Thurlby Fen Slipe
OS: 130 GR: TF 119164 Map ref: 82
7.80 hectares (19.20acres) Freehold 1988
Habitat type: Marsh/Wetland
Location and Access
Situated on the north side of the River Glen opposite the Trust's Baston Fen nature reserve, Thurlby Fen Slipe is reached from the A15 by turning east at Thurlby crossroads. Passing Thurlby church on the right, follow the lane for 1.5 km (0.9 miles) and then turn right along Baston Edge Drove green lane to the reserve entrance where there is parking space for cars at the end of the drove road. There is a stile at each end of the reserve giving access to the river bank so that a circular route may be walked.
Description and Management
Slipe is the land at the foot of a river bank, and this reserve, which is about 2 km (1.2 miles) long, consists of old flooded borrow-pits with a gravelly bed, associated reedbeds, scrub and grassland and adjacent hedgerows. The grassland area to the east of the reserve was arable until 1986, and part of it has been scraped to encourage an extension of the main reedbed.
The pools have a rich flora, which includes scarce marsh and aquatic plants such as greater tussock-sedge, greater spearwort, water-violet and fen pondweed. Purple-loosestrife, marsh pennywort, marsh-marigold and common spotted-orchid are also among the 210 species of flowering plants that have so far been recorded on the site. Cowslips make a spectacular show in spring. Fine chub lie in the clear pools. Birds are numerous and varied: 109 species have been recorded, of which 40 have bred. The reserve is noted for its dragonflies with 15 species regularly recorded, 14 of which are known to have bred. Twenty-three species of butterfly have been recorded, most favouring the west end of the reserve.
Management has involved clearance of some of the overgrown pools, scrub control, hedge laying, path maintenance and conversion of the former arable land into meadow and wetland habitats. The water-level in the pools and marshy areas is controlled by a sluice.
Supported by the
Heritage Lottery Fund