Daughter described this as ‘just an overgrown field’ which really is a bit unfair. This was originally arable farmland which became a nature reserve in 2007 when work began to ‘reclaim’ the land by planting trees to form a mix of woodland, scrub and open glades. Two ponds were dug to encourage wildlife. It is now managed by the Manx Wildlife Trust.
There is an information board at the entrance and a circular route along a mown grass path which takes you round the reserve. There is a mix of willow car and scrub as well as reed beds and a small pond with water lilies, with a bird hide. Marshland vegetation includes meadow sweet, hemp agrimony and purple loosestrife. Drier areas have different species of grass with brambles, bracken, thistles, purple horehound, rosebay and great willowherb ands well as diferent species of yellow and purple vetches. Trees include rowan, alder, willow, hazel, hawthorn and blackthorn. There were lots of butterflies flitting around.
On a sunny day this makes a very attractive short walk and there is plenty to see, although there was little bird life on the morning I visited.
The reserve isn’t signposted but is on the A29 from Four Roads to Ballagawne. Coming from Four Roads, pass Kirk Christ Church on your left. Just before the next house is a gate which leads into the reserve.