Tortoiseshell Wood and Porter's Lodge Meadows
Know before you go
Parking informationRoadside parking
Waymarked path through woodland and around meadow, please keep to the path
Mown grass paths with stiles and hand gates, wheelchair access to the meadows is possible but the woodland paths are not suitable
When to visit
Opening timesOpen at all times
Best time to visitApril to July
About the reserve
Tortoiseshell Wood is a fine example of Kesteven boulder clay primary woodland. The calcareous clay gives rise to a rich and varied ground flora. There is a typical three-layer coppice-with-standards structure. The predominant standard trees are oak and ash. The coppice consists of ash, hazel and field maple. Some of the oaks are over 150 years old and are exceptionally fine specimens. The wood is notable also for the large number of fine wild service trees.
In spring and early summer the ground flora is dominated by carpets of bluebell and dog's mercury, with large scattered clumps of primrose, wood anemone and several species of violet. Enchanter's-nightshade, sweet woodruff, yellow archangel, ramsons, wood-sorrel, wood melick, wood millet, sanicle, herb-Paris, twayblade, butterfly-orchid and early-purple orchid are all to be found.
Among birds are green and great spotted woodpeckers, nightingale and nuthatch - a rare species in Lincolnshire confined largely to the south-west corner of the county. Fallow deer are frequently seen in the wood.
Traditional coppice management on a 15 to 20 year rotation is being perpetuated in the main central part of the wood, while the eastern side and the perimeter are managed as high forest.
Porter's Lodge Meadows, which have been traditionally managed, possess a rich and varied flora, characteristic of old calcareous clay meadows, including a wide range of grasses, abundant bird's-foot-trefoil, rough hawkbit, bulbous buttercup, cowslip, oxeye daisy, common knapweed, meadow vetchling and, in the damper furrows, water avens and cuckooflower. There are also rarer meadow plants: adder's-tongue, pepper-saxifrage, betony, great burnet, saw-wort and common cow-wheat. A small pond adjoining the wood supports several aquatic and marginal plants. The meadow/woodland edge habitat is one of the best remaining examples in Lincolnshire.
Nearest postcode NG33 4SR. Please note - postcodes are for the nearest registered address as we are unable to get postcodes for nature reserves.