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List of local nature reserves in Somerset

 

List of local nature reserves in Somerset

The ceremonial county of Somerset consists of a non-metropolitan county, administered by Somerset County Council, which is divided into five districts, and two unitary authorities. The districts of Somerset are West Somerset, South Somerset, Taunton Deane, Mendip and Sedgemoor. The two administratively independent unitary authorities, which were established on 1 April 1996 following the breakup of the County of Avon, are North Somerset and Bath and North East Somerset. These unitary authorities include areas that were once part of Somerset before the creation of Avon in 1974.[1]

Local nature reserves (LNRs) are designated by local authorities under the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949. The local authority must have a legal control over the site, by owning or leasing it or having an agreement with the owner. LNRs are sites which have a special local interest either biologically or geologically, and local authorities have a duty to care for them. They can apply local bye-laws to manage and protect LNRs.[2][3]

There are 40 local nature reserves in Somerset recognised by Natural England. The smallest is Wellington Basins, which covers 0.53 hectares (1.3 acres) of small ponds and surrounding grassland and woodland. This provides a habitat for grey wagtail, dipper and reed bunting. The largest, covering 129.56 hectares (320.1 acres), is Weston Woods on Worlebury Hill, which includes Worlebury Camp Iron Age hill fort. The woodland provides a habitat for mammals including deer, badgers, foxes and bats. Birds include woodpeckers, buzzards and treecreepers. Several of the sites are Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). The list includes sites owned or managed by both Avon Wildlife Trust and Somerset Wildlife Trust.

Contents

  • Sites 1
  • See also 2
  • Notes 3
  • References 4

Sites

Site Photograph Area[1] Location[2] Map[3] Details[4] Description
Ash Priors Common 20.78 hectares (51.3 acres) Ash Priors

Map Details This reserve covers unimproved neutral grassland, semi-natural deciduous woodland, wet heath, scrub, carr, stream, ponds and hedgerows. The plants to be found at the site include early marsh-orchid and twayblade orchid while the animals include the eurasian harvest mouse, viviparous lizard and tree pipit.[5] It was the first and is the largest local nature reserve run by Taunton Deane Borough Council.[6]
Berrow Dunes 16.7 hectares (41 acres) Berrow

Map Details The dunes, west of the village of Berrow, have a golf course, and is a noted site for various unusual plants, including a strong colony of lizard orchids. A 200 hectares (490 acres) area, which includes the reserve, was designated in 1952 as a SSSI.[7] Berrow Marsh, contained within the dunes between the village and the beach, is a mixture of reedbed and salt marsh.[8] Birds found here include many wetland species such as reed and sedge warbler and in winter occasional jack snipe among large numbers of common snipe.[7]
Bickenhall Orchard
 –
0.6 hectares (1.5 acres) Bickenhall

Map Details Apple trees with mistletoe in a grass orchard with herbs and orchids.[9]
Bincombe Beeches 5.36 hectares (13.2 acres) Crewkerne

Map Details The site has beech trees up to 200 years old, oaks and hazels. Birds include blackbirds, woodpeckers, goldcrests and jackdaws, and there are small mammals such as badgers and foxes.[10]
Bucklands Pool/Backwell Lake 5.52 hectares (13.6 acres) Backwell

Map Details The lake, which is also known as Buckland's Pool is next to the road between Nailsea and Backwell at Buckland's Batch. The lake was built as a balancing pond in the mid-1970s. It has now become a wildlife haven for birds, bats and dragonflies, which are attracted by the open water and surrounding vegetation.[11] Bird species include gadwall, shoveler, pochard, tufted duck, grey heron and mute swans.[12]
Cadbury Hill/Henley Quarry 20.84 hectares (51.5 acres) Yatton

Map Details This site comprises ancient semi-natural woodland, scrub and unimproved grassland. Species of interest include marsh tit, noctule bat, slow worm, wood anemone, bluebell, betony, small scabious, rock rose and small leaved lime. On the northern limestone slope grow hundreds of common spotted orchids. The Iron Age hill fort[13] has many ant hills, which are visited by green woodpeckers.[14] The grassy plateau of the hill fort is owned and managed by Yatton and Congresbury Parish Councils.[15]
Camerton Batch 2.02 hectares (5.0 acres) Camerton

