Paradise local nature reserve is a wooded area surrounding a small marsh. It’s on the west bank of the River Cam, southwest of Sheep’s Green and Lammas Land.
The reserve is one of the few wet woodland sites along the Cam, and so it is a vital habitat for many species.
A low canopy of willow and alder trees dominates, providing a varied and diverse structure. Willowherbs, meadowsweet and water mint all thrive here.
A historic stand of butterbur at the lower end of the reserve has been mentioned in documents dating back to the 1600s. The glorious pink flower spikes that bloom before the leaves in early spring are spectacular.
You can often hear chiffchaffs and willow warblers in the warmer months.
The reserve’s willow trees are home to the rare musk beetle. The adult beetle’s metallic blue-green colour and long antennae make it an exciting find in the summer.
We do not heavily manage the wet woodland or ‘carr’ areas, allowing the natural process of willows splitting, falling and regrowing to take place. This creates many opportunities for invertebrates, bats and birds to find nesting holes and shelter.
We manage the marsh area to keep some areas of open water to attract waterfowl such as water rail, moorhen and migrating geese.
You can enter the reserve from Owlstone Road and from Lammas Land car park.
The riverside path through the reserve is prone to flooding in winter. There are boardwalks at the rear to allow access when flooding occurs. The boardwalk is wide enough for wheelchairs and prams.
There is a car park at Lammas Land, which is next to the reserve. There are also toilet facilities and a café.