Witches Oak Water
Know before you go
Parking informationPark on Aston Lane
Group visits only - contact Derbyshire Wildlife Trust on 01773 881188.
Access from the westbound carriageway of the A50 using Shardlow Quarry access road after junction 1.
Access by arrangement only.
When to visit
Opening timesOpen at all times
Best time to visitMay to September for wetland birds and darting dragonflies.
About the reserve
This large new wetland site was created primarily as a water storage and water pumping facility in times of severe drought for Severn Trent Water.
However as part of the design a strong wetland habitat creation theme was linked to it. The site now contains a range of habitats including 12 lakes, reedbed, wet and dry woodland, wet and dry grassland and hedgerow habitats.
Although still in its early stages the site is an important staging post for wildfowl and waders using the Trent Valley and offers winter refuge for occasional bitterns and smew as well as summer breeding habitat for reed and sedge warblers.
It is also important for butterflies and dragonflies that now occur in many of the grassland areas and shallow margins. Good numbers of common blue butterfly particularly favour one restored bank whist the longer grasslands can be full of common blue damselflies.
Unfortunately access is severely limited due to its proximity to the operational quarry and its primary function as a water storage facility. Currently access is restricted to a number of group visits each year which can be organised on request from the Trust as special access arrangements are in place.
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