Map Details The spoil heap or batch is a result of coal mining on the Somerset Coalfield in the 19th century. Camerton New Pit survived to be nationalised, eventually closing in 1950. In the centre of the village is Camerton Batch which is now covered with conifer. It is important for geology.[16]
Carrs Woodland 21.1 hectares (52 acres) Twerton

Map Detail A woodland area in the valley of Newton Brook.[17] Plants include the bath asparagus.[18]
Chard Reservoir 37.05 hectares (91.6 acres) Chard

Map Detail A 36.97-hectare (91.4-acre) reservoir which is owned and managed by South Somerset District Council.[19] It is a recipient of the Green Flag Award.[20] The reservoir was built on the river Isle in 1842 to provide water for the Chard Canal which closed in 1868.[19] The site is used for dog walking, fishing and birdwatching, with a bird hide having been installed.[21] Bird species which are spotted regularly include herons, kingfishers, cormorants, grebes, ducks and also a wide range of woodland songbirds. Others include the great egret, cattle egret, and spotted redshank. The water is stocked with carp.[20][22]
Cheddar Valley Railway Walk 28.6 hectares (71 acres) Yatton to Winscombe

Map Detail Following the route of the Cheddar Valley Line, this linear reserve passes through the Biddle Street SSSI. The site supports birds, bats, amphibians and reptiles.[23]
Children's Wood/Riverside 19.53 hectares (48.3 acres) Taunton

Map Detail Alongside the River Tone, this reserve provides a habitat corridor for animals. Birds recorded include the kingfisher and grey wagtail. The site is also important for butterflies, dragonflies and damselflies.[24]
Church and Wains Hill (Poets Walk) 8.95 hectares (22.1 acres) Clevedon

Map Detail This reserve includes a hill fort dating from the Iron Age on Wain's Hill and Church Hill. It has calcareous grassland, coastal scrub and woodland.[25]
Eastfield, Sedgemoor Hill 7.42 hectares (18.3 acres) High Ham

Map Detail Grassland with orchids and butterflies.[26]
Eastwood and Battery Point 11.68 hectares (28.9 acres) Portishead

Map Detail The Eastwood area is broadleaf woodland on a coastal limestone ridge which leads to Battery Point which had a defensive gun position and Portishead Point lighthouse is on the promontory.[27] There is also geological interest in the fossils, folds and faults found in the area.[28]
Felton Common 40.37 hectares (99.8 acres) Winford

Map Detail Open calcareous grassland with scrub and bracken. There are birds including kestrel, sky lark, song thrush, willow warbler, spotted flycatcher and several species of invertebrates.[29][30]
Folly Farm 98.49 hectares (243.4 acres) Stowey

Map Detail Folly Farm is a traditionally managed visitable farm and nature reserve run by the Avon Wildlife Trust. The farmhouse is 17th century and the surrounding land includes neutral grassland, flowery meadows and woodlands. The 250 acres (100 ha) nature reserve includes the Folly Oak which is over 400 years old.[31][32]
Frieze Hill Community Orchard 1.39 hectares (3.4 acres) Taunton

Map Detail This site has been converted from allotments to rough grassland and an orchard. The kingston black and yarlington mill varieties of apples are among those grown.[33]
Gadds Valley 3.69 hectares (9.1 acres) Cheddon Fitzpaine

Map Detail Open grassland and woodland.[34]
Hurstone Farm Woodlands 9.78 hectares (24.2 acres) Waterrow

Map Detail Woodland on the banks of the River Tone. The woodland, hedgerows and open grassland provide a habitat for dormice, otter and several bat species. Bryophyte species include black spleenwort.[35]
Kensington Meadows 2.12 hectares (5.2 acres) Bath

Map Detail Mixed woodland and open meadow next to the River Avon.[36]
Manor Road Community Woodland 20.93 hectares (51.7 acres) Keynsham

Map Detail Woodland and grassland that supports a range of bird species.[37]
Middle Hill Common 1.49 hectares (3.7 acres) Weston in Gordano

Map Detail Grassland and wild flower meadow,[38] which supports invertebrates and butterflies.[39]
Moldrums Ground 2.55 hectares (6.3 acres) Penselwood

Map Detail The site includes a dry woodland surrounding unimproved grassland. Ponds on the site provide a habitat for northern crested newt.[40][41]
Netherclay Community Woodland 3.91 hectares (9.7 acres) Bishop's Hull

Map Detail A woodland with oak, ash, black poplar, dogwood and hazel.[42]
Norton Hillfort 2.04 hectares (5.0 acres) Norton Fitzwarren

