The Lye Brook was once the centre of a large boggy area known by various names including ‘Hogley Bog’ and ‘Bullingdon Bog’. It is a very rare environment:  a wet area, fed by lime-rich springs along the valley walls, making it technically a ‘calcareous fen’. It is home to many unusual plants that are adapted to this environment, including the marsh helleborine, an orchid which flourishes here, and grass of Parnassus, a very rare species in this part of the UK. It is also abundant in wild-life: unusual insects including the brown hairstreak butterfly and glow-worms, birds such as the reed warbler, reptiles (grass snakes, slow-worms and lizards) and of course foxes, badgers, and occasional deer. The importance of this area has led to the designation of two Sites of Special Scientific Interest, the North and South Fens, which are protected by national legislation. A boardwalk that snakes through the valley has improved access for all visitors.

The North and South Fens provide opportunities to walk, sit and relax or to get hands-on and help protect the rare habitats. The Friends of Lye Valley welcome any volunteers who would like to work on restoring the habitats, removing alien species and helping to improve the watercourses within the Valley.

Best time to visit:
Spring and early summer show the wild flowers at their best.

Location

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Latitude / Longitude: 51.7464616, -1.2056399

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