Bardney Limewoods National Nature Reserve

National Nature Reserves (NNRs) were initially established as places of scientific study and to inform best management practice. They are a selection of England’s very best Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs), which means that all NNRs are nationally important for nature conservation and have legal protection reflecting this.

Britain’s greatest concentration of woodlands dominated by small‐leaved limeoccurs in the woodlands around Bardney in Lincolnshire, more than half of which make up Bardney Limewoods NNR. The assemblage of species in these woodlands is believed to be similar to that prevalent in lowland Britain in the Atlantic Period, some 5‐8,000 years ago. These sites have been high forest or managed as coppice since at least the 11th century. They overlie a variety of soil types, giving rise to varied ground flora and different tree and shrub communities.

Bardney Limewoods NNR was declared in 1997 under Section 19 of the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1959. The NNR consists of 9 separate woods (Wickenby Wood; part of Newball Wood; Hardy Gang Wood, Great West & Cocklode Wood; College Wood; Little Scrubbs Wood; Ivy wood; Hatton Wood; Scotgrove Wood and Southrey Wood) covering 382 hectares.  The woodlands within the NNR have been surveyed since the 1960s and much of the research, undertaken by George Peterken, resulted in important ecological papers on such topics as ancient woodland indicators and Peterken stand types. 

For more information on National Nature Reserves visit the Natural England website.

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Last updated: 13 December 2011

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