OS map ref: SP 621998 (Sheet 140)
The reserve is part of Brock's Hill Country Park, Oadby. Visitors should park in the Visitor Centre car park. Go through the gate to the left of the Centre entrance and walk down the track. The entrance to the reserve is through another gate on the right.
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.
This reserve is easily accessible by public transport, contact Traveline for further information www.traveline.org.uk or phone 0871 200 22 33.
Dogs are not allowed on this nature reserve due to the sensitive wildlife.
The reserve is owned by Oadby and Wigston Borough Council, who lease it to the Trust. It covers 1.5 ha and has been declared a Local Nature Reserve.
The marsh developed as a result of excavation for building materials at the turn of the century. It takes drainage from the surrounding farmland. The drier southern end was cultivated until the mid 1970s.
Habitats include a reedbed, rough grassland, dense scrub, scattered trees and a mature hedge. Management has so far consisted of controlling invasion of scrub.
Grange Spinney is an area of rough grassland, which in 1991 was planted with trees including oak, ash, silver birch and hazel.
The marsh itself is dominated by stands of greater willowherb and common reed, with other marshland species including blunt-flowered rush, water figwort, ragged robin and meadow sweet. A stand of large ash trees, thick mature hedges and scattered guelder-rose bushes add to the habitat diversity.
To the east of the site are two large ponds surrounded by ash and willow. In the summer months blue-tailed and large red damselflies can be seen around the pounds, where moorhens and kingfishers have also bred.
The range of habitats on the reserve attract a variety of birdlife including robin, wren, chiffchaff, song thrush, blackcap, willow warbler, bullfinch and great spotted woodpecker. The mature hedgerow provides food and safe roosting sites for blackbird, fieldfare and redwing. In the summer months small tortoiseshell, peacock, speckled-wood, orange-tip and ringlet butterflies visit the reserve.