Beacon Hill Country Park
Beacon Hill Country Park, close to Woodhouse Eaves, is owned and managed by Leicestershire County Council. Rising to a height of 245m, Beacon Hill is one of the highest points in Leicestershire and boasts spectacular views of Charnwood Forest and the Soar Valley. Covering 128ha, the Country Park consists of mixed woodland, grassland, open heathland, wetlands and rocky outcrops. It has a range of interesting features that await any visitor.
The Country Park supports an important range of plants and animals, and is part of the 'Beacon Hill, Hangingstone and Outwoods' Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). The management of the park aims to balance public access with the need to maintain and enhance the habitats for which the site is important. As a result, Beacon Hill Country Park was the recipient of the 1996 English Nature Award for Management.
The most visible aspects of the management of the Park's habitats are the grazing sheep, cattle and alpaca that are moved around the site to graze different areas of grassland and heathland. The heathland areas are also being restored through the clearance of large areas of bracken and the spreading of heather seed from local sources. A large area of open land is being managed to encourage different types of grassland - acid grassland, hay meadow and heathland.
An additional 27.5ha of new woodland and open space were added through the National Forest Tender Scheme in 2000. This woodland area, known as West Beacon Fields, incorporates an old hedge line to maintain this important feature as a wildlife corridor.
Elsewhere, there are a number of existing field ponds with interesting populations of amphibians, such as newts, toads and frogs as well as insects like dragonflies and diving beetles. An old stone wall on the site acts as a hibernaculum for adders and other reptiles to use for their winter hibernation. Beacon Hill has a rich bird-life and a range of different species can be seen in the different parts of the site.
Beacon Hill is also the site of a Bronze Age hill fort believed to be up to 3,000 years old. Over the years a range of archaeological tools and jewellery has been found. Many of these can be seen in local museums such as the Jewry Wall Museum in Leicester.
Close to the lower car park, a Native Tree Collection has been planted with over 8,000 trees. These trees represent each of the 28 species of trees and shrubs that are native to the British Isles. The collection can be accessed via a surfaced footpath and sanded horse track.
Separate cycle, walking and all-abilities paths around the Country Park ensure access for all users is available.
- Baby Changing Facilities
- Car Parking
- Children Welcome
- Coach Parking
- Cycle Trails
- Disabled Parking
- Disabled Toilets
- Dogs Allowed
- Horse Riding Trails
- Information Centre
- Open All Year
- Picnic Area
- Walking Trails
- Wheelchair Access