Bassenthwaite Lake

The reserve is a shallow, balanced nutrient lake in the north-west of the Lake District.

Main habitats: open water

Area: 523 ha

Management: Lake District National Park Authority.

Features of interest

Further information about the National Nature Reserve (NNR), its wildlife and how to visit can be found on the Bassenthwaite Lake) page) of the Lake District National Park Authority website.

Contact

Email: hq@lakedistrict.gov.uk

Telephone:

  • local ranger: 017687 79633
  • Lake District National Park office, Kendal: 01539 724555

Lake District National Park Authority
Murley Moss
Oxenholme Road
Kendal, Cumbria
LA9 7RL

Website: Lake District National Park

Blelham Bog

Blelham Bog NNR is a small site lying next to Blelham Tarn in the centre of the Lake District.

Main habitats: peatland

Features of interest

Although Blelham Bog is a small site, there is certain tranquillity in the wet woodlands and bogs of the nature reserve.

The bogs contain a number of Sphagnum moss species, aromatic bog myrtle, delicate cotton-grass and the tiny white-beaked sedge. On the southern fringe of the nature reserve, oak, birch and hornbeam grow on the erupting slate outcrops.

The tarn attracts waterfowl, and great crested grebe breeds, whilst whooper swan and golden-eye can often be seen during the winter.

The site is very important for a number of rare invertebrates, including a rich population of rare caddis-flies and the rare snail Vertigo liiljeborgi.

Directions

The reserve is located on the north west side of Blelham Tarn, and lies approximately 2.5km north-east of Hawkshead, 3.5 km south of Ambleside, and about 1km from the west shore of Windermere lake.

By foot

The NNR is entered by the stile (NY 366006) from the adjacent land close to the public bridleway from the Low Wray minor road to Outgate.

By rail

The nearest train station is Windermere.

By bus

The Kendal to Coniston public bus service (Coniston Rambler 505, provided by Stagecoach) runs through Windermere. The nearest stop for Blelham Bog is Clappersgate.

Contact

Email: rob.petley-jones@naturalengland.org.uk
Telephone: 07747852905

Clawthorpe Fell

Main habitats: limestone pavement

Area: 14 ha

This NNR is currently closed to the public. This will be because either:

  • the site is unsafe, or
  • our tenure of the land does not allow public access, or
  • the site is so fragile that any form of access would damage the wildlife interest.

Contact

For more information about the site contact:

Email: enquiries@naturalengland.org.uk Telephone: 0300 060 6000

Cliburn Moss

Cliburn Moss NNR is a basin mire that supports an unusual range of fen, bog and heath communities with several rare and scarce plant species.

Main habitats: peatland, fen, heathland, woodland

Features of interest

Cliburn Moss is an unusual in that most of the land nearby is intensively cultivated farmland.

The wide range of habitats supports a variety of species of plants and animals. Some of these have only been recorded recently such as glow-worm and the small skipper butterfly.

The scarce mining bee Ardrena ruficrus can be spotted in the spring. It is found only at one other site in the north-west of England. Uncommon plants include lesser twayblade and bog bilberry.

Although the site is flat, the rough terrain makes it unsuitable for wheelchair users. We recommend that you remain on marked trails as the reserve lies on thin peat soils which are easily eroded and damaged.

We ask that you keep your dog on a lead at all times to protect ground nesting birds and other wildlife such as red squirrels.

There is an information leaflet for this reserve.

Safety

Ticks are present on this reserve and Lyme disease is present in this area of the country. Visitors are advised to take adequate precautions such as covering arms and legs, and checking for bites after their visit.

Contact

North Cumbria NNR team on 016973 50005.

Drumburgh Moss

Drumburgh Moss NNR is one of 4 nationally important lowland raised bogs on the South Solway. These 4 sites form the South Solway Mosses Special Area of Conservation (SAC).

