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A small patch of land supporting various species and habitats

Tucked away in a narrow valley close to Alfreton lies Oakerthorpe nature reserve. Its size and location make it easy to miss, yet this patch of land supports a variety of species and habitats. Such is its importance that it has been designated a Local Nature Reserve, meaning that it is given special protection by the local authority. There is a short circular walk around the reserve, with a pond dipping platform provided for school groups. The pond platform is an ideal location to spot frogs, toads and common newts - and you may be lucky enough to come across a grass snake. These reptiles are now rare in Derbyshire, and Oakerthorpe is one place where they are still seen regularly. The pond serves as an open-air snack bar for them, providing their staple food, frogs. Among the other visitors to the pond are numerous damselflies and the occasional dragonfly, which can be seen flying across the surface or perched on surrounding vegetation. The water vole, which has also suffered a sharp decline in numbers over recent years, may be seen on the reserve, while flowers such as common spotted orchid and ragged robin thrive in the marshy margins. Willow, alder and birch grow in the woodland areas and provide shelter for many flowers, including wood avens, bluebell and yellow archangel. In autumn, look for toadstools such as the red and white fly agaric, which brings a splash of colour to the woodland floor.

Species and habitats

Wetland, Woodland
Common Frog, Grass Snake, Water Vole, Fly Agaric

Nearby nature reserves

Cromford Canal SSSI
3 miles - Derbyshire Wildlife Trust
4 miles - Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust
Lea Wood
4 miles - Derbyshire Wildlife Trust

Nature reserve map

Reserve information

West of Alfreton, close to the A38
Map reference
SK 390 553
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Opening Times
Open at all times
3.00 hectares
Please note that there is partial disabled access to this reserve. Wheelchairs can be taken all the way along the old tramway that runs the length of the reserve and to the dipping platform and pool. There is no wheelchair access around the back of the pool and back to the old tramway.
Dogs must be on lead
Reserve manager
Derbyshire Wildlife Trust
Tel: 01773 881188