Bradgate Park and Swithland Wood: Now a National Nature Reserve!

We are thrilled to announce that Bradgate Park and Swithland Wood have been awarded National Nature Reserve (NNR) status by Natural England. This prestigious recognition highlights the exceptional geological and ecological significance of this much-loved parkland and woodland.

This designation is part of the King’s Series of National Nature Reserves, established to celebrate the Coronation of His Majesty King Charles III. These reserves aim to create a lasting public legacy for people and nature, and we are honoured to be included.

A Geological Treasure

Bradgate Park and Swithland Wood are home to some of the oldest rocks and fossils in England, dating back to the Precambrian Period over half a billion years ago. The fossils discovered here offer rare evidence of early marine lifeforms, making this site a crucial part of our natural heritage.


A Haven for Wildlife

As a National Nature Reserve, Bradgate Park and Swithland Wood will be managed for the benefit of their wildlife and geology. Our site is also a protected Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), ensuring its conservation for future generations. Visitors can explore diverse habitats, from ancient oak trees and medieval parkland to vital grasslands and the last remaining fragments of wet heathland in the county.

Discover Swithland Wood

Swithland Wood, with its former slate quarries, is an ancient woodland teeming with wildlife. From skylarks and nuthatches to the rare ‘Charnwood’ spider and small heath butterfly, this habitat supports a diverse array of species.

A Rich History

Once home to Queen Lady Jane Grey, the 9-day Queen of England and an internationally significant Upper Palaeolithic settlement, the Park is steeped in history and managed by the Bradgate Park Trust.

Established in the 1920s by Charles Bennion, as an independent charity we ensure the park remains a cherished and welcoming space for all.


Come and experience the wonder of Bradgate Park and Swithland Wood, now a proud National Nature Reserve!