternative is to continue down Berridge Lane, taking the path by the right side of the Ford. Continue on the Lane to the junction with White Carr Lane. Turn left and just round the bend you will see Clattercotes Farm and QR plaque 6.

Enter the Nature Reserve and follow the footpath round to the left, marked with a green arrow sign. Continue on the path until you reach a low green sign with arrows pointing left and right. Both ways lead to the same point. Take the right-hand path descending a flight of steps then following the stream left. Leave the woodland via a gate, cross the stream over a stone bridge and turn right up the hill. At the junction with White Carr Lane, turn left and follow the road round until you reach Clattercotes Farm where you will find QR Plaque 6 on a footpath signpost.