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Maltby Low Common Nature Reserve

A mosaic of grassland communities rich in wildflowers and grasses, including grass of Parnassus. Changing geology allows visitors to revel in the change of vegetation from one part of the site to another.

Maltby Low Common has a wide variety of soil types, giving rise to dry grassland and few meadow which provides an excellent home for both wildflowers and insects.

The south part of the site has typical limestone grassland species including grass of Parnassus, field scabious and small scabious. The flat area below the bank includes species more typical of fen meadow.

Top Tip:

Anyone wanting to compare the floristic diversity of calcarious, acid and neutral grassland should certainly pay Maltby Low Common a visit. With all three grassland types in close proximity, this site provides a unique opportunity.

Other plants to be found include marsh valerian, mat grass, tufted hair-grass, heather, pepper saxifrage, meadow thistle, sneezewort, lousewort and aspen. Sedges include glaucous, oval and carnation. Beautiful common spotted orchids flower in abundance from early June. The site is rich in insects; well over 400 species have been recorded to date. Many species of butterfly and moth can be seen including brimstone, orange-tip, small copper, wall, heath, cinnabar and silver Y. Birds to be seen include buzzard, kestrel, turtle dove, cuckoo, barn owl, whitethroat and garden warbler. In the winter, parties of foraging tits and thrushes can be seen.

The nature reserve is leased from the Earl of Scarborough and is part of a much wider site which is managed by the Sandbeck Estate. It was opened as a nature reserve in 1971 and management has focuses on improving the habitats for wildlife since then.

Recent management has included laying some of the hedges that bound the site to improve the habitat for nesting birds and reduce shading of the grassland.

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

Buses run from Doncaster to Maltby. From Maltby the nature reserve is a 20 minute walk.


Approximately one mile south east of Maltby. From the M18 Junction 1 take the A631 to Maltby. Then take the right fork, the A634 Blyth road. After passing Maltby Craggs School, turn left at the next signpost, then right after 100 metres. Pass the Sports Ground and park cars near the corner where the road turns left into the Birks Hold housing estate. Proceed on foot over the railway bridge, along the unsurfaced track and descend to the Low Common.

Want to see more of Maltby Low Common Nature Reserve before your visit? Have a look below.

Maltby Low Common Nature Reserve photos in our Flickr group

Nearby nature reserves

Dyscarr Wood
4 miles - Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust
Sprotbrough Flash Nature Reserve
6 miles - Yorkshire Wildlife Trust
Potteric Carr Nature Reserve
6 miles - Yorkshire Wildlife Trust

Nature reserve map

Reserve information

Off Outgang Lane
South Yorkshire
S66 7JX
Map reference
SK 543 914
Great for...
a family day out
Best time to visit
May - Sep
Get directions
Find out here
Public transport
Plan your journey
Opening Times
Open at all times
6.50 hectares
Local Nature Reserve (LNR)
Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI)

Permissive footpaths. Open access on the common. Contact the Trust for disabled access information.
Walking information
Permissive footpaths. Open access on the common.
Park cars on Outgang Lane near the corner where the road turns left into the Birks Holt housing estate.
Dogs must be on lead
Reserve manager
Yorkshire Wildlife Trust
Tel: 01904 659570


Factsheets and guides for your visit