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Kirkby Gravel Pits

This reserve is an excellent bird-watching site. In spring and summer the shallow water, with its numerous spits and islands, suits many breeding birds.

Much of the reserve consists of flooded sand & gravel pits, fringed by reeds and willows. There are also small areas of sparse vegetation, grassland, scrub, and maturing woodland. In spring and summer, the pits attract many breeding water birds, often including pochard and gadwall, while the islands have nesting little ringed plover and common tern, and surrounding habitats support turtle dove and eight species of warbler. Late summer and autumn bring migrant waders such as green sandpiper along with congregations of teal and other ducks. In winter the reserve is an important refuge for a variety of wetland birds. Kingfisher and green woodpecker can be seen at any time of year. Uncommon birds are always a possibility, particularly in spring and autumn.

Notable amongst the other wildlife are grass snake, small numbers of bee orchids, and a good variety of butterflies and dragonflies, including brown argus and banded demoiselle.

Riverslea Lake next to Kirkby Gravel Pits nature reserve was purchased in 2009 thanks to funding from Biffaward, a multi-million pound environment fund managed by the Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts (RSWT), which utilises landfill tax credits donated by Biffa Waste Services (a smaller portion of the lake is in private ownership). Riverslea Lake can be viewed from the public footpath that runs between the lake and the existing Kirkby Gravel Pits nature reserve.


Nearest postcode: LN10 6YN

Please note - postcodes are for the nearest registered address as we are unable to get postcodes for nature reserves. Please use the maps provided here to locate the entrance to the reserve.

Nearby nature reserves

Kirkby Moor
1 miles - Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust
Moor Farm
2 miles - Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust
Woodhall Spa Airfield
2 miles - Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust

Nature reserve map

Reserve information

About 1.5km south of Kirkby-on-Bain.
Woodhall Spa
Map reference
TF 236609
Best time to visit
Apr - Aug
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Opening Times
Open at all times
14.80 hectares

A birdwatching hide near the car park gives excellent views of the largest pit. In order to minimise disturbance, the only other access is from the car park northwards to join the public bridleway along the north-east boundary. Please note that surrounding pits are private and can only be viewed from public rights of way.
Small car park
No dogs allowed
Reserve manager
Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust
Tel: 01507 526667


Factsheets and guides for your visit