Local Nature Reserve
Elvaston Castle Country Park not only has grade 11* listed gardens, but has its own designated Local Nature Reserve (LNR) for wildlife.
It became a LNR in 1989 and covers roughly 13.5 hectares. Depending on how much you stop along the way (there's lots to see!) − it should take you around an hour to follow the footpaths around the site.
The reserve contains veteran trees that were originally part of William Barron's landscape design from the 19th century. It is also connected to the more formal gardens and estate by waterways that feed Elvaston's Lake and wider gardens.
The reserve has a large reed bed area, wildflower meadows, wet woodlands, a lake and islands. It supports a large population of grass snakes − so keep your eyes peeled for snakes basking in the warmer weather.
Most paths are open all year round, but unfortunately become muddy in winter or in prolonged wet weather. A few are closed seasonally, to restrict access to the reed beds during the nesting season.
Because the reserve is designated for nature conservation and to minimise disturbance to wildlife − we do ask you not to bring dogs, horses or other domesticated animals onto the site. Please explore the reserve on foot and leave your bicycles at the entrance, where you will find a small rack to lock it up should you wish to.
If you're interested in volunteering and would like to help us manage Elvaston's Local Nature Reserve − please take a look at our volunteer pages.
You can download a free map of the reserve from this page or purchase a copy from our Information Centre and Shop in the cobbled courtyard.
The following document is in Portable Document Format (PDF). You can download software to view PDF documents for free from the Adobe website (opens in a new window)