Duke's Covert & Copper Hill
Know before you go
Parking informationLimited roadside parking
Grazing animalsSheep or cattle
Care must be taken when visiting Copper Hill due to the fast moving traffic
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
When to visit
Opening timesOpen at all times
Best time to visitApril 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.