Elsham Nature Reserve


An old fire station door with a bell mounted in a brick arch above it

Elsham Parish Nature Reserve

Quarrying began in Elsham before WWII and it ceased in 1965. In the early 2000s, this quarry was landscaped by Singleton Birch and Anglian Water, who jointly owned the quarry, so that it could be used by villagers. In 2015 it was bought by the village’s Parish Council and in 2017 it was designated a Nature Reserve by North Lincs Council. The old quarry is an important site for remnants of calcareous grassland, a priority habitat that occurs where grassland grows over chalk or limestone.

During the landscaping, many of the quarrying defects were filled in with local biomass, and many native deciduous trees were planted. Over the years it has gradually been naturally repopulated with many native deciduous trees (birch, sycamore, rowan, hawthorn, blackthorn) so that there are now areas with quite dense vegetation, but there is still a wide open bowl in the centre. It is completely fenced in, and most of the perimeter is native deciduous hedging, predominantly hawthorn.

Many wildflower species can be found, including violets, cowslips, campions, primroses, wild sage, bluebells, forget-me-nots, teasels, salad burnet, autumn gentian, rough hawkbit, greater knapweed, common spotted orchid and bee orchid. Over one hundred wild flower species have been identified. Autumn berries include blackberry, elderberry, rowan and sloe.

Wildlife spotted include rabbits, deer, butterflies and moths, squirrels and birdlife, including blackbirds, thrushes, fieldfare and redwing, with buzzards and the occasional red kite flying overhead.

We are very proud of how the site has matured and we look forward to seeing how it develops in the future. We are populating it with bird, bat and owl boxes to provide plenty of homes for wildlife. It is a lovely, peaceful place to walk and enjoy nature, so please help us by respecting the Nature Reserve, picking up after dogs and closing gates as you enter and leave.

Elsham Quarry breeding bird survey 2014