fox covert lnr long eaton

Grid ref: SK486334

Owner: Erewash Borough Council

Designated LNR: 1993

Main partners: EBC, Derbyshire Wildlife Trust

Size: 4.8ha

Main habitat types

  • Marsh
  • Willow Carr
  • Pond
  • Hawthorn scrub
  • Neutral grassland

Fox Covert Local Nature Reserve is located in south east corner of West Park. Fox Covert offers a rare opportunity to stroll in tranquil unspoilt countryside only a short distance from Long Eaton's bustling town centre. The area is part of the River Trent flood plain and is flat and low lying and is (along with the rest of West Park) an important area to hold flood water to protect Long Eaton from exceptional flood conditions. As such Fox Covert even in summer has standing water and marshland. Fox Covert is so named because when it was owned by the Earl of Harrington of Elvaston Castle the area was planted up to provide cover for foxes. Previously the area was known as Brick Kiln Close because it was a good source of clay for the thriving local brick making industry. Evidence of the clay pits can be seen all over the reserve. The wildlife interest of Fox Covert is considerable. It is a Grade 1 site on the Biological Sites Register for Derbyshire, which means it is significantly important within the county.

The marshland and willow carr habitats are particularly important containing Derbyshire Red Data species such as Pendulous Sedge (Carex pendula), Tubular Water-dropwort (Oenanthe fistulosa) and Brown Sedge (Carex disticha).

Groundwork Erewash Valley has been managing the reserve since 1991 with the help of local community groups. Improvements have been made on making the reserve accessible including surfacing paths and installing boardwalk in the marshland area, grassland, pond, unsafe trees felled has concentrated on the grassland - has suffered from lack of management.

The reserve can be reached through any of the entrances to West Park. If car parking is required this is most available at West Park Leisure Centre off Wilsthorpe Road.

The site is not accessible by wheelchair or pushchair.

Community Links
The reserve provides a "wild" element within what is otherwise West Park's typical town park with its Leisure Centre, sports fields and general recreational facilities. Regular Walking for Health programmes frequently use the reserve within their walks.

Local primary schools have undertaken small planting programmes and still use it as an outdoor learning facility.

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