Map Detail The site surrounds the Iron Age hill fort of Norton Camp. It consists of woodland of oak, ash, and sycamore trees with an underlying flora of bluebell, wood anemone and moschatel.[43]
Otterhead Lakes 21.53 hectares (53.2 acres) Otterford

Map Detail A pair of reservoirs fed by the River Otter and managed by the Otterhead Estate Trust Company Limited, working with the Somerset Wildlife Trust on behalf of Wessex Water.[44] The lakes are the centrepiece of the one mile long nature reserve.[45] It includes dry woodland which has a ground flora including common bluebell, dogs mercury and twayblade. More moist areas are home to marsh penywart, royal fern rhododendron and sycamore. There are dormice, badgers and bats in the woods and bird species include kingfisher, dipper and wagtail.[46]
Screech Owl 11.7 hectares (29 acres) Huntworth

Map Detail A wetland area which supports a variety of birds, bats and small mammals.[47]
Silk Mills Park and Ride 7.08 hectares (17.5 acres) Taunton

Map Detail Landscaping and ponds in three areas next to the River Tone created when the park and ride was created. The woodland and grassland supports aquatic and marginal vegetation.[48] There are also a variety of birds, bats, reptiles and invertebrates.[49]
Silver Street 2.12 hectares (5.2 acres) Midsomer Norton

Map Detail An ancient woodland, next to Midsomer Norton railway station, including ash, beech, field maple, hazel, hawthorn, oak, holly, sycamore and wild cherry.[50] There is also a pond and some adjacent grassland.[51]
Slader's Leigh 0.66 hectares (1.6 acres) Winscombe

Map Detail A wildflower meadow with plants including devil's-bit scabious, cowslip, betony, common spotted orchid and tormentil which provide a habitat for a range of butterflies.[52]
South Taunton Streams (Mill, Galmington, Blackbrook 1&2) 8.24 hectares (20.4 acres) Taunton

Map Detail Four sites providing a range of flora which support water voles, otters, kingfisher, sand martin, dippers and bats.[53]
Easton in Gordano

Map Detail Flower meadow alongside a main road.[54][55]
Street Heath 8.18 hectares (20.2 acres) Glastonbury

Map Detail The heath is a biological SSSI.[56] The nature reserve is managed by Somerset Wildlife Trust, with examples of plant communities that were once common on the Somerset Levels. It possesses a vegetation consisting of wet and dry heath, species-rich bog and carr woodland, with transitions between all these habitats. Rare ferns present include marsh fern and royal fern. Old peat workings and rhynes have a wetland community which includes bulrush, yellow flag iris, cyperus-like sedge and lesser bur-reed. Insects recorded include 33 species of butterflies, 200 moths and 12 grasshoppers and crickets, with several notable rarities. Birds breeding in the carr woodland include the local willow tit.[56]
Swains
 –
0.67 hectares (1.7 acres) Wellington

Map Detail A meadow with cuckoo flower, meadowsweet, and dove's-foot crane's-bill. There is also a pond which provides a habitat for amphibians including great crested newt, palmate newt and toad.[57]
Twerton Roundhill 4.66 hectares (11.5 acres) Twerton

Map Detail Grassland with a range of wildflowers including greater knapweed and agrimony.[58]
Uphill Hill 17 hectares (42 acres)[5] Uphill

Map Detail Open grassland around a disused quarry.[59] There are a range of flowers including cowslip, primrose and green-winged orchid.[60] This site is adjacent to Walborough Common and together they cover 38.14 hectares (94.2 acres), which is partly coterminous with Uphill Cliff SSSI.[61]
Walborough Common 21 hectares (52 acres)[5] Uphill

Map Detail Salt marsh with sea barley, slender hare's-ear and sea clover and limestone grassland with Somerset hair-grass, honewort, green-winged and early purple orchids. These attract redshank, dunlin, shelduck, black-tailed godwit, skylark, linnet, rock and meadow pipit.[62] This site is adjacent to Uphill Hill and together they cover 38.14 hectares (94.2 acres), which is partly coterminous with Uphill Cliff SSSI.[61]
Weirfield Riverside 0.88 hectares (2.2 acres) Taunton

Map Detail A linear nature reserve along the bank of the River Tone providing alder and willow woodland, bramble, scrub and rough grassland. The wetter areas which are sometimes flooded include hemlock water dropwort, and yellow flag.[63]
Wellington Basins 0.53 hectares (1.3 acres) Wellington

