Leicestershire - Sence Valley

Leicestershire - Sence Valley - The UK's Best Wildlife Locations
From 1982 to 1996 this section of Sence Valley formed part of a large opencast mining area which covered appoximately 186 hectares (460 acres). During this period approximately 8 million tonnes of coals was extracted from the site for use as fuel in the power industry. In 1996 when coal extraction had finished the soil was compacted, cultivated and a drainage system installed. 150 acres were given over to Leicestershire County Council to form the forest park and in the winter of 1998 around 98,000 trees were planted to restore the landscape.

On the A447 Ravenstone Road just North of Ibstock.

Long grassy areas at the park have become home for many wild mammals including field voles, shrews, stoats, rabbits and foxes.
Signs are around that water voles are present on certain streams coming off of the River Sence.
It has recently become evident that otters too are once again using the River Sence, which flows through the park. Work on encouraging otters to make the park their home more permenatly has begun.
With areas of woodland, water and open ground Sence Valley is a good area to watch out for bats. Among the species using the park are the pipistrelle, daubenton's and noctule.

The forest park attracts a wide variety of bird species to the sight with an impressive list of over 150 different species being seen at the park since it's creation in 1998. The lakes provide habitat for species such as heron, coots, tufted duck, pochard, wigeon and great crested grebe. An artifical nesting wall on the banks of the Horseshoe lake provides much needed sites for sand martins visiting over the summer months. Kestrels successfully nest on site year on year and if you're very lucky you may even catch a glance at a barn owl or short eared owl.

During the summer months Sence Valley is awash with insects of all types. Butterflies which can be seen include Gatekeeper, Meadow Brown, Speckled Wood, Small skipper, Green Veined White, Peacock and Small tortoiseshell. Around the lakes damselflies such as Common Blue, Blue tailed and Azure as well as dragonflies like the Southern and Brown Hawker are also fairly abundant.
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Also in: The UK's Best Wildlife Locations

Argyll - Ardnamurchan Peninsula
Argyll - The Isle of Mull
Bedfordshire - The Lodge: RSPB Headquarters in Sandy
Buckinghamshire - Burnham Beeches (Photo not for sale)
Cambridgeshire - Hampton reserve near Peterborough
Cambridgeshire - Paxton pits
Cambridgeshire - Wandlebury Country Park
Cambridgeshire - Wicken Fen
Cornwall - Roughtor
Cairngorms - Glen Clova
Cornwall - The Lost Gardens of Heligan
Devon - Eggesford
Devon - Offwell
Dumfriesshire - Caerlaverock
Durham - Low Barns

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