Copper Hill & Dukes Covert

Dukes Covert


dukesPhoto by LWT

Duke's Covert lies in the triangle of land at Copper Hill between Ermine Street (B6403) and the road to Heydour, about 1 km (0.6 miles) to the south of Ancaster. The reserve entrance is some 200 m along the road to Heydour from the Ermine Street junction. There is limited parking space at the roadside.
Visitors are advised to take particular care when visiting Copper Hill due to fast moving traffic on Ermine Street.

chCopper Hill

Description and Management
The roadside verges at Copper Hill are among those protected under the scheme operated by the Trust and Lincolnshire County Council (PRV 024). They have a particularly rich limestone flora with much rock-rose, horseshoe and kidney vetches, spiny restharrow, purple milk-vetch and fairy flax. Butterflies include brimstone and common blue. This was the last known Lincolnshire locality for the chalkhill blue butterfly, and is the most northerly point for man orchid in Britain. Glow-worms may be seen here, and on Duke's Covert.

CopperhillCopper Hill

The adjoining Duke's Covert is old limestone grassland, which accommodates landing lights for the nearby Barkston Heath airfield. In recent years it had become overgrown and invaded by bracken and scrub of gorse and hawthorn, but with careful removal of scrub, and with mowing and grazing, the interest is being restored. Many limestone flowers thrive here, including common and greater knapweed, mignonette, burnet-saxifrage, dropwort, field scabious and columbine, a scarce plant in Lincolnshire. In spring there is a colourful display of cowslip, hairy violet and early-purple orchid. As spring rolls into summer the flora includes St John's-wort, rock-rose, horseshoe vetch and small patches of purple milk-vetch and lesser meadow-rue. In high summer the scabious and knapweeds attract butterflies in good numbers.

Man orchidCopper Hill Man Orchid         photo Gail Talton
beeCopper Hill Bee Orchid                photo Gail Talton