Main habitats: lowland raised mire

Management: Cumbria Wildlife Trust with assistance from Natural England under the Higher Level Stewardship scheme

Features of interest

Further information about the wildlife and how to visit can be found on the Cumbria Wildlife Trust’s webpage on Drumburgh Moss.

Contact

Kevin Scott
Northern Reserves Officer
Cumbria Wildlife Trust
Gosling Sike Farm Houghton Road
Houghton
Carlisle
Cumbria
CA3 0LD

Telephone: 01228 829575

Duddon Mosses

Duddon Mosses NNR is a tranquil wetland habitat, hidden at the top of the Duddon Estuary

Main habitats: peatland and fen

Features of interest

At Duddon Mosses you’ll discover one of England’s few remaining peatland habitats, with striking views over the Lakeland Fells and the sea. This quiet haven, hidden at the top of the Duddon Estuary, provides a welcome sanctuary for plants, animals and human visitors alike.

Duddon Mosses is recognised for its international importance as a raised peatland habitat, supporting some specialist bog flora. The nationally rare and distinctive moss Sphagnum pulchrum can be found here. Look out for its bright golden-orange colour. Other uncommon bog species found here include bog rosemary and cranberry.

Birds of prey such as buzzard and barn owl will make use of the open landscape of the Mosses – perfect for hunting for small mammals – and water-loving birds such as waders and pink-footed geese enjoy the tranquillity of the reserve in winter-time.

For details about seasonal highlights and the history of the reserve, see Natural England’s webpage on Duddon Mosses on the National Archives

Safety

Ticks are found on this reserve and Lyme disease is present in this area of the country. Visitors are advised to take adequate precautions such as covering arms and legs, and checking for bites after their visit.

Directions

By train

The nearest train station is Foxfield on the Barrow-in-Furness to Carlisle line.

By bus

Stagecoach run a limited bus service (No. 7, 7A & 7B) from Barrow town hall and from Millom market square, which stops at Broughton-in-Furness, Grizebeck and Kirkby-in-Furness. For detailed public transport information see the Traveline website or call 0871 200 22 33.

By car

For parking use Broughton or Kirkby, on the A595 which runs from Barrow-in-Furness to Carlisle.

On foot

There are a number of public footpaths and minor roads providing access to the nature reserve from Kirkby-in-Furness, Grizebeck, Foxfield and Broughton-in-Furness. A limited number of footpath and boardwalks pass through the National Nature Reserve.

The Cumbria Coastal Way passes along the southern end of Angerton Moss. The National Nature Reserve can be found at SD 23853. For further details of public rights of way consult OS Explorer Map OL6.

A limited number of footpaths cross the mosses. Boardwalks are provided in places, but in other areas the path can be rough and sometimes very wet underfoot. While boardwalks are suitable for wheelchair users, we regret that the paths leading to these may not be; particularly after heavy rain.

Students and volunteers

Students and professionals are invited to conduct studies on our NNRs particularly studies that are designed to demonstrate management best practice. Please contact the senior reserve manager to discuss and gain relevant permissions.

We have volunteer opportunities on NNRs throughout south Cumbria.

Contact

Please contact senior reserve manager for information about the reserve or volunteering:

Email steve.benn@naturalengland.org.uk
Telephone: 015395 31604

Roudsea Wood NNR Base
Fish House Lane
Haverthwaite
Ulverston
Cumbria
LA12 8PE

Finglandrigg Wood

Finglandrigg Wood NNR is vital to an impressive array of wildlife, including many less-common species.

Main habitats: woodland, lowland grassland, lowland heath

Features of interest

Finglandrigg Wood is one of the largest areas of semi-natural woodland on the Solway Plain and includes woodland, peat bog, heathland and rough pasture, that is carefully managed through grazing, planting and coppicing.

Although the marsh fritillary butterfly became extinct in Cumbria in 2005, work carried out by Natural England, Butterfly Conservation and individual volunteers successfully reintroduced the species back in to Finglandrigg Wood in 2007. The population continues to increase year by year and has now spread to new areas on the reserve. They can be spotted between mid May and early June.