Map Detail Small ponds and surrounding grassland and woodland which provide a habitat for grey wagtail, dipper and reed bunting.[64]
Weston Woods 129.56 hectares (320.1 acres) Weston-super-Mare

Map Detail A wooded area on Worlebury Hill which includes Worlebury Camp Iron Age hill fort. The woodland provides a habitat for mammals including deer, badgers, foxes and bats. Birds include woodpeckers, buzzards and treecreepers.[65]

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Unless otherwise stated, the area is taken from the Natural England map of each site. (Click on the identify icon (i) in the "Feature Tools" and then click on the site.)[4]
  2. ^ The location is taken from the Natural England details page for the site.
  3. ^ The maps are on the Natural England database of Local Nature Reserves.
  4. ^ Details are on the pages on each site in the Natural England database of Local Nature Reserves.[4]
  5. ^ a b The areas of Uphill Hill and Walborough Common are not given by NE as although there are separate information pages for the sites, the map shows them as a single site with an area of 38 hectares. The areas for these sites are based on the Visit Somerset site Uphill Local Nature Reserve,[59] which states that Uphill has an area of 17 hectares (42 acres), which leaves 21 hectares (52 acres) for Walborough.

References

  1. ^ "The Avon (Structural Change) Order 1995". HMSO. Retrieved 5 August 2015. 
  2. ^ "Protected or designated areas". Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs and Natural England. 9 April 2013. Retrieved 29 July 2015. 
  3. ^ "Local nature reserves: setting up and management". Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs and Natural England. 2 October 2014. Retrieved 29 July 2015. 
  4. ^ a b "Local Nature Reserves: Search Results for Somerset". Natural England. Retrieved 22 August 2015. 
  5. ^ "Ash Priors Common". Wild About Britain. Archived from the original on 26 September 2014. Retrieved 22 November 2008. 
  6. ^ "Ash Common". Taunton Deane Borough Council. Retrieved 24 September 2015. 
  7. ^ a b "Berrow Dunes" (PDF). Natural England. Retrieved 16 September 2015. 
  8. ^ "Common Standards Monitoring Guidance for Saltmarsh Habitats" (PDF). Joint Nature Conservation Committee. Retrieved 24 September 2015. 
  9. ^ "Bickenhall Orchard". Natural England. Retrieved 23 August 2015. 
  10. ^ "Bincombe Beeches Nature Reserve". Crewkerne Council. Retrieved 23 August 2015. 
  11. ^ "Backwell Lake, Local Nature Reserve, Backwell". Avon Local Nature Reserves. Retrieved 23 August 2015. 
  12. ^ "Bucklands Pool/Backwell Lake". Natural England. Retrieved 28 August 2010. 
  13. ^ "Cadbury Hill Local Nature Reserve, Nr Yatton". Avon Local Nature Reserves. Retrieved 23 August 2015. 
  14. ^ "Grassland on Cadbury Hill" (PDF). Yatton and Congresbury Wildlife Action Group. Retrieved 4 March 2015. 
  15. ^ "Cadbury Hill". Yatton and Congresbury Wildlife Action Group. Retrieved 24 September 2015. 
  16. ^ "Camerton Batch". Natural England. Retrieved 2 January 2011. 
  17. ^ "Carrs Woodland Local Nature Reserve, Bath". Avon Local Nature Reserves. Retrieved 23 August 2015. 
  18. ^ "Carrs Woodland". Natural England. Retrieved 23 August 2015. 
  19. ^ a b "Chard Reservoir leaflet" (PDF). South Somerset Council. Retrieved 18 November 2010. 
  20. ^ a b "Chard Reservoir Local Nature Reserve". Green Flag Award. Keep Britain Tidy. Archived from the original on 14 March 2012. Retrieved 18 November 2010. 
  21. ^ "Chard reservoir". South Somerset Council. Retrieved 1 October 2015. 
  22. ^ "Chard Reservoir". Local Nature Reserves. Natural England. Retrieved 16 September 2015. 
  23. ^ "Cheddar Valley Railway Local Nature Reserve". Avon Local Nature Reserves. Retrieved 23 August 2015. 
