Crich Chase Meadows Nature Reserve

Church Chase Nature Reserve page

Crich Chase Meadows Nature Reserve

In 2013 Crich Chase Meadows, which lies at the southern end of the Crich Chase site, was designated as an extension of the Crich Chase Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). The meadows stretch out over a steep slope, joining a patch of ancient woodland called Smith’s Rough.

Location

What3Words ///worker.doormat.dives

Top Hagg Lane
Fritchley
Derbyshire
DE56 2FQ

OS Map Reference

SK4345 5280
A static map of Crich Chase Meadows Nature Reserve

Know before you go

Size
17 hectares

Parking information

What3Words ///providing.reapply.earphones Parking on Top Hagg Lane/Chadwick Nick Lane is on-road parking

Access

No cycle or horse access permitted on site, and ground conditions not suitable for wheelchairs/prams.

Dogs

On a lead

When to visit

Opening times

All year round

Best time to visit

Spring/summer for wildflowers and autumn for fungi

About the reserve

Crich Chase Meadows is a herb rich lowland meadow and lowland dry acid grassland which is managed primarily by cattle grazing. Fertilisers have never been applied which has resulted in the meadows becoming rich in plants and fungi that attracts a wide variety of birds, insects and plenty of other wildlife.

Visit during spring time and see the meadows become rich with an abundance of birdsfoot trefoil with their bright yellow slipper like flowers, patches of sheep’s sorrel and hawk-bits. The ancient woodland floor of Smith’s Rough, becomes carpeted in a sea of bluebells, wood anemones and wild garlic creating a mix of scents in the air. Listen and you’ll hear a drumming sound upon the trees made by the great spotted woodpeckers and the loud call of nuthatches. Look to the skies and see migrant warblers who return to breed amongst the grassland scrub.

In summer you’ll find wood sage and devil’s bit scabious blooming with its blue delicate flowers. The abundance of wildflowers across the meadows attracts a high number of butterfly species, including the white letter hairstreak, dingy skipper, wall, meadow brown, gatekeeper and many more. Once autumn arrives, fungi begins to sweep through the grassland. You’ll find parrot, snowy and ballerina waxcaps, pinkgills, meadow coral and earth-tongue fungi dotted around the meadows.