A former landfill and quarry, now a quiet haven for wildlife
THIS SMALL NATURE reserve provides a good winter’s day birding on newly-resurfaced pathways and a pleasant variety of habitat to explore. Formerly the site of gravel workings, this under-watched location has provided a few surprises over the years. Despite its close proximity to the M6 motorway, winter offers a good supply of wildfowl, which congregate on the sheltered lake. In recent years, up to 180 Wigeon have been noted, being joined by smaller numbers of Shoveler, Gadwall, Teal, Pochard, Tufted Duck and Goosander. Bordering the reserve, a landfill site during the 1980s provided some excellent county rarities such as Ring-billed, Iceland and Glaucous Gulls, while the now-scarce Twite were also recorded. During the days of quarrying, the area had an outstanding colony of Sand Martins, unfortunately lost during the building work of a nearby supermarket, while Little Ringed Plovers nested and even a Rednecked Phalarope once visited. Although the area has lost its habitat for passage waders, it has matured with suitable habitat for woodland species. Great Spotted and Green Woodpeckers now nest and you could also see Sparrowhawk, Buzzard and common warblers.