Overview A site jointly owned by Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire Wildlife Trusts, this area of grassland/wetlands and pools stretches from Langley Mill in the South, to Brinsley in the North. The area straddles the Erewash River and can be in various stages of flood or drought depending on the time of year, at times offering excellent birding when the river floods the entire valley.
Habitat There are two sections to the site linked by a couple of fields. The southern section starts at Stoney Lane and spreads North and consists of a series of pools or flashes, surrounded by wetland. A feeder stations sits just off Stoney Lane at the entrance to the reserve. There are 6 main pools in this area Spoonbill, Taylors, Railway and Farmers, as well as two other smaller pools to the North-west.
The area 1/2 a mile to the North, by the Kennels consists of a large area of marshland and pools, Brinsley Flash, Big Marsh and Kennels Flash. A lot of this area, particularly Brinsley Flash, is now owned by the local shooting club and so is off-limits but can be viewed from a distance using a scope.
To the West of Big Marsh is a copse of woodland that has produced many bird rarities in the past.
The area has been watched for many years and is (or at least was) the home of the Erewash Valley Birding Group, which in the 1980s managed to show how important the site was for birds and stave off the threat of opencast mining. In the 1990′s they also worked to preserve the site, bringing help from the NRA to dredge pools and enlarge the pools (though the wetland are is still not at the same extent at which it was before the A610 was built – when it was 3 times larger).
The area is a hotspot for migration along the valley and has had nearly 200 bird species recorded, including a number of rare and scarce birds; including Bittern, Night Heron, Purple Heron, Spoonbill, Little Egret, Red-crested Pochard, American Wigeon, Honey-buzzard, Red-footed Falcon, Quail, Hoopoe, Wryneck, Red-rumped Swallow, Black Redstart and Great Grey Shrike.
It is also a good local site for Water Rail, who can be seen well under the feeders at Aldercar Lane, and is a locally important site for wildfowl, especially in winter. In summer there are a number of breeding birds, including wildfowl, birds of prey, warblers, waders and Kingfisher.
The main speciality is Banded Demoiselle, but the species list includes Azure Damselfly, Banded Demoiselle, Black-tailed Skimmer, Blue-tailed Damselfly, Broad-bodied Chaser, Brown Hawker, Common Blue Damselfly, Common Darter, Emerald Damselfly, Emperor Dragonfly, Four-spotted Chaser, Large Red Damselfly, Migrant Hawker, Red-eyed Damselfly, Red-veined Darter and Southern Hawker.
The area sustains an important population of Water Voles, as well as foxes and weasel. Grass Snake and amphibians, Butterflies and insects all take refuge here too.
This is a large site and access can be gained at various points. At the Aldercar end, park on Plumtree Road and walk down Stoney Lane which is a public right of way. If approaching from Brinsley then park on Stoney Lane in the small parking bay by the feeded, but take care as Stoney Lane can flood on the causeway when water levels are high.
At Jacksdale, park at the community centre and cross over the river and walk down the canal.
Alternatively park near the Stoneyford Lodge and enter the reserve by the Kennels.
There is a network of paths to explore, please keep to the public rights of way at all times and keep out of the fenced areas.
View Erewash Meadows in a larger map