Cowslips

Paul Lane

Duke's Covert

Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust

Man orchid Copper Hill

Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust

Duke's Covert & Copper Hill

The roadside verges at Copper Hill are protected under Lincolnshire's Protected Roadside Verge Scheme. The adjoining Duke's Covert is an old limestone grassland.

Location

Ermine Street & King Street
Ancaster
Nearest postcode NG32 3PY

OS Map Reference

SK 980 422
A static map of Duke's Covert & Copper Hill

Know before you go

Size
2 hectares

Parking information

Limited roadside parking

Grazing animals

Sheep or cattle

Walking trails

Care must be taken when visiting Copper Hill due to the fast moving traffic

Access

Main entrance slopes down to a hand gate, ground conditions are rough and can be muddy in winter, there are no mown paths; not suitable for wheelchair users

Dogs

No dogs permitted

When to visit

Opening times

Open at all times

Best time to visit

April to August

About the reserve

Copper Hill road verges have a particularly rich limestone flora with much rock-rose, horseshoe and kidney vetches, spiny restharrow, purple milk-vetch and fairy flax. Butterflies include brimstone and common blue. This was the last known Lincolnshire locality for the chalkhill blue butterfly, and is the most northerly point for man orchid in Britain. Glow-worms may be seen here, and on Duke's Covert.

The adjoining Duke's Covert is old limestone grassland, which accommodates landing lights for the nearby Barkston Heath airfield. In recent years it had become overgrown and invaded by bracken and scrub of gorse and hawthorn, but with careful removal of scrub, and with mowing and grazing, the interest is being restored.

Many limestone flowers thrive here, including common and greater knapweed, mignonette, burnet-saxifrage, dropwort, field scabious and columbine, a scarce plant in Lincolnshire. In spring there is a colourful display of cowslip, hairy violet and early-purple orchid. As spring rolls into summer the flora includes St John's-wort, rock-rose, horseshoe vetch and small patches of purple milk-vetch and lesser meadow-rue. In high summer the scabious and knapweeds attract butterflies in good numbers.

Nearest postcode NG32 3PY. Please note - postcodes are for the nearest registered address as we are unable to get postcodes for nature reserves.

Duke’s Covert and Copper Hill location

Contact us

Environmental designation

Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI)