Scunthorpe is built on top of the ironstone scarp overlooking the Trent Valley. The area of woodland and blown sand at the bottom of the hill was once the site of a council owned golf club but since its closure has been turned into a local nature reserve. It is an attractive mix of deciduous woodland and open grassland with mature trees and is popular with dog walkers.
It was the destination for the U3A November Woodland Wander. We don’t walk very far or very fast. It is very much a social wander with a bit of natural history thrown in.
After all the rain we decided to avoid the grassland which was very soggy and definitely needed wellingtons and stuck to the woods which have a wheelchair and pushchair friendly path with an asphalt surface.
This took us through attractive mixed woodland with oak, birch and sycamore trees, with a shrub layer of holly, hawthorn and elder. By mid November, most of the leaves were off the trees. After a hard frost earlier in the week, there were few fungi around although we did find a dead ash trunk with a good selection of different bracket fungi growing on it.
There were few birds around that afternoon and even less wildlife, although squirrels, rabbits, bats, voles, hedgehogs and deer can be seen here.
Our next visit is planned for the spring when hopefully the bluebells will be in flower, along with a selection of wildflowers in the grassland.
The reserve is reached off Scotter Bottom near the junction with the A18 at Berkeley Circle. An access road serves the houses off Kingsway and leads to the car park for the reserve. Set between the Scunthorpe Town Centre and Gallagher Retail Park with the football ground and retail park, this gives access to an area of now unspoilt open countryside. In fact it is still very much a hidden secret, and I didn’t know it existed. Definitely a place to seek out!
The nearest post code is DN15 7ER and the grid reference is SE 877110