Maltby Low Common Nature Reserve

Maltby Low Common Nature Reserve Credit Jim Horsfall

Maltby Low Common Nature Reserve

Rich in wildflowers and grasses, including the delicate grass-of-Parnassus, this nature reserve is a joy to behold come early summer, whilst the varied geology is clearly visible, reflected in a change of vegetation from one side to the other.


Off Outgang Lane
South Yorkshire
S66 7JX

OS Map Reference

A static map of Maltby Low Common Nature Reserve

Know before you go

7 hectares

Entry fee


Parking information

Small area of parking on Lansbury Avenue, or park by the Far Common on Stoneywell Lane.

Walking trails

A footpath takes you to the adjoining Far Common.


Unfortunately not wheelchair or pushchair accessible.


On a lead

When to visit

Opening times

Open at all times

Best time to visit

March to September


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.

Maltby Low Common has a wide variety of soil types, giving rise to dry grassland and fen 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.

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. 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. 

Seasonal highlights

  • Spring: Birds - Whitethroat; Invertebrates - Orange-tip
  • Summer: Plants - Grass-of-Parnassus; Tufted hair-grass; Pepper saxifrage; Meadow thistle; Sneezewort
  • Autumn: Fungi 
  • Winter: Birds - Long-tailed tit


The site is owned by the Sandbeck Estate, with Sandbeck house very nearby. It was opened as a nature reserve in 1971 and Yorkshire Wildlife Trust has managed the site since the 1980s, and now work with others through the Maltby Commons Management Committee to influence management of the adjoining and nearby sites.
There are no 'commoners' (people who hold common rights) left, although the site is still technically a common. But the site is regularly used by local Maltby reisdents for a walk in wildlife.






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

By car
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.