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Scotton Common

The largest remaining fragment of the once extensive heathlands of Scotton Common

This low-lying tract, the largest remaining fragment of the once extensive heathlands of Scotton Common, is covered in its drier parts by ling and by developing oak, birch and pine woodland. At the eastern end of the heath, on ground that was ploughed in the Second World War, wavy hair-grass is dominant. In wetter parts there is much purple moor-grass and cross-leaved heath; rarer species, such as bog asphodel and marsh gentian, also occur.

To save it from destruction on a nearby site, the shrubby bog myrtle has been established in the reserve. Although some species of butterfly have become scarce or even disappeared in recent years, the list of butterflies and moths is impressive and includes many scarce and localised species, including a thriving population of emperor moth. Sandy banks attract solitary mining bees. Breeding birds include tree pipit and woodlark. Adders and common lizards are present.

In 1988 an area of heathy fields of around 16 hectares (40 acres) to the north of the old reserve, known as Scotton Beck Fields, was purchased by the Trust. This area, which is reached by turning right off the access track between the car park and the road via a bridge and stile, is rich in heathland plants, including ling, cross-leaved heath and marsh gentian. The beck and streamside support bur-reed, floating sweet-grass, fool's water-cress, water mint and water forget-me-not. The old meanders contain kingcup, cuckooflower and marsh violet.  In the mid 1990's the reserve was extended with the purchase of Loates Field (22 acres) and adjoining arable land (55 acres).  Over time with suitable grazing management these fields are being reverted back to acid grassland.

Scotton Common is dedicated to Joe Dunnington, a well-known local lepidopterist who died in 1992 at the age of 81. There is a memorial stone near the car park.


Nearest postcode: DN21 3PY

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.

Species and habitats

Heather, Cross-leaved Heath, Emperor Moth, Ringlet, Common Lizard

Nearby nature reserves

Messingham Sand Quarry
4 miles - Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust
Sedge Hole Close
5 miles - Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust
Rush Furlong
6 miles - Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust

Nature reserve map

Reserve information

1 mile west of Scotton
Map reference
SK 873985
Best time to visit
Apr - Aug
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Opening Times
Open at all times
63.60 hectares
Walking information
Please take special care during the nesting season. Adders occur in the reserve. There is a high fire risk during the summer months.
Car park. Please avoid parking on the protected roadside verge.
No dogs allowed
Grazing animals
Reserve manager
Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust
Tel: 01507 526667


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