Bluebells, badgers and woodland birds: what more could you want from this beautiful woodland? Adjacent to Eye Brook Reservoir, the reserve is bursting with wildflowers, mammals and birds, and is the perfect place to enjoy a wander. Test your birdsong skills in the spring or challenge your fungi ID knowledge in the autumn.

Location

Harborough Hill Road, Stockerston, Oakham
LE15 9JD

OS Map Reference

SP 834962 (Sheet 141)
A static map of Great Merrible Wood

Know before you go

Size
12 hectares

Entry fee

Free

Parking information

Park on the roadside verge at SP 831958

Access

The reserve lies in the Eye Brook Valley 4 km south-west of Uppingham. The entrance to the reserve is off the Horninghold to Great Easton road, about 0.5 km south-east of the crossroads with the B664 Uppingham - Medbourne road. Enter by a field gate, walk along the field with the hedge to your left to the next field, then across it to the entrance to the wood.

Please be aware that there are wet rides, steep slopes and a long walk across fields to entrance.

Dogs

On a lead

When to visit

Opening times

Always open

Best time to visit

Spring

About the reserve

‘Meribel Wood’, ‘Merivale Holt’, ‘Hallick Stepings’ – just some of the enigmatic names that this diverse woodland has been known by in the past. A haven for mammals and birds, there’s a diversity of species that you might spot here – or at least spot their tracks and signs! Badgers, deer, foxes and lots of small mammals make the most of the quiet, ancient woodland, whilst birds like tits, finches, woodpeckers, nuthatch and treecreeper can all be seen.

This ancient woodland has 'layers' of canopy, shrub and herbs, which make it ideal for wildflowers – some common and some less common. Most showy are the springtime bluebells, which are well worth a visit. The wood also has populations of herb paris, broadleaved helleborine and violet helleborine. It has supposedly got the most varied fungus flora of any wood in Leicestershire! A number of first county records of invertebrate species have been made here, too! The canopy is made up of ash and pedunculate oak, whilst the shrub is largely hazel and field maple. A pond and ditches complete the jigsaw of habitats.

Environmental designation

Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI)