Lawn Wood, Bottleneck and Jacksons
Parish: Castle Bytham
OS: 130 GR: SK 993193 Map ref: 102
12.20 hectares (30.20acres) Freehold 1993
Habitat type: Woodland/Meadows
The meadows were given to the Trust in 1993 by Mrs Mary Harris as a memorial to her husband, David Harris. Lawn Wood was purchased in 1995.
Location and Access
The reserve is situated north-east of Castle Bytham and is reached from an unclassified road (Counthorpe Lane) linking Castle Bytham and Creeton. Limited parking is available on the verge near a bend in the road. Please do not obstruct the farm track with vehicles. Follow the track on foot about 250 m to the entrance. The entrance (GR: SK 996193) is through a gate or stile.
Description and Management
The reserve consists of two meadows, named Bottleneck and Jackson's paddock, and the adjoining Lawn Wood.
The name Bottleneck aptly describes the shape of the first field, which lies to the north-west of Lawn Wood. Jackson's paddock (which derives its name from a former owner) links up with Bottleneck and overlooks the village of Castle Bytham with its ancient castle site. Both fields are on heavy clay loam and are wet in places. Tall hedges with field maple, hawthorn, blackthorn and rose serve as a colourful surround and shelter both fields, providing a haven for ringlets and meadow brown butterflies in the summer. The summer also brings a magnificent display of buttercups, with those in the shaded parts of Bottleneck showing a slightly later flowering period. Yellow rattle and many other meadow species are present.
Lawn Wood is an ancient deciduous wood consisting mainly of oak and ash, with field maple, midland hawthorn and the scarce wild service tree. The ground flora includes species of old woodland, such as wood anemone, woodruff and early-purple orchid. Fallow and red deer are frequently to be seen in the wood and meadows.
The meadows are sometimes cut for hay in July, and the aftermath is grazed by sheep or cattle. In the wood, thinning operations are designed to restore a varied ground flora. Parts are coppiced, while the ride system has been extended to provide edge habitat for birds and butterflies. The boundary between the wood and the meadows provides particularly important habitat, which is being carefully looked after in order to retain and extend the scrubby margins.
Supported by the
Heritage Lottery Fund