Scotton Common

Scotton Common

Barrie Wilkinson

Scotton Common

Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust

Scotton Common

Barrie Wilkinson

The largest remaining fragment of the once extensive heathlands of Scotton Common.


1 mile west of Scotton
Nearest postcode DN21 3PY

OS Map Reference

SK 873 985
A static map of Scotton Common

Know before you go

64 hectares

Parking information

Car parking available, please avoid parking on protected roadside verge

Grazing animals

Sheep and cattle

Walking trails

Trail around the reserve, please take special care during nesting season; adders are present on this reserve


A mixture of mown trails with unsurfaced permissive paths through ex-arable fields, can be seasonally boggy, unsuitable for wheelchair users


No dogs permitted
Assistance dogs only

When to visit

Opening times

Open at all times

Best time to visit

April to August

About the reserve

This low-lying tract, the largest remaining fragment of the once extensive heathlands of Scotton Common, is covered in its drier parts by ling and by developing oak, birch and pine woodland. At the eastern end of the heath, on ground that was ploughed in the Second World War, wavy hair-grass is dominant. In wetter parts there is much purple moor-grass and cross-leaved heath; rarer species, such as bog asphodel and marsh gentian, also occur. To save it from destruction on a nearby site, the shrubby bog myrtle has been established in the reserve.

Although some species of butterfly have become scarce or even disappeared in recent years, the list of butterflies and moths is impressive and includes many scarce and localised species, including a thriving population of emperor moth. Sandy banks attract solitary mining bees. Breeding birds include tree pipit and woodlark. Adders and common lizards are present.

In 1988 an area of heathy fields of around 16 hectares (40 acres) to the north of the old reserve, known as Scotton Beck Fields, was purchased by the Trust. This area, which is reached by turning right off the access track between the car park and the road via a bridge and stile, is rich in heathland plants, including ling, cross-leaved heath and marsh gentian. The beck and streamside support bur-reed, floating sweet-grass, fool's water-cress, water mint and water forget-me-not. The old meanders contain kingcup, cuckooflower and marsh violet. 

In the mid 1990s the reserve was extended with the purchase of Loates Field (22 acres) and adjoining arable land (55 acres). Over time with suitable grazing management these fields are being reverted back to acid grassland.

Scotton Common is dedicated to Joe Duddington, a well-known local lepidopterist who died in 1992 at the age of 81. There is a memorial stone near the car park.

Nearest postcode DN21 3PY. Please note - postcodes are for the nearest registered address as we are unable to get postcodes for nature reserves.

Location information

Scotton Common location PDF



Contact us

Environmental designation

Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI)