The town of Nailsea (population about 20,000) grew from a small village in the 1980s. Many of the inhabitants work in the city of Bristol that is about 12km away. Although much of our countryside was used for building new houses, some areas are still relatively undisturbed and remain as havens for wildlife.
Some of the nature reserves around Nailsea that are open to the public.
See Wikipedia: Nature Reserves in Nailsea
Moorend Spout Nature Reserve (ST466715)
Moorend Spout Nature Reserve (ST466715), accessed from Pound Lane, was purchased in 2009 with a grant from the Landfill Communities Fund. This wet meadow lies between the Land Yeo and Jacklands Rhyne. Many springs arise in the small woodland, and a waterfall flows under a bridge carrying the public footpath. It is now owned and managed by Nailsea Environment and Wildlife Trust (NEWT). Many insects including dragonflies and damselflies can be seen, together with Kingfishers and Otters.
Netcott’s Meadow (ST476695)
Netcott’s Meadow (ST476695) which is a small area of grassland to the North of Backwell Lake, now managed by the Avon Wildlife Trust, accessible to the public from the footpath close to the Lake. It has abundant wild flowers best seen in early June, and Common Spotted, Bee, and Green-winged Orchids grow here. (www.avonwildlifetrust.org.uk/reserves/netcotts_meadow.htm)
Stockway North Nature Reserve (ST472708)
Stockway North Nature Reserve (ST472708) is in a 19th Century Pennant Sandstone quarry behind the Garden of Rest. After being filled with domestic refuse in the early 20th Century, this was neglected, and with natural regeneration it was occupied by local wildlife. Work to restore the site started in 1996. With financial assistance from Nailsea Town Council and North Somerset Council, a group, The Friends of Stockway North Nature Reserve, was formed in 1998 to manage this land, to raise awareness of the public to the natural environment, and as a teaching resource.
Backwell Lake (ST478694)
Backwell Lake (ST478694) was constructed by Wessex Water and came into use in 1978 as a balancing pond to control the surface water between the Weston-super-Mare to Bristol railway line and the new estates built to the south of Nailsea. The lake is about 2 metres deep and occupies an area of about 4 hectares. It is now a significant wildlife site, designated as a Local Nature Reserve, attracting many water birds. The Lake is open to the public and it is used by many people for walking, dog exercise, bird watching and fishing. (www.avonlocalnaturereserves.org.uk/reserve.asp?id=21)
Tyntesfield (ST505712), formerly the home of the Gibbs family, came on to the market in 2002 and was acquired by the National Trust with assistance from the National Heritage Memorial Fund and many local private benefactors. It is surrounded by 200 Ha of gardens, farmland and unspoilt woodland. Much of this still remains to be explored, though it is clear that there is considerable potential for wildlife.
The buildings contain several bat roosts and eight species of bat are known to live in this area, notably the Lesser Horseshoe Bats, which roost in the courtyard. Over 90 individuals of this endangered species have been counted there. Other bat species found include the Greater Horseshoe Bat, Brown Long-eared Bat, Serotine Bat, Whiskered Bat and the two Pipistrelle species.
The female Glow Worms may be seen on a warm June night in the area close to the house at Tyntesfield. These beetles are in rapid decline, probably due to the increase in urban lights that may distract the males. Their food is mainly snails and slugs, which are in plentiful supply in this area. The orchid Autumn Ladies Tresses grows in the lawn outside the main house. (www.nationaltrust.org.uk/tyntesfield)
Nowhere Wood (ST480703)
Nowhere Wood (ST480703), also known as Trendlewood, contains a Pennant Sandstone quarry, abandoned about 1900. Squirrels have built their drays in the trees and at dusk the bats come out to forage. A group, The Friends of Trendlewood Park, has now been established to restore the wood and to encourage the wildlife.
Towerhouse Wood (ST475719)
Towerhouse Wood (ST475719), which is about 1 km to the north of Nailsea, is mainly owned by The Woodland Trust. It is famous for its Bluebells, veteran Oaks and for its pond, which constantly produces bubbles of gas. A large variety of wild animals are found in the Wood, now including Dormice, Roe Deer, Badgers, Squirrels, and bats. A lime kiln marked on a map dated 1769 is in the NW corner of the wood. To the south of the Wood there is a Mesolithic settlement first studied in 1956 which yielded many worked flints
- Click here to see the guide for Towerhouse Wood