• icon


    Heath End Lane, Calke, South Derbyshire, Derbyshire, England, LE65 1RR

  • icon

    OS Grid Ref


  • icon



  • icon

    Path type

    Surfaced paths

  • icon


    Steep inclines and uneven ground

  • icon

    Site Owner

    Leicestershire & Rutland Wildlife Trust

  • icon
Explore on the map

Browse the National Forest Map and explore this destination and things nearby.

View the map


For 200 years, up to the end of the 19th century, this site was home to an extensive area of limestone and lead mining. A branch of the Ashby to Ticknall tramway was opened in 1830 to carry the burnt lime off-site and remains of the line can still be seen. As industry retreated, wildlife stepped in. Dimminsdale is now a 6.5-hectare nature reserve, owned by Severn Trent Water and managed by the Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust. This reserve is well known for the spectacular display of snowdrops that appear in late winter and early spring. A visit to this special site is a must to enjoy the carpet of white that appears, giving hope that warmer times are on the way and spring is just around the corner.

The flooded pools and brooks have led to a good mix of habitats – with scrub, damp woodland, open water and glades. The large field to the south and east of the wood supports heath grassland plant species, including sheep’s fescue, heath grass, heath bedstraw and harebell. Such a variety of plants supports a diverse insect population, which in turn draws in more charismatic species. There is plenty of birdlife including woodpeckers, nuthatch and blackcap, and visitors may be fortunate enough to see wood mice, hares or deer.


  • Information centre
  • Picnic tables
  • Refreshments available at Staunton Harold Hall and Calke Abbey nearby
  • Walking trails

Advance visit information

  • Car parking available near the picnic area

Discover more

To enhance your visit to the National Forest why not take a look at the unique array of attractions on offer. 

Explore a trail

Why not explore the Forest on one of our circular trails? Each showcasing the variety of landscapes across the National Forest.