Red squirrel, roe deer and otter can be spotted, as well as over 40 species of breeding birds, including buzzards, tawny owl and grasshopper warbler.

Safety

Ticks are present on this reserve and Lyme disease is present in this area of the country. Visitors are advised to take adequate precautions such as covering arms and legs, and checking for bites after their visit.

Please keep dogs on a lead at all times to protect ground nesting birds, grazing stock and to ensure they do not disturb adders, which may bite dogs.

Directions

By cycle

Glasson and Bowness-on Solway are on route 72 of the Sustans National Cycle Network. Cycle racks are available at Haverlands Green car park.

By train

The nearest train station is in Wigton (8 miles to the south), but there is no bus link to the reserve. Taxis are available from outside the train station.

By bus

From Carlisle the site is served by bus route 71 Silloth/Anthorn - Carlisle (limited service). The bus stops at Kirkbampton, Fingland and Kirkbride and a request stop for Finglandrigg Wood may be possible.

By car

The reserve is approximately 8 miles west of Carlisle. Follow the B5307 Kirkbride road, go through Kirkbampton village and after 1 mile you will see Haverlands Green lay-by on the left. You can park here by the Natural England sign.

From Wigton, the reserve is approximately 8 miles. Follow the B5307 from the Wigton by-pass. Go through Kirkbride and Fingland and approximately 2 miles further on is the Haverlands Green lay-by on the right.

On foot

Two major trails cross the area; the Cumbria Coastal Way and the Hadrian’s Wall National Trail.

There are marked paths around the reserve, including the 2km blue route, which is suitable for those with limited mobility. This passes through woodland, meadows and sculptures, including an intricately carved bench in memory of Derek Ratcliffe, the former Chief Scientist for the Nature Conservancy Council.

Contact

Email: cumbria@naturalengland.org.uk
Telephone: 016973 50005

Gowk Bank

Gowk Bank contains one of the most diverse upland meadows in Britain. Over 185 different plant species have been recorded. The reserve lies on the western bank of the upper reaches of the River Irthing which forms the boundary between Cumbria and Northumberland.

Main habitats: upland hay-meadow communities, semi-improved flood-plain meadows and steep banks with tall-herb vegetation.

The reserve was purchased from the Forestry Commission in 1984 and has been managed as a NNR ever since.

Features of interest

Species typical of northern meadow communities include globeflower, marsh hawks-beard and wood crane’s-bill. The population of the Eyebright (Euphrasia rostokoviana) is probably one of the largest in the United Kingdom. There is a very small population of the uncommon small white orchid.

Birds such as dipper, grey wagtail, sand martin and common sandpiper can be encountered on the River Irthing. Crossbills are often seen or heard feeding in adjacent forestry plantations.

The reserve is at its peak between mid June to mid July. There is an abundance of many species of orchids, Ragged robin and eyebright. Species typical of northern hay meadow such as wood crane’s-bill and melancholy thistle can also be seen. However, an earlier visit in May is needed to see species such as early purple orchid and globeflower. Late flowering plants such as devil’s-bit scabious and grass-of-Parnassus can be seen in late August.

Directions

By train

The nearest train station is at Haltwhistle which lies 9km to the east.

By bus

A bus service runs from Haltwhistle Station to Gilsland which is also on Route 72 of the Sustrans National Cycle Network.

By car

From Gilsland a minor road heads north and then east to Butterburn.

Contact

For further information about the site and details of volunteering opportunities, contact the North Cumbria NNR Team on 016973 50005.

Great Asby Scar

Great Asby Scar NNR contains some of the best examples of limestone pavement in Britain.

From 1 March through to 31 July, keep your dog on a short leash.

