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Fen Carr Nature Reserve

Fen Carr is a hidden gem surrounded by a traditional farming landscape of small hedgerow bounded fields. These traditional hay meadows contain locally rare and nationally declining species and form a vital stepping stone in the landscape.

Sympathetically farmed for nearly half-a-century by a local tenant farmer, Fen Carr comprises two traditional hay meadows that form art of the pastoral working landscape.

Due to the 1825 Hatfield, Thorne and Fishlake Enclosure Award the owner of Fen Carr is required by Parliament to maintain ‘forever’ some of the hedgerows bordering the site. The Award also decrees that the two little brick bridges at the entrances be maintained, and goes as far as to specify the depths and widths of all the ditches. These ditches are important, as the high water table here supports the wildlife present.

Top Tip:

With an abundance of wildflowers, this nature reserve provides a real treat when visiting in late spring or early summer.

The nature reserve is of botanical importance, containing over 70 species of which many are locally rare as well as nationally declining. Sneezewort, sweet vernal grass and pepper saxifrage all grow at Fen Carr. These have others support a healthy population of butterfly and moth species including a number of browns, blues, coppers, hairstreaks, whites and occasional skippers. Of the birds and mammals that visit the nature reserve of particular interest are curlew and green woodpecker.

A late haycut occurs, after which the land is grazed, usually by cattle. The Trust works to restore the hedgerows in addition to those that were recognised as important in the 1825 Award.

Discover Yorkshire’s Wildlife

Yorkshire Wildlife Trust’s Discover Yorkshire’s Wildlife book, which has detailed information on all of Yorkshire Wildlife and Sheffield Wildlife Trust’s reserves, is available to buy now from our online shop.

Public Transport

Train link available to Hatfield and Stainforth railway station from Doncaster railway station. Bus services run from Doncaster town centre.


A mile after the hamlet of Fosterhouses the road turns sharply to the right. On the bend, an unsigned dirt track leads off to the left (Carr Head Lane). Parking is on the lane but with consideration to farm machinery. The nature reserve is about 200m up the lane on the right hand side.


Want to see more of Fen Carr Nature Reserve before your visit? Have a look below.

Fen Carr Nature Reserve photos in our Flickr group


Nearby nature reserves

Hopyard Haymeadow Nature Reserve
3 miles - Yorkshire Wildlife Trust
Thorpe Marsh Nature Reserve
6 miles - Yorkshire Wildlife Trust
Crowle Moor
6 miles - Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust

Nature reserve map

Reserve information

Carr Head Lane
Nr. Fosterhouses
South Yorkshire
Map reference
SE 657 156
Great for...
historical interest
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Public transport
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Opening Times
Please time visits in sympathy with traditional agricultural schedules, contact the Trust for details.
3.77 hectares
There are no footpaths on the reserve. Please keep to field edges until hay is cut. Contact the Trust for disabled access information
Walking information
There are no footpaths on the reserve. Please keep to field edges until hay is cut. Dogs are not permitted on the reserve.
Laneside parking, with consideration for farm machinery.
No dogs allowed
Grazing animals
Grazing occurs by either sheep or cattle after the traditional haycut.
Reserve manager
Yorkshire Wildlife Trust
Tel: 01904 659570


Factsheets and guides for your visit