Know before you go
Parking informationPark at Sence Valley Forest Park, which is about 1km south of Kelham Bridge, or on the grassy area to the right of the entrance gates
View a photo trail of the reserve here
Kelham Bridge is situated in north-west Leicestershire. From Ibstock travel north for about 1 km on the Ravenstone Road and the reserve is on the right behind a sewage treatment works. There is a stile or 'squeeze around' gate post. Please be aware that paths can be boggy in places, and unfortunately our hides are not accessible by wheelchair.
When to visit
Opening timesAlways open
Best time to visitSpring
About the reserve
This nature reserve may be relatively young, but it is already bursting with life. Just a few miles from Ibstock and Coalville, this is the ideal place to escape the area’s industrial heritage and dive right back into the wild. This nature reserve is being taken back by nature – the river now meanders in a more natural way, the land is allowed to flood in heavy rain, and as soon as you walk through the gates, you’ll feel like you’re leaving the real world behind.
Birdwatching is best in the late spring, but check back throughout the year to see what new waders, raptors and passerines have checked in. A great site for warblers, listen out in the early mornings and late evenings for the reeling of the grasshopper warbler – just like a fishing reel! Whitethroat, reed and sedge warbler are all present in good numbers in the summer, too. Grey partridge, little ringed plover, snipe, little owl and kingfisher are seen regular. This is also a top spot for watching birds of prey. Osprey, merlin, buzzard, kestrel and peregrine have all been seen, along with the more locally rare marsh harrier, hen harrier and Montagu’s harrier! We’ve even had our own red-footed falcon!
Keep an eye out in the summer for invertebrates - 16 species of dragonfly and 19 species of butterfly have been recorded. We even get some amazing, and rare, mammals, like harvest mouse, water shrew and otter!