Main habitats: limestone pavement and grassland

Features of interest

The extensive limestone pavements of the Orton Fells present a wonderful and wild landscape that was once typical of upland Northern England. Limestone pavements are nationally rare and have been extensively damaged in the past by removal for garden rockery stone. Great Asby Scar contains some of the best remaining intact examples in Britain.

The limestone pavement is home to rarities such as angular Solomon’s-seal, dark red helleborine, bloody crane’s-bill, rigid buckler fern and limestone fern. On top of the limestone pavement you can find other specialities including bird’s-foot sedge, autumn gentian and salad burnet. Dwarfed trees dot the limestone landscape, their growth stunted by the rock itself and the very dry conditions found here.

For a detailed description of the reserve’s seasonal highlights, see Natural England’s pages on Great Asby Scar on the National Archives.

Directions

Great Asby Scar NNR is part of the Orton Fells in east Cumbria. The reserve is 4km south west of the village of Great Asby and 4km north east of Orton village. Public footpaths and bridleways provide access to the reserve and to the wider Orton fells area.

By train

The nearest train station is Kirkby Stephen, 10 km to the south east.

By bus

A public bus service runs between Kendal and Penrith, stopping at the village of Orton and is provided by Stagecoach.

By car

By car, leave the M6 at Junction 38 and follow the B6260 to Orton and beyond. The National Nature Reserve can be found to the east of this road before you have reached Great Asby village. Alternatively, leave the M6 at Junction 39 and follow the B6261 to Orton, then follow the B6260 to Great Asby and beyond. The nature reserve can be found to the east before you reach the village of Orton. The B6260 can also be accessed from the A66 from Penrith and the A685 from Kirkby Stephen.

Limited parking can be found on road-side lay-bys on the B6260 between the villages of Orton and Great Asby. Parking is also available within the villages themselves. The reserve can be found at NY 656099.

On foot

The nature reserve can be accessed on foot or by bike on footpaths and quiet bridleways from Orton and Great Asby. An extensive network of paths link the reserve to the surrounding Orton fells. A suggested walking route around the national nature reserve can be viewed on the reserve map.

Great Asby and Orton are both on Route 68 (Walney to Weir) of the Sustrans National Cycle Network.

Volunteers and activities

Natural England holds a number of events and activities at Great Asby Scar each year. Past events have focused on moths, butterflies, fungi, trees and birds of the nature reserve. For details of current events please visit our North West Events Page or see posters at the nature reserve.

We have volunteer opportunities on National Nature Reserves throughout South Cumbria. Whether you have specialist skills you wish to use, or are looking for a chance to get some hands on experience, we’d love to hear from you. Please contact Senior Reserve Manager, Rob Petley-Jones, email rob.petley-jones@naturalengland.org.uk or tel: 07747 852905 for more details.

Contact

Please contact the senior reserve manager for more information or to request a site permit.

Email rob.petley-jones@naturalengland.org.uk
Telephone: 077478 52905

Hallsenna Moor

Hallsenna Moor NNR is one of the few remaining lowland heath and peatland habitats in Cumbria.

From 1 March through to 31 July, keep your dog on a short leash.

Main habitats: peatland

Features of interest

The moor is notable for the fact that it has never been cut for peat and supports a diverse collection of plant communities including those typical of woodlands, valley peatland, wet and dry heathland and fen. These habitats are rare in the UK and this is one of the few remaining sites in the county, and the largest in West Cumbria.

The insect-eating sundew is an excellent example of how the plants here have adapted. Although it’s red and yellow ‘mouth’ is tiny and easily missed by the human eye, it is perfectly adapted for attracting small insects, which is captures and digests. This helps it to flourish in an environment where nutrients are hard to come by. Other peatland plants add a splash of colour to the bleak bog in summer-time. Bog asphodel blooms in bright yellow star-shaped flowers, whilst the cotton grasses soften the landscape with their white fluffy heads.

The reserve is also a haven for bird-life. Watch for buzzard hunting over the moor, curlew hiding amongst the peatland flora and warblers flitting amongst the scrub and tree cover on the reserve edges.

The Hallsenna Moor information leaflet gives more details about the species on the reserve.

You can also view some details about the history of the reserve and how it’s managed on Natural England’s page on Hallsenna Moor on the National Archive.

Directions

Hallsenna Moor NNR is in south west Cumbria, near the village of Seascale.

On foot

The reserve can be accessed on foot using public footpaths and bridleways from Drigg, Holmrook and Seascale. Drigg is the closest village, just 1.5km away.

By train

The nearest train stations are in Seascale and Drigg, both served by Northern Rail.

By bus

There are no bus services in the local area.

By car

The reserve lies just off the A595, 1.5km north of Drigg and 3km south east of Seascale. There is no local parking, so it is recommended that you park in local villages and continue on foot to the reserve.

Volunteers and activities

Natural England runs a year-round programme of family-friendly events on our National Nature Reserves, including guided walks and other nature-related activities.

We have volunteer opportunities on NNRs throughout South Cumbria. Whether you have specialist skills you wish to use, or are looking for a chance to get some hands on experience, we’d love to hear from you. Please contact Senior Reserve Manager, Steve Benn, on 015395 31604 or email steve.benn@naturalengland.org.uk for more details.

Students and professionals are also invited to conduct studies on our NNRs. Please contact Senior Reserve Manager, Steve Benn on 015395 31604 or email steve.benn@naturalengland.org.uk to discuss and gain relevant permissions.

Contact

There is no site office at Hallsenna Moor. To contact site staff please use the following details:

Roudsea Wood NNR Base
Fish House Lane
Haverthwaite
Ulverston
Cumbria
LA12 8PE

Telephone: 015395 31604

High Leys

High Leys represents one of the best species rich Hay Meadow sites in Cumbria. The entire site covers a total of 8.83 hectares, with 3.9 hectares of this being referred to as a traditional hay meadow. The remaining areas of the site also offer a rare and floristically interesting experience in wetter grassland and mire communities.

Although permission is not required to access the reserve, visitors are advised to contact the site manager in advance, on 01697 350005.

Main habitats: hay meadow, wetter grassland and mire communities

Features of interest

This reserve is an important remnant of a species rich meadow habitat. It supports a rich and diverse range of plants and invertebrate species. The reserve management has remained unchanged since the 1940s which has preserved the flower-rich grassland.

The importance of the site is not represented by one single species present. Its uniqueness is due to its diversity of species, which today is a rare and special sight in our countryside. The site comprises of dry, damp and marshy grassland offering an impressive visual spectacle during the summer months. Flowers such as the bright and colourful oxeye daisy, yellow rattle and marsh marigold can be found alongside the rarer greater butterfly orchid and adders tongue fern.

Directions

By train

The nearest train station is in Whitehaven (9 km to the west)

By bus

For details of local bus services go to the Traveline website .

By car

High Leys is located 0.5 km east of Rowrah and 1 km west of Kirkland. It adjoins the minor road linking these two villages, off the A5086 Cockermouth to Egremont road. There is no official car parking at the reserve, but there is a lay-by at the site’s entrance.

On foot/bike

The reserve is on Route 71 of the Sustrans National Cycle Network

Walking your dog: From 1 March through to 31 July, ground-nesting birds breed at High Leys. In order to minimise disturbance to these birds all members of the public are required to keep their dogs on a short lead (of no more than 2 metres) during these months, under the Countryside Rights of Way Act.

Parking for 3 cars is available at the entrance to the reserve in a small lay-by which is situated opposite Lamplugh primary school. At the weekends extra parking is available in the parking area for the school which is directly next to the reserve lay-by.

Two site interpretation signs are present on the edge of the reserve. One at the lay-by where visitors can park their cars and the other on the north east corner of the site, which can be seen from the Sustrans track which runs along the boundary of the reserve. They both provide a map of the site and the contact details for the NNR.

The nearest toilet and refreshment facilities are in local towns and villages.

Contact

For more information about visiting the reserve or volunteering please contact the North Cumbria NNR team on 016973 50005.

Hutton Roof

Hutton Roof NNR is an ancient ash-maple woodland on limestone, with areas of limestone pavement and limestone grassland.

Main habitat: woodland

Management: Cumbria Wildlife Trust.

Further information about the NNR, its wildlife and how to visit can be found on the Hutton Roof page of the Cumbria Wildlife Trust’s website.

Contact

Cumbria Wildlife Trust

Email: mail@cumbriawildlifetrust.org.uk

Telephone: 01539 816300

Moor House - Upper Teesdale

Remote, dramatic and exhilarating-the landscape of the Pennines forms the backbone of England, and this reserve gives you the chance to see some of its most spectacular geological formations, waterfalls and panoramic views.

Main habitat: upland, including blanket bog, northern hay meadows and limestone grassland

Features of interest

Rare arctic-alpine plants, remnants of the ice-age, can be found here. During the breeding season (April to June) many species of wading birds such as lapwing, curlew, redshank and golden plover can be seen displaying. Explore using the network of well signed public footpaths and find three dramatic waterfalls , Cauldron Snout, High Force and Low Force.

The reserve is famous for the rare spring gentian as well as England’s largest Juniper wood. The rare black grouse also breeds here, as does the golden plover and ring ouzel.

There is a wide range of different walks and trails across the reserve, from the difficult to the moderate, including the Widdybank Fell Nature Trail, which follows a surfaced track and is suitable for pushchairs and wheelchairs accompanied by helper(s) to push up 2 slopes.

Safety

For your own safety, please keep to the waymarked routes – there are hidden mineshafts in the area.

Beware of unexploded ammunition in the MOD Danger Areas. Access to the Mickle Fell area (MOD Danger Area) is by permit only – applications to The Range Officer, Warcop Training Area, Warcop, Appleby, Cumbria CA16 6PA.

Take care with children – especially along the river bank where water levels can rise quickly, and in the juniper woods around High Force, where there are unfenced cliff edges hidden amongst the bushes

Contact

For more information about the reserve please contact the reserve office:

Widdybank Farm
Langdon Beck
Forest-in-Teesdale
Barnard Castle
Co. Durham
DL12 0HQ

Tel 01833 622374

North Fen

The Fen has developed in an area of land between the head of Esthwaite Water and Priest Pot, a small pond which was separated from the Water around 400 years ago.

Main habitats: peatland

Area: 2 ha

Features of interest

Priest Pot might once have been a private fishery for the monks of Hawkshead Hall, an off-shoot of Furness Abbey - hence its name.

North Fen is most notable as an example of a ‘hydroseral’ succession from open water, through reed swamp, sedge fen, bog and carr woodland to drier oak woodland.

Directions

The reserve is 0.5 km south of the village of Hawkshead.

By car, access to the site is via tracks and minor roads from the B5286. The nearest car park is in Hawkshead.

The nearest train station is Windermere 5 km to the east.

There are bus services (some seasonal) along the B5286, via Ambleside. For details see Transport Direct.

Although there are no public rights of way across the reserve, there are no access restrictions. However, the land is difficult to cross even under the best conditions.

Contact

Telephone 01539 792800
Email: cumbria@naturalengland.org.uk

North Walney

North Walney NNR is a wild and windy coastal site featuring some nationally rare and important habitats such as sand dunes, dune heath, hay meadows, inter-tidal mud flats and salt marsh.

Main habitat: ungrazed saltmarsh, vegetated shingle, inter-tidal mudflats and ‘scars’, hay meadows, sand dunes and dune heath

Features of interest

North Walney is one of the best coastal nature reserves in the country, retaining a real wilderness feel in a largely industrial local landscape. With stunning mountain and sea views, this is the place to stretch your legs and ‘get away from it all’ - and there’s always the chance you might spot some remarkable wildlife.

The reserve’s most famous resident is the noisy natterjack toad. One of the UK’s rarest amphibians, it is only found at around 40 sites in England. These nocturnal amphibians are rarely seen, but during the spring mating season, males can often be heard calling at dusk. The reserve is also a real haven for birdlife. From breeding wildfowl, to wintering waders, birds of prey and passing migrants, the reserve provides year-round interest to any naturalist.

Directions

The reserve can be accessed on foot from Earnse Bay and is approximately 1.2km north of the car park and facilities found there.

Due to the remote nature of the site, North Walney can only be accessed by pedestrians. We regret that there is no access for wheelchair users, mobility scooters or pushchairs.

A path directs visitors on a circular route through the reserve, taking in some of the best habitat and landscape features. A bench provides a well-earned resting spot half way along this route, and a chance to enjoy the impressive views.

Three coloured way-marked routes direct visitors on walks of varying lengths through the NNR. These walks aim to show off the best sights and sounds that North Walney has to offer, whilst guiding visitors safely around the nature reserve.

From 1 March through to 31 July, ground-nesting birds breed at North Walney. In order to minimise disturbance to these birds all members of the public are required to keep their dogs on a short lead (of no more than 2 metres) during these months, under the Countryside Rights of Way Act.

Contact

There is no site office at North Walney. To contact site staff please use the following details:

Roudsea Wood NNR Base
Fish House Lane
Haverthwaite
Ulverston
Cumbria
LA12 8PE

Telephone: 015395 31604

A North Walney wildlife blog has been set up by local enthusiasts who love the nature reserve and visit on a regular basis. To find out more about recent sightings and news from the nature reserve, please visit their website: Wildlife on North Walney.

Roudsea Wood and Mosses

Roudsea Wood and Mosses NNR is a complex site comprising four main habitats: coastal saltmarsh, acid woodland, limestone woodland and lowland raised mire; plus the transitional zones between these habitats.

Main habitats: woodland, peatland

Roudsea offers a plethora of wildlife-spotting opportunities in peaceful and inspiring surroundings. Over 500 plant and 280 fungi species are found in the reserve, including the very rare large yellow sedge, and the endemic Lancaster whitebeam.

Animals found at the site include hazel dormouse, otter and brown hare and the area supports over 50 species of breeding birds such as nightjar, hawfinch, sparrowhawk, woodcock and marsh tit.

A large number of rare and scare invertebrates are found at the site including the short-winged cone-head cricket, bog-bush cricket and raft spider. The diverse moth population includes the barred tooth-stripe, beautiful snout and green silver-lines. Scarce butterflies found here include the silver-washed fritillary and the large heath.

Please note, there are no public rights of way across the reserve and access is by permission only.

To request a permit, contact Senior Reserve Manager, email: rob.petley-jones@naturalengland.org.uk or tel: 07747 852905 providing an email or postal address to which you would like the permit to be sent. Permits enable visitors to visit the reserve using only the permissible footpaths.

Features of interest

The hazel dormouse is on its very north-west limit in Europe at Roudsea Wood. Much effort goes into maintaining the coppice woodlands here to ensure the survival of this tiny creature.

The rosy marsh moth was discovered at Roudsea in August 2005, having long been presumed extinct in England. Its caterpillar can be found feeding on the buds and leaves of bog myrtle on warm May nights.

The wet peatlands on the nature reserve are home to the raft spider, which is able to run over the surface of bog pools in search of prey. It is easily distinguished by two yellow lines running down its back. This fierce hunter is capable of killing small fish and even large dragonflies.

Find out more in the information leaflet for this reserve.

Safety

The peat bogs are beautiful but hazardous, so please do not wander from the boardwalks. Ticks are present on this reserve and Lyme disease is present in this area of the country. Visitors are advised to take adequate precautions such as covering arms and legs, and checking for bites after their visit.

Directions

By cycle

The reserve is located on route 72 