This trio of sites forms a network that links with other nature reserves and green spaces across Bulwell and Bestwood towards the city centre. Each site has its own distinct character: a wildlife walkway and cycle route along a former railway line, through the long thin oak woodland of Hucknall Road; a marvellous marshy pond at Moorbridge; and a wonderful wildlife garden at Springfield Corner.
Hucknall Road Linear Walkway and Springfield Corner are managed by Nottingham City Council; Moorbridge Pond is managed by Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust.
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Hucknall Linear Walkway:
You may be forgiven for thinking that wildlife would steer well clear of railway lines, but when trains no longer use the tracks, animals and woodlands take over.
Mainly oak woodland, the walkway links Bestwood Country Park to the City. It’s not just us that use it as a path. To insects, birds and bats it is an important ‘wildlife corridor’: a route for wild critters to move between Bestwood village and the city centre as well!
Interesting birds and animals flock to this area. You may see birds like the spotted flycatcher or goldfinch amongst the trees, or even a meadow pipit. Bats emerge at dusk and feed near the trees and there have also been sightings of lizards along the walkway!
If you’re fonder of plants, the walkway has some quite special varieties as well. The delicate harebell, hairy St. Johns Wort and hemp agrimony can all be found here.
Moorbridge Pond and Springfield Corner:
Some people argue that these 2 sites form the most exciting nature reserve on our list! It is one of the few wetlands left in the City, and its soggy ground means it is a very exciting habitat for wildlife.
Moorbridge Pond is next to the freshwater spring originally called “Bull Well”. This area was formerly called 'Bulwell Bogs' - from where Bulwell gets its name! Whereas once it would have been a massive area of wetland, now the spring runs into the River Leen. It is the river that splits the Pond with Springfield Corner.
Look out for attractive plants like the hairy willow herb and skullcap. In the marsh you’ll find birds like the reed warbler, song thrush and wren. Jumping in and out of the pond are frogs and toads, while up the sandy banks, you may just see a lizard.
More information on Moorbridge Pond can be found on Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust's website.
Hucknall Road Linear Walkway and Springfield Corner are managed by Nottingham City Council. Moorbridge Pond is managed by Nottinghamshire wildlife Trust on behalf of Nottingham City Council.
Moorbridge Pond is a wetland nature reserve. Look out for the different wildlife habitats: boggy marshland and pond, surrounded by scrub (low bracken and other woody plants) and woodland. Why not take a walk down the boardwalk to get a closer look at wetland wildlife?
Hucknall Road Linear Walkway has many entry and access points along its length. Why not enjoy a stroll or cycle along this unique green space, right on your doorstep? If you live in the area you may find it a useful route to get to Tesco, Southglade Leisure Centre or the City Hospital, to name just a few places. So move off the noisy roadside pavement and use the woodland walk to get around!
The Bull Well spring would have originally surfaced here
At the City end of Hucknall Road Linear Walkway, the nature reserve expands into a triangle-shaped green space on the other side of Arnold Road. This is a grassy habitat, but you will also see heathland plants such as gorse and broom growing here.
It is very easy to reach Hucknall Road Linear Walkway, Moorbridge Pond and Springfield Corner by public transport. The lower half of Hucknall Road is served by the NCT brown line number 17 bus. Springfield Corner is right next to the Moorbridge tram stop, so it is a quick walk around the corner to reach Moorbridge Pond and Hucknall Road from this stop too. The NCT yellow line number 70 bus also reaches the very top end and all 3 reserves.
Hucknall Road Linear Walkway is both a woodland walk for commuters and a wildlife corridor for birds, small mammals and other creatures. The walkway links many green spaces together, and so is vitally important in helping wildlife to spread across more habitat.
You may be particularly impressed by the amount of oak trees along the entirety of the walkway. Oak trees are very imprtant for our wildlife, as they are a type of tree that is originally from Britain. This means they are well designed to meet the needs of our British wildlife species. There are also remnants of heathland habitat here, including broom and gorse in patches throughout the woodland.
Springfield Corner is on the corner of Hucknall Road and Hucknall Lane. If you enter the reserve and get away from the road, you will find a wildlife site with as many habitats as can be fitted into a small area!
Springfield Corner has had a makeover in 2012 - and the nature trail is now restored, access is improved, and the site has a lovely woodcarving of a Frog.
The path into the site walks you through both woodland and wildflower areas, and a quick look to the right and you suddently get a site of the River Leen!