Posted: Thursday 10th April 2014 by ASpecialPlaceEachWeek

Bluebells at Lea Wood (Image Credit: Jim Lambeth)

One of the best examples of ancient woodland in Derbyshire, Lea Wood is abundant with bursts of wild flower, breeding birds and rare moth species, making it a wonderful and bright place to visit during the spring.

This ancient woodland on slopes high above the Cromford Canal was once part of the estate of the Nightingale family, where Florence spent her summers at Lea Hurst.

At the end of June 2013, Lea Wood was given as a gift to Derbyshire Wildlife Trust by the Lea Wood Trust and now remains as an important habitat to many wildlife species. Wild daffodils and bluebells flower here, while heather and bilberry grow on the upper slopes. Among its varied birds are several that are declining in numbers, including the pied flycatcher - which regularly breeds in the wood here, lesser spotted woodpeckers and spotted flycatchers.

The open upper slopes are a good place to look for the spectacular mounds of the northern wood ant, while at least 25 priority moth species listed in the UK Biodiversity Action Plan have been recorded here, including that of the september thorn and small phoenix.

For more information you can visit Derbyshire Wildlife Trust’s Website.

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