The Willows or (Clayworth Copse)

Private but has limited Right of Way access

This area can be a very productive location away from the main reserve. Limited access via an existing right of way from Neatholme footbridge leading NE through the Copse and eventually leading over farmland to Clayworth village. There are many Hawthorn and Blackthorn hedges found here along the main track, some wide-open grassland to the north and south with Willow and Oak surrounding the whole area. The hedgerows can at times produce lots of migrant warblers including Spotted Flycatcher and Redstart especially in early autumn. Breeding birds include Little and Barn Owl, Lesser Whitethroat, Common Whitethroat, Yellowhammer, Bullfinch and Willow Tit amongst more common species like Chaffinch, Blue Tit, Blackbird and Song Thrush. Winter can be productive with numerous winter thrush flocks often found feeding here and Short-eared Owl and Hen Harrier can be found hunting. The eastern boundary has a wide water filled ditch which often produces sightings of Kingfisher, Green Sandpiper (even in winter) and Little Egret. The farmland surrounding this site is often particularly good birding to.


Rarities have included:

  • Great Grey Shrike (2009)
  • Richard’s Pipit (2016)
  • Red-backed Shrike (2017)


Scarce birds have included:

  • Honey Buzzard
  • Hen Harrier
  • Short-eared Owl
  • Twite.