King's Lane Orchard Nature Reserve
A small, stream side community orchard at the edge of the village of Powerstock.
A remnant of the cider apple orchards which used to be common around the village, this peaceful spot is a great place to stop for a picnic, or call in to appreciate the blossom and early spring flowers. Although the older trees, in various states of decay, provide excellent habitat for invertebrates and lichens, the orchard has been reinvigorated with the help of the local school who have planted new apple trees alongside the old ones. The grassland supports spring and late summer flowers including several water-loving species such as marsh marigold, ragged robin, moschatel and opposite-leaved golden-saxifrage, while common meadow butterflies visit the flowers and gorge on the sugars of fallen apples in the autumn. A small stream marks the southern border of the orchard with ferns and liverworts growing on the banks, and otters known to pass through at times. A leaftlet about the site can be downloaded here.
Following the road heading east from the centre of Powerstock village, the reserve is about 500m after The Three Horseshoes Inn on King’s Lane.
Access and safety
Enter the reserve by the little gate from the road just to the east of Hillside Cottage and wander around the orchard or pick a spot for a picnic. For the main part, the site slopes gently down towards the stream but there are unprotected banks to the eastern side of the reserve. The site is briefly grazed by sheep each year when electric fencing is used around the egde of the stream. The ground can be wet and boggy near the steam and ticks may be present on site - see our Visitor Information page for more information about grazing animals and general countryside hazards.
Species and habitats
Orchard, meadow, stream.
Cowslip, marsh marigold, common bird's-foot-trefoil, common knapweed, bullfinch, orange tip, meadow brown.
Nearby nature reserves
Nature reserve map
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