Bloody Oaks Quarry
Location and access
OS map ref: SK 970108 (Sheet 130)
The quarry is 0.5 km south of the A1, and is best approached via the minor road which leaves the A606 Oakham-Stamford road and passes straight through Empingham village. Follow this road for about 3 km towards the A1. The reserve is east of the road at the northern edge of a large block of woodland adjoining the road. Cars should be parked on the wide roadside verge opposite the reserve entrance. Please do not park across the gateway.
We encourage visitors to use environmentally friendly forms of transport wherever possible. Most of our reserves are easily accessible by bicycle, with many close to the National Cycle Network. Please note that cycling is not permitted on the nature reserve itself.
Public transport - contact Traveline for further information www.traveline.org.uk or phone 0871 200 22 33.
Dogs are permitted on this reserve but must be kept on a short lead at all times.
The reserve, which covers 1.3 ha, is owned by the Trust and is a Site of Special Scientific Interest.
History, habitats & management
Bloody Oaks Quarry or Roundstone Hilll is mentioned in J E Lousley’s ‘Wild Flowers of Chalk and Limestone’ as an old working of great interest. It is a partly restored and long disused shallow pit dug into the Upper Lincolnshire oolitic limestone series. Although little is known of its history, it was mentioned as a quarry in 1883 when the first edition of the 25-inch Ordinance Survey map was made.
The principal habitat is the species-rich limestone grassland, which is rare in the two counties.
The main objective of management is to maintain and enhance the limestone grassland flora and its associated fauna. This involves controlling the encroachment of tor-grass and hawthorn scrub by regular cutting. Sheep grazing during the autumn also helps to maintain the open grassland habitat.
Features of interest
The quarry is probably the most northerly location in Britain for chalk milkwort. Over 120 species of flowering plants have been recorded. These included horseshoe vetch, yellow-wort, autumn gentian, common thyme and both pyramidal and bee orchids. Fallow deer and common lizard are regularly seen in the reserve.
Live near here? Want to help out?
Why not join one of our teams of volunteers. We have regular work parties covering reserves in this area including Bloody Oaks Quarry. For more information contact us.