Hills and Holes SSSI Centred at SK556679
 
Situation Hills and Holes is found at SK 556 679, situated between Warsop Vale, Sookholme and Market Warsop.

Parking and access There are three access areas. The better of the three (and safest on-road car parking) is either at the end of Stonebridge Road or on Sookholme Lane which is off Stonebridge Road at Market Warsop. Leave Mansfield on the A60 heading east and take the first left onto Stonebridge Road after entering Market Warsop. Drive to the end of the road and park sensibly.

Description and habitat Hills and Holes is an area of Calcareous grassland, with varying amounts of Hawthorn and Gorse scrub. It is the site of some former limestone workings and the old spoil heaps mean that one particular section is considerably more elevated than the rest. The River Meden flows through the site, effectively splitting it into four sections.

 
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Although there have been periods of sometimes several years between my visits, Hills and Holes (unlike many other places) still suffers from only small amounts of disturbance, which is refreshingly surprising in view of it's location in relation to nearby housing. The undulating terrain has been totally ignored by BMX bikers and the site only suffers some minor litter problems.

Wildlife Hills and Holes is a completely underwatched site, yet one of great potential to the natuarlist, whatever their particular field of study.

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  Birds Regular watching would certainly record migrant Redstart, Ring Ouzel and Firecrest. The Hawthorns attract good numbers of Winter thrushes and over 200 Blackbird were noted in November 2007. Siskins vary in numbers here each Winter, being attracted to the Alders along the river and good numbers of all the common warblers occur during the Summer months.

Kingfisher is regular along the length of the River Meden and this looks as good a site as any to attract another Dipper as it did in March 1986. Other past rarities include Nottinghamshire's first Arctic Redpoll, Great Grey Shrike and Waxwing.

Butterflies Held very small numbers of Dingy Skipper in the late 1980's and early 1990's which may still be present as colonies can be discreet. All the common species such as Common Blue, Speckled Wood and Gatekeeper occur here. There are good numbers of both Ringlet and Meadow Brown.

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Moths Very large numbers of the day-flying Chimney Sweeper (c300) were present in 2007. I am not aware of any survey of the site's moths being carried out, so species information is sparse to say the least.

Other flora and fauna Bee, Common Spotted and Early Purple Orchids occur here, although these can be difficult to find in poor flowering years. Hills and Holes supports a wide range of plants and flowers and Cowslip is common.

Summary Hills and Holes SSSI is well worth a visit during the peak migration periods for birds and during the Summer months for insects and flowers. Despite it's near urban situation, the site remains relatively quiet and largely unspoilt. There are times when the whole site is grazed by cattle and these can sometimes pose a problem.

 
 
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