Opened in 1869 and closed in 1965 the Cheddar Valley Railway has been reclaimed by nature. Part of the reserve is within the Biddle Street SSSI designated for the wealth of wildlife found in the network of rhynes and ditches. Elsewhere the dense scrub encourages birds such as Nightingales to nest on the former railway banks and in summer bats patrol for insects. Areas of rough ground are home to amphibians and reptiles and you may see grass snakes or slow worms basking in the sun.
Backwell Lake was constructed in the mid 1970’s as a balancing pond. The site is owned by Wessex Water.
The site consists of an area of open water with a small island and some marginal vegetation. Since its construction, Backwell lake has become an important site for wildfowl and dragonflies and also as a foraging area for bats. It is a valuable amenity resource for the local community.
The site is managed by Wessex Water with input from local volunteers.
Silver Street Local Nature Reserve (LNR) is a 2 hectare site on the edge of Midsomer Norton. Overall it is owned by Bath & North East Somerset Council with the woodland leased to the Somerset and Dorset Heritage Railway Trust and the meadow in the stewardship of Somervale School.
It consists of semi-natural broadleaved woodland with several springs arising, a pond, and woodland ground flora including bluebells; and an adjacent field which is grassland.
The site has open access throughout with one surfaced path through the woodland that has been created by the railway trust. The site is on the hillside with some steep slopes and therefore does not current have access for all.
There is an active Friends group for the site who meet regularly. If you would like more information or would like to get involved please contact us via the details below.
Poet’s Walk can be found to the west of Clevedon and is owned by North Somerset Council. Many poets and writers have visited Clevedon, including Coleridge in 1795 and Tennyson in 1834 and it is from this that Poet’s Walk received its name.
The site encompasses Church Hill and Wain’s Hill with calcareous grassland, coastal scrub and woodland that are exposed to wind and salt spray from the Severn Estuary. The steeper slopes support a variety of wild flowers, while the plateau areas are less species rich.
The England’s nature reserves are nominated by Natural England, as key places for natural features and wildlife in England. They were organized to protect the most significant areas of geological formations and of habitat.
The reserves are established on behalf of the nation, many by Natural England themselves, but non-governmental organizations have also played a significant role in it.
There are over 224 national nature reserves in England that cover over 800 square kilometers and practically every kind of landscape. Most of them contain nationally important or rare species of plants, birds, insects, mammals, and butterflies etc.
Here are the few nature reserves that grab the attention of many visitors: