Banded Demoiselle on Great Burnet at Mill Crook

Banded Demoiselle on Great Burnet at Mill Crook - Nathalie Hueber

Mill Crook and Grafton Regis Meadow

This nature reserve requires permission to access. Please see contact details below.
 

Traditional hay meadows form an oasis for wildlife in a sea of agriculture

Location

Grafton Regis, 9 miles from
Northamptonshire
Northampton
MK19 6BG
A static map of Mill Crook and Grafton Regis Meadow

Know before you go

Size
8 hectares

Entry fee

No

Parking information

Grafton Regis: park on grass verge on left near canal bridge. Mill Crook: contact the Northamptonshire office before your planned visit to obtain advice and details on access to this site

Grazing animals

Yes

Access

Please contact the Trust for permission to visit this reserve.

Dogs

On a lead

When to visit

Opening times

Open at all times

Best time to visit

May to June

About the reserve

These are the last remaining fragments of traditional hay meadows once frequent in this part of the Tove Valley. Their status as Nature Reserves now protects them from modern intensive farming. Still showing evidence of medieval ridge-and-furrow cultivation, Mill Crook in summer is a sea of wildflowers, including pepper-saxifrage, meadowsweet, bog stitchwort, meadow vetchling and great burnet. It is also alive with insects including orange-tip and meadow brown butterflies and five-spot burnet moth.

Among the attractive grasses, such as quaking-grass and meadow foxtail, you will find yellow rattle, an indicator species of old grassland. This semi-parasite attaches itself to the roots of other species and its ripe seeds rattle inside the fruiting head, hence its name. Look out for kingfishers, nesting along the banks of the River Tove, and listen for the distinctive 'coor-loo' calls of curlews. Lapwing, long-tailed tit, bullfinch, yellowhammer and wren are frequent visitors to these reserves.   

Contact us

Contact number: 01604 405285

Environmental designation

Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI)