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Narborough Bog

Narborough Bog

OS map ref: SP 549979 (Sheet 140)

The reserve lies between the River Soar and the M1 motorway, 8 km south of Leicester. From the city, turn left off the B4114 immediately before going under the motorway, and drive down the track to the sports club. Park near the club-house and walk across the recreation ground to the reserve entrance, which is just where the allotments and the nature reserve meet.

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 permitted on this nature reserve but must be kept on a lead at all times.

NB: This site is liable to flooding after heavy rain.

The reserve, which covers 9.2 ha, is owned by the Trust and is a Site of Special Scientific Interest.

Narborough Bog contains the only substantial deposit of peat in Leicestershire. The peat started to form about 6000 years ago and is now 180 cms deep, overlying a gravel/cobble base. A reedbed has established itself on the peat, but this is now suffering because the peat is drying out. Major engineering works on the adjacent River Soar in the last two decades have probably been the primary cause of this. We are investigating how we can resolve this problem.

North of the railway line, the main habitats are wet woodland with willow and alder predominating, a reedbed and areas of dense scrub. South of the railway, the reserve consists of two dump meadows, one of them particularly herb-rich, and more woodland.

The woodland is being managed to perpetuate its current state. Paths are cleared of debris, and invading sycamore is also being controlled.

The meadows have been subject to a late summer hay cut for many years, but cattle grazing was re-introduced in 2002.  Part of this has become a fen meadow.

The large number of habitats on the reserve make it especially rich in many forms of wildlife.  Over 130 species of birds have been recorded including all three species of woodpecker, six species of tits, tawny owl, sparrowhawk and kingfisher. A good variety of butterflies occur, including common blue, meadow brown, large and small skippers, small heath and gatekeeper. Bats have also been seen. 

The wood contains crack-willow, alder, birch, pedunculate oak, ash and sycamore; the shrub layer includes hawthorn, elder, field maple, guelder-rose and dogwood. An interesting and varied ground flora contains red campion and skullcap as well as more unusual species.

The reedbed still retains a good stand of common reed. It is bordered by sallow and guelder-rose, including a yellow-berried form.

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 Narborough Bog.

Find out more about volunteering

Other nature reserves near here