Lofthouse is a fairly new nature reserve although it was reclaimed in the late 1980’s following the pit closure in 1981, a lottery grant utilised in 2013 has meant that the paths are now much improved.
Coming up to the gate on Lingwell Nook Lane red valerian, corn sow thistle, woodruff and wild sage grew along the roadside; turning left onto the gravelled path the first clearing was full of ribbed melilot, wild carrot, red bartsia and bird’s foot trefoil. The morning began to warm up bringing out numbers of meadow brown, gatekeeper and ringlet butterflies. Great willowherb, upright hedge parsley, common centaury, ox-eye daisies and many common spotted orchids brightened our path with tansy just coming into flower. Returning up the slope we identified this spindle tree but I’m sure there were others to see, the seed heads turn rosy-red when ripe and split open to display orangey red seeds.