Attenborough Nature Reserve is situated close to the Derbyshire Nottingham boundary and was once an area of wet grassland alongside the River Trent. As a result of decades of gravel extraction and careful restoration, the area has become a haven for wildlife now covering more than 365 hectares.
The reserve was established in 1966 and opened by Sir David Attenborough. It comprises a series of disused gravel pits excavated between 1929 and 1967. The process of recolonisation over some 40 years has created a wide range of aquatic and waterside habitats. Between the ponds are drier areas of scrub and grassland as well as areas of native willow and old stream courses. New species of plants and invertebrates are continually being recorded as part of the recolonisation process. The reserve has a wide range of fish and invertebrates including great diving beetle, damselflies, dragonflies (including the four-spotted chaser and southern and migrant hawkers), and zebra and swan mussels. Amphibians include the smooth newt.