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 Medbourne Hollow

This page charts the evolution of The Hollow into the much-loved nature reserve it is today.


In the 19th Century a combination of poor road surfaces and horse and cart transport made the movement of heavy goods very difficult. Bricks were a case in point and tended to be made in local clay pits close to where they were needed. The site of the present day Hollow was such a clay pit.

The Hollow before it was developed.

Inspired Vision

As the Sports Field itself developed the pit, owned by the Parish Council, remained a boggy overgrown wilderness. Various suggestions were made as to how it could be transformed including a car park or bowls green. However, Bryan Smith had a wider vision and wanted to construct a nature area to attract plants and wildlife.


In 1998 Bryan approached the Environment Agency with a design to create two islands with a deeper pool area and a shallower area below. With the considerable assistance of the Agency both physically and financially this work was carried out. Soil was then brought in and levelled to create the banks and paths. Drains were also laid to drain water from the tennis courts and neighbouring field, including a valve to regulate the flow of water into the lake, together with a flap valve to prevent the inflow of water from the brook.

The Hollow during development.


The official opening took place in 2002 and was carried out by the late Mrs Helen Jeffries a respected member of the community and who had also made a generous donation at the outset of the project.

Flora and Fauna

The Hollow has proved a haven for wild life. Most of the common garden birds are to be seen but among the more unusual visitors have been Kingfisher, Little Egret, Buzzard, Red Kite, Heron, Water Rail, Sparrow Hawk, Kestrel and, on occasions, Swans.

Bryan constructed a bird feeding station and Ann and Tom Price organise a rota of volunteers to keep the feeders replenished. Frogs, Toads and Newts are in residence and Muntjac Deer have been noticed. Many varieties of wild flowers are to be seen including Bluebells, Snowdrops, Cowslips and Marsh Marigolds, the planting carried out by Laurie and Bryan Smith aided by volunteers.

Trees, donated by Leicestershire County Council have been planted, the work mostly carried out by Kirby Bellars Nurseries.

Newly planted trees at The Hollow.

Special Thanks

A great many persons and organisations made this project possible and most are listed below. If anyone feels that someone has been missed out please contact the Site Administrator so that they can be added.

  • Environment Agency – donation of £700 to pay for excavator and donating stop valve.
  • Stephen Sanderson and Sons – provision of JCB to move soil.
  • David Beaty and Phillip Bromwich – provision of soil.
  • Ian Clark – assisting with original design.
  • Leicestershire County Council – for donating trees.
  • Medbourne Parish Council – supplying notice boards and insurance cover.
  • Harborough District Council – small initial grant.
  • Stuart St. John – of Kirby Bellars Nurseries for planting trees.
  • Chris White – for building display wall.
  • Ian Clark, Brian Speller Maurice Stanton and others – general help in construction.
  • Ann and Des Driver – for brass plate on wall.
  • Medbourne Millenium Fund – for copper beech tree.
  • Medbourne W.I. – for wooden bench.
  • Lynn Easton – for wooden bench in memory of her mother.


Thanks to Bryan’s original vision and his own considerable efforts coupled with those of many other persons and organisations the Hollow stands as a wonderful addition to the village, to be enjoyed both now and for generations to come.

The Hollow as it is today.


This page was contributed by Keith Sandars with help from Bryan and Laurie Smith and others in the village.