OS: 112 GR: SE 755017 Map ref: 23
14.70 hectares (36.30acres) Freehold 1958
Habitat type: Heathland
Due to a new security barrier (to prevent misuse of the reserve) there is currently a problem accessing the car park; apologies for any inconvenience.
Location and Access
The reserve lies about 2 km (1.2 miles) to the north-west of Haxey village in the Isle of Axholme. At the western end of the village is a green triangle with an old stone cross ("Cross of Piety"). From here take the road running north signposted to Epworth. After 150 m this becomes Nooking Road; turn left into Haxey Carr Lane. Follow this past Haslam's Farm and Skyer's Farm. The road is rough and unmade. Ignore tracks to the left and right, and after about 2 km a reserve sign will be seen on the left. This area, known as Haxey Carr, is detached from the main part of the reserve. A small car park is reached further along the track. It is advisable to keep to the waymarked route. Care should be taken due to the uneven nature of the old peat workings. There is a public footpath on the main track through the reserve.
Description and Management
The reserve is a relict of bog that has been extensively dug for peat and subsequently colonised by birch. Interesting wet plant communities occur, and fen-sedge and the royal fern are still to be seen. Although the dense cover provides good habitat for some nesting birds, including grasshopper warbler and nightingale, there is a need to keep some open areas for other birds and to encourage a more diverse peatland flora. Birch thinning and localised clearance is carried out and a large glade will be found along the waymarked route. The glade contains an interesting mix of cross-leaved heath and fen-sedge. The deep holes are old peat cuttings.
Waymarked Route - 1 Km (0.6 miles)
From the car park follow the track in a westerly direction, which leads into the path that runs along the length of the reserve. Note the ridges and hollows that remain from peat excavations. Some of the hollows still retain bog plants, such as Sphagnum mosses and cross-leaved heath. Where birch has been cleared, good areas of heathland are to be found. Look out also for the royal fern. The twisting track eventually leads to a straight, raised trackway, which was prob-ably constructed for peat extraction. Turn right and follow this back to the car park. In summer listen out for nightingales. Other birds that may be seen are woodcock, redpoll and willow tit.
Supported by the
Heritage Lottery Fund