  24. ^ "Children's Wood/Riverside". Natural England. Retrieved 23 August 2015. 
  25. ^ "Poet's Walk Local Nature Reserve, Clevedon". Avon Local Nature Reserves. Retrieved 23 August 2015. 
  26. ^ "Eastfield, Sedgemoor Hill". Natural England. Retrieved 23 August 2015. 
  27. ^ "Eastwood and Battery Point Local Nature Reserve, Portishead". Avon Local Nature Reserves. Retrieved 23 August 2015. 
  28. ^ "Eastwood and Battery Point". Natural England. Retrieved 23 August 2015. 
  29. ^ "Felton Common". Natural England. Retrieved 23 August 2015. 
  30. ^ "Felton Common Local Nature Reserve, Felton". Avon Local Nature Reserves. Retrieved 23 August 2015. 
  31. ^ Emanuel, Louis (1 March 2013). "Wildlife Trust's guide to historic trees in Bristol".  
  32. ^ "Great places to see ancient and unusual trees" (PDF). Wildlife Trusts. Retrieved 1 March 2013. 
  33. ^ "Frieze Hill Community Orchard". Natural England. Retrieved 23 August 2015. 
  34. ^ "Gadds Valley". Natural England. Retrieved 23 August 2015. 
  35. ^ "Hurstone Farm Woodlands". Natural England. Retrieved 23 August 2015. 
  36. ^ "Kensington Meadows". Natural England. Retrieved 23 August 2015. 
  37. ^ "Manor Road Community Woodland". Natural England. Retrieved 23 August 2015. 
  38. ^ "Middle Hill Common". Natural England. Retrieved 23 August 2015. 
  39. ^ "Middle Hill Common Local Nature Reserve, Weston in Gordano". Avon Local Nature Reserves. Retrieved 23 August 2015. 
  40. ^ "Moldram's Ground". Pen Selwood. Retrieved 25 August 2015. 
  41. ^ "Moldrums Ground". Natural England. Retrieved 16 September 2015. 
  42. ^ "Netherclay Community Woodland". Natural England. Retrieved 25 August 2015. 
  43. ^ "Norton Hillfort". Natural England. Retrieved 25 August 2015. 
  44. ^ "Otterhead Lakes".  
  45. ^ "About Otterhead Estate & Lakes". Pictures of England. Retrieved 19 November 2010. 
  46. ^ "Otterhead Lakes". Taunton Deane Borough Council. Retrieved 19 November 2010. 
  47. ^ "Screech Owl". Natural England. Retrieved 25 August 2015. 
  48. ^ "Silk Mills Park and Ride". Natural England. Retrieved 25 August 2015. 
  49. ^ "Silk Mills Park and Ride Local Nature Reserve" (PDF). Taunton Deane Borough Council. Retrieved 25 August 2015. 
  50. ^ "Silver Street". Natural England. Retrieved 25 August 2015. 
  51. ^ "Silver Street Local Nature Reserve, Midsomer Norton". Avon Local Nature Reserves. Retrieved 25 August 2015. 
  52. ^ "Slader's Leigh Local Nature Reserve, Near Winscombe". Avon Local Nature Reserves. Retrieved 25 August 2015. 
  53. ^ "South Taunton Streams (Mill, Galmington, Blackbrook 1&2)". Natural England. Retrieved 25 August 2015. 
  54. ^ "St George's Flower Bank". Natural England. Retrieved 25 August 2015. 
  55. ^ "Flower Bank". Easton-in-Gordano. Retrieved 25 August 2015. 
  56. ^ a b "Street Heath citation" (PDF). Sites of Special Scientific Interest. Natural England. Retrieved 26 July 2013. 
  57. ^ "Swains Lane". Taunton Deane Borough Council. Retrieved 25 August 2015. 
  58. ^ "About Roundhill". Friends of Roundhill. Retrieved 26 August 2015. 
  59. ^ a b "Uphill Local Nature Reserve". Visit Somerset. Retrieved 18 September 2015. 
  60. ^ "Uphill Hill Local Nature Reserve, Nr Weston super Mare". Avon Local Nature Reserves. Retrieved 26 August 2015. 
  61. ^ a b "MAGIC map". UK Government. Retrieved 18 September 2015. 
  62. ^ "Walborough". Avon Wildlife Trust. Retrieved 26 August 2015. 
  63. ^ "Weirfield Riverside". Natural England. Retrieved 26 August 2015. 
  64. ^ "Wellington Basins". Taunton Deane Borough Council. Retrieved 26 August 2015. 
  65. ^ "Weston Woods Local Nature Reserve, Near Weston super Mare". Avon Local Nature Reserves. Retrieved 26 August 2015. 
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