Corporate report

Avon's National Nature Reserves

Published 31 October 2008

Applies to England

Gordano Valley

With its relative remoteness and wealth of wildlife this National Nature Reserve offers a stunning backdrop to any walk along the northern or southern ridges of the Gordano Valley.

Main habitats: woodland, grassland, fen meadow

Area: 126 hectares

Features of interest

Gordano Valley NNR is part of the Gordano Valley Site of Special Scientific Interest. Long eared owls can be spotted during the winter, along with woodcocks. Brown hare, water shrew, harvest mouse and otter are just some of the mammals recorded on the NNR.

More than 130 species of flowering plant have been recorded, including rarities such as the Red Data book brown galingale, whorled water-milfoil and fen pondweed.

The reserve is nationally important for its incredibly rich and diverse invertebrate fauna. There are 16 species of dragonfly (including the hairy dragonfly, variable damselfly and ruddy darter) along with 23 species of butterfly (notably grizzled skipper and grayling) that have been recorded.


The Sustrans regional cycling route (No.10, the Avon Cycleway) passes just to the south of the reserve.

The nearest train stations are Weston-super-Mare and Bristol Temple Meads.

Walton-in-Gordano, just north of the reserve, can be reached from Weston-super-Mare or Bristol on the X25 bus route. See the Traveline SW website for details.

The reserve is between Clevedon and Portishead and can be reached from the B3124, the main road through the valley.


For more information about the reserve, or to enquire about school visits or volunteering opportunities, contact site staff on 01458 860120 or email

Leigh Woods

Leigh Woods National Nature Reserve is an outstanding mix of ancient woodland, archaeology and flower rich limestone grassland set within the spectacular landscape of the Avon Gorge Site of Special Scientific Interest.

Main habitats: woodland

Management: National Trust

Features of interest

Information about the reserve, its wildlife and how to visit is on the National Trust’s Leigh Woods NNR web page.


National Trust

Telephone: 0117 973 1645 or email