Fen Carr is a hidden gem surrounded by a traditional farming landscape of small hedgerow bounded fields. These traditional hay meadows contain locally rare and nationally declining species and form a vital stepping stone in the landscape.
Sympathetically farmed for nearly half-a-century by a local tenant farmer, Fen Carr comprises two traditional hay meadows that form art of the pastoral working landscape.
Due to the 1825 Hatfield, Thorne and Fishlake Enclosure Award the owner of Fen Carr is required by Parliament to maintain ‘forever’ some of the hedgerows bordering the site. The Award also decrees that the two little brick bridges at the entrances be maintained, and goes as far as to specify the depths and widths of all the ditches. These ditches are important, as the high water table here supports the wildlife present.
With an abundance of wildflowers, this nature reserve provides a real treat when visiting in late spring or early summer.
The nature reserve is of botanical importance, containing over 70 species of which many are locally rare as well as nationally declining. Sneezewort, sweet vernal grass and pepper saxifrage all grow at Fen Carr. These have others support a healthy population of butterfly and moth species including a number of browns, blues, coppers, hairstreaks, whites and occasional skippers. Of the birds and mammals that visit the nature reserve of particular interest are curlew and green woodpecker.
A late haycut occurs, after which the land is grazed, usually by cattle. The Trust works to restore the hedgerows in addition to those that were recognised as important in the 1825 Award.
Discover Yorkshire’s Wildlife
Yorkshire Wildlife Trust’s Discover Yorkshire’s Wildlife book, which has detailed information on all of Yorkshire Wildlife and Sheffield Wildlife Trust’s reserves, is available to buy now from our online shop.
Train link available to Hatfield and Stainforth railway station from Doncaster railway station. Bus services run from Doncaster town centre.
A mile after the hamlet of Fosterhouses the road turns sharply to the right. On the bend, an unsigned dirt track leads off to the left (Carr Head Lane). Parking is on the lane but with consideration to farm machinery. The nature reserve is about 200m up the lane on the right hand side.
Want to see more of Fen Carr Nature Reserve before your visit? Have a look below.