Wildlife and nature

Covering more than a third of the District, The National Forest offers unprecedented opportunities to create wildlife habitats.

Here are a few worth looking out for:

Coton Park Local Nature Reserve

When operations stopped at the former coal stacking yard in Linton, the site was restored to a mosaic of habitats, with wetland habitat providing a particular area of interest. Several species of locally rare or uncommon birds and plants have been recorded here.

Coton Park covers more than 10 hectares and comprises areas of broadleaved woodland, restored agricultural pasture land, hedges, areas of open water, ditches, reed bed, swamp, scrub and mature trees and a nature walk. The site was designated as a Local Nature Reserve in 2011.

Midway Fishponds

The site was first developed in the late 19th century to serve an adjacent mill. Later the ponds became used as sludge lagoons as part of the coal production process by local opencast mines. They now form an important wetland habitat and a valuable local amenity for informal recreation and education. The site is freely accessible and is currently licensed to the Swadlincote and District Angling Club for fishing.


This former local sandstone quarry and agricultural land in Midway is now a haven for wildlife. Small copses of woodland, heathland, wildflower meadows and a sandstone slope provide a wide variety of habitats. A tranquil spot, its elevated position offers great views across Swadlincote.

Further information

More information on habitats and species action plans covering South Derbyshire can be found in the Lowland Derbyshire Biodiversity Action Plan and The National Forest Biodiversity Action Plan.

Derbyshire Wildlife Trust also manages sites in Drakelow, Hilton and Willington.

Our Environmental Education Project team runs events and activities for all age groups. You can find out more by clicking on Environmental Education Project in the related links section on this page.