This tiny quarry reserve is one of the best spots in Leicestershire to enjoy wildflowers and the diversity of wildlife that they attract, so a trip in late spring and the summer to enjoy orchids, butterflies and even glow-worms is a must.

Location

Waltham Road, Waltham-on-the-Wolds
LE14 4AB

OS Map Reference

SK 810253 (Sheet 130)
A static map of Stonesby Quarry

Know before you go

Size
4 hectares

Entry fee

Free

Parking information

Please park on the north-west verge in a small lay-by opposite the reserve entrance taking care not to block the field entrance.

Grazing animals

Livestock may be present

Access

The reserve entrance is situated to the east of Waltham-on-the-Wolds, north of Waltham Road. There are stiles on this reserve.

Dogs

On a lead
On a lead when livestock present. Under close control at all other times

When to visit

Opening times

Always open

Best time to visit

Summer

About the reserve

For the budding botantist, this is a little slice of heaven, with notable plants including pyramidal orchid, autumn gentian, bee orchid, and small scabious. Cowslips, meadow crane's-bill, black and greater knapweed, and toadflax all add to the summer colour of the reserve.

Attracted by the diversity of colour and food in these flowers, there are plenty of summer butterflies to admire, including common blue, large skipper, brimstone and painted lady. The scrub surrounding the reserve is used by a variety of birds; spotted flycatchers have nested here and turtle doves have been heard purring. 

The reserve is also home to a well-developed badger sett. Although you’ll be lucky to see one of these enigmatic creatures, you can look out for their tracks and signs. It was on this reserve that the harvest mouse was rediscovered in Leicestershire in 1964. A small colony of glow-worms has even been recorded!

Environmental designation

Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI)