The Meden Trail
The Local Nature Reserve is a disused railway track and now contains areas of grassland and woodland. The site includes a section designated as Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). The site is leased to the Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust who manage parts of the site on behalf of Mansfield District Council
The site contains some of the best remaining calcareous grassland in the county. It also includes fine examples of calcareous woodland and scrub as well as interesting limestone crags and fissures.
The River Meden, which passes through the Vale, has important marsh and aquatic habitats with alder trees found along the river. The grassland contains tor grass, wild basil, great burnet saxifrage and nettle-leaved bellflower. The woodland is typically ash/elm with a rich shrub layer dominated by hazel. The ground flora supports many ancient woodland indicators including yellow archangel, sweet woodruff and dog’s mercury.
The limestone caves and fissures are of considerable geological and palaeontological interest.
The impressive complex of mill buildings in the bottom of the valley were built in 1847, 1850 and 1913, and were originally water powered. They ceased production in 1987 and have recently been converted into industrial and business units.
All three species of woodpecker can be found; great spotted, lesser spotted and green. A wide range of woodland birds can be seen along the trail including nuthatch and hawfinch.
The reserve is open to the public and it forms part of the more extensive Pleasley Trails network. There are several access points into the reserve, but the main car parks are at Outgang Lane (SK 501650), the Western end (SK 536646) and the Eastern end (SK527647).
There are a number of well-maintained paths and circular routes within the reserve. There is access for the disabled at the main car parks to some parts of the trail. The Mills road through the gorge is closed to vehicles.
The main aims of management are to maintain the diversity of habitats and encourage public access whilst ensuring that the wildlife value of the site is protected.
Species of interest
- Great spotted woodpecker
- Lesser spotted woodpecker
- Green woodpecker