Cloud Wood has long been known as one of the best sites in Leicestershire for flora, with over 220 recorded species of ferns and flowering plants recorded! Look out for some interesting and beautiful orchids, violet helleborine, greater butterfly orchid, bee orchid and broad-leaved helleborine.

Location

Top Brand, Breedon-on-the-Hill, Leicestershire
DE73 8BG

OS Map Reference

SK 417214 (Sheet 129)
A static map of Cloud Wood

Know before you go

Size
33 hectares

Entry fee

Free, but permit required

Parking information

Cars are best parked in the lay-by, or in the pull in next to the Sustrans cycle path. Please do not park on the busy road or obstruct gateways.

Access

This nature reserve lies 1.5km south-east of Breedon-on-the-Hill and just north of Worthing in north-west of Leicestershire. From junction 14 of the A42, head south on Top Brand for 1km (towards Griffydam). The reserve is west of the road. There is a squeeze-through barrier and steps which can be avoided.

Dogs

On a lead

When to visit

Opening times

Always open, but please note restrictions

Best time to visit

Spring and Autumn

About the reserve

Cloud Wood is an ancient semi-natural woodland that has long been known as one of the best sites in Leicestershire for flora, with over 220 recorded species of ferns and flowering plants recorded! This is the perfect wild place to see some interesting and beautiful wildflowers, including locally rare species like herb Paris, violet helleborine, greater butterfly orchid, bee orchid and broad-leaved helleborine. Solomon's seal is found here, and in the spring the woodland floor is carpeted with wood anemones, bluebells, primroses and many other flowers. Test your mammal-spotting skills by looking for signs of badgers, foxes and fallow deer, and in the spring and summer search for butterflies like speckled wood and white-letter hairstreak.

For more detailed information about the nature reserve, check out Cloud Wood: A history and natural history of an ancient Leicestershire woodland, by Anthony Squires.

Around the time of the Second World War, Cloud Wood was clear-felled and allowed to regenerate naturally. We were gifted the woodland in 1993 by aggregate company Ennstone Breedon plc., and have since reintroduced coppicing to benefit the woodland, it’s specialised flora and fauna. We are also encouraging other areas to develop into high forest, and keep rides and glades open.

Environmental designation

Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI)