OS map ref: SK 899188 (Sheet 130)
The reserve lies 5 km east of the village of Wymondham on the Leicestershire/ Lincolnshire border. Take the minor road east out of Wymondham towards Thistleton. After 5 km turn right onto the Sewstern to Thistleton road and park on the right hand verge between the junction and the site of the former railway bridge. The reserve may be entered through hand gates, one north of the former railway bridge, the other immediately to the south of it. Please remember to close these gates after use, otherwise stock may get on to the road.
Public transport - contact Traveline for further information www.traveline.org.uk or phone 0871 200 22 33..
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.
Dogs are permitted on this nature reserve but must be kept on a short lead at all times.
The reserve, which covers 5 ha, is owned by the Trust. It is a Site of Special Scientific Interest and a National Nature Reserve.
The field pattern in this area probably dates back to the enclosure of Edmondthorpe in about 1580. The reserve, together with the field to its north, was glebe belonging to the Vicar of Edmondthorpe until 1921, though cut by the railway which was opened in 1893. The fields were bought by the Trust in 1972 and the railway line which divides them was purchased in 1976. The reserve's name derives from Cribb's Lodge to the south-west, commemorating the last bare-fist prize fight in England at Thistleton Gap, two fields to the south on 28th September 1811, between Tom Cribb and Tom Molyneux.
Habitats include grassland, two ponds and a disused railway line with scrub and mature trees.
The main objective in managing the reserve is to maintain the diversity of flora and faunu in the herb-rich grassland. The two fields were mown for hay and grazed by sheep for some years; grazing by cattle was introduced in 2004. Hawthorn and other scrub is removed if necessary. The ponds contain great crested newts. Scrub is being controlled on the railway to preserve a mosaic of habitats.
The fields lie on Boulder Clay, a heavy 'blue' clay containing much fragmented chalk and limestone. They support a flora once typical of such calcareous clay pastures in Leicestershire and Rutland. Notable species are: adder's tongue, cowslip, green-winged orchid, common spotted-orchid and water avens in spring and early summer; agrimony, great burnet and yellow rattle later in the year. The railway line has a partial covering of trees and scrub with buckthorn and dogwood, overtopped by oak, ash and crack willow in places. All areas are good for butterflies such as grizzled skipper and green hairstreak.