Nature Reserves in UK
Mostly known as Natural Reserves, is the protected area for fauna, flora, features of geological or other interest special interest. The main reason is to protect biodiversity – the degree of variation of life. Every country has its own local nature reserves as each of them are different in many ways. These nature reserves are under local authorities. Below are some of UK’s best nature reserves where you might want to take a troll.
Hermitage of Braid Local Nature Reserve
In recognition of it being a quality green space, the Hermitage of Braid has held a Green Flag since 2011. The reserve comprises a mixture of habitats including woodland, grassland, scrubland, the Braid Burn and wetland. All of them provide a refuge for wildlife. You can hear green woodpecker calling from the top of the tall beech trees or you could startle a fox hunting rabbits or even an otter swimming in the burn!
Make sure to have your binoculars as you might be surprised by the amazing birdlife you might encounter. Regularly seen around the Nature Reserve are kestrels, kingfishers, herons, song thrush and even tawny owls. Get close to the swans, geese, coots, mallards and many other depending on the time you take a visit to Blackford Pond.
As a designated ancient woodland, the reserve is covered with woodlands for at least 300 years. Much of the woodland is now semi-natural with beech (Fagus sylvatica), Sycamore (Acer pseudplatanus) and Ash (Fraxinus excelsior) freely regenerating. The mature trees probably date from the early 19th century. Throughout the attractive woodland setting, many very old and large specimens are scattered
Saltwells Local Nature Reserve
Saltwells Wood stands at the heart of the nature reserve. The nature reserve was planted by Lady Dudley in the 18th century. It was to hide the scars of coal mining. Covering 247 acres, Saltwells Local Nature Reserve is now one of the UK’s largest urban nature reserves. The Descendants of Oak and Beech still survive at the Reserve.
Saltwells Local Nature Reserve is home to many species of woodland and birds like Jay, Treecreeper and Great Spotted Woodpecker. In the wood, Wild Garlic and Anemones can be found together with lush carpets of Bluebells. Recently, the Forestry Authority for woodland management awarded the reserve with a Centre of Excellence award. Under UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere project, Saltwells has long been a model urban reserve for Europe.
Things to see
- Extensive bluebell woodland together with woodland birds
- Recolonised old clay pits filled with orchids
- Daphne Pool with 16 recorded species of Dragonflies
- Gorse covered Netherton Hill
- Exposure of the South Staffordshire Coalfield of the conglomeratic (pebble beds) base of the Carboniferous rocks (the floor of the very coalfield itself), resting on much older rocks of the Silurian Period.
- Geological sites of special scientific interest which shows the best exposure of the Staffordshire coalfields and Brewin’s Cutting.
Bumble Hole Local Nature Reserve
Situated in the Netherton area of Dudley Metropolitan Borough, Bumble Hole Reserve now features canals, ponds, wooded areas and grassland. It lies adjacent to the Warren’s Hall Nature Reserve. The Dudley No.2 canal runs into the reserve and there are two short arms lead off from this canal – Bubble Hole Branch and the Bushboil Arm.
Bubble Hole lake is a former clay pit that forms the largest body of water in the reserve. Between Warren’s Hall and Bumble Hole, there are no visible borders so that the two can form a single visitor’s attraction. There is a boating festival that takes place annually at both reserves. Every September, the event attracts canal boats, canal trips and a funfair.
Mumbles Hill Local Nature Reserve
To protect the site for both wildlife and people, 23 Hectares of Mumbles Hill was declared as a local Nature Reserve in 1991. The habitats on the hill include maritime heath, limestone scrub, limestone grassland and woodland. Each of them supports different animals and plants. On the hill, over 200 species of plants and fungi, hundreds of species of butterflies, bees and bugs and 40 species of birds have been recorded.
Some small mammals can also be seen such as foxes, shrews and voles. The resident birds include Skylark, green woodpecker and jay. The migratory birds include swallows, house martins and garden warblers. The lack of grazing has allowed invasive species such as bracken, gorse, holm oak and cotoneaster to invade, threatening to choke the rare limestone grasslands.
Nature-lovers might like the Mumbles Hill Nature Reserve as the reserve has several flora and fauna. However, this reserve is not the only place to find these creatures. Similar-looking bugs could be wandering in your garden. Don’t have one? Think again! At Kitty Bingo, you have a Secret Garden to tend to. Secret Garden Slot is an online slot machine playable on the online bingo site.
It is where you will have a view of the wildlife. The garden entrance is made of bricks and leads you to a majestic scenery. Get ready to come across, butterflies, flowers, ladybirds, rainbows and many more when you launch the game at Kitty Bingo. Ready to see these creatures on your screen? Experience a virtual trip in nature whenever you want!
Smestow Valley Local Nature Reserve
Within a few miles of Wolverhampton city centre, there are wonderful walks along a canal and old railway track, meadows bursting with nature and a fabulous Edwardian railway station café serving great teas and cake. Did you know about that? Enjoy a bike ride along the former railway line Reserve if you want to disappear into some peace and quiet. Watch the leisurely pace of narrowboats on the Staffs and the Worcs canal or even better, discover more than 55 species of bird while you take a trip to Smestow Valley Local Nature.
Looking for picnic areas? Along the four-kilometre corridor, which covers 48 hectares, you’ll find picnic areas together with meadowland, woodland and the Smestow brook which runs the length of the reserve. It is part of the catchment area for the rivers Stour and Severn. Discover a rich habitat for birds, insects, animals and plants and get across of the city’s urban sprawl without seeing a car or lorry.
Are you ready to get on a peaceful journey to these places? Which one of them would you like to visit? Choose any of them depending on the type of natural places that you prefer!