Rose End Meadows
Know before you go
Parking informationLimited parking on St Mark’s Close, DE4 3QD
Two public footpaths off Cromford Hill give access to the southern end of the reserve. They cross the site to reach Alabaster Lane, at the northern end of the reserve. Visitors are encouraged to remain on the footpaths to protect the fragile wildlife and because the site is honeycombed with old mine shafts
When to visit
Opening timesOpen at all times
Best time to visitSpring for bluebells and summer for meadows bursting with wild flowers
About the reserve
This reserve is made up of 16 small fields, none of which has ever been treated with artificial fertiliser or herbicide, making them extremely special.
Each meadow is different because of varying soil quality and depth but together they show how Derbyshire's limestone farmland would have looked around a hundred years ago. In spring and early summer, the meadows are a vivid mixture of yellow, white and blue, because of the wide variety of wildflowers - among them are buttercups, cowslips, cow parsley, bugle and wood anemone.
Bluebells flourish in the woodland and larger meadow in the north east part of the reserve. The main period for orchids is midsummer - among the species found here are pyramidal, bee and common spotted orchids. They share the meadows with other wild flowers, including knapweed, betony and great burnet. The abundance of flowers attracts large numbers of insects, especially bees and butterflies, including the brown argus butterfly.
For birdwatchers there is plenty to see all year round, including greenfinch, mistle thrush, chaffinch, goldfinch and nuthatch, but the main attraction is the winter visits of the hawfinch. Among the fields are several old lead spoil heaps, a legacy of the area's lead mining past. Here you will find spring sandwort and alpine pennycress, both nationally important wild flowers.
The two dewponds were traditionally used for cattle but are now fenced and provide an important refuge for the great crested newt.
Nearby nature reserves
Download our nature reserve leaflets
Check out the reserve map
Play Wild rating
Play Wild all year round but beware of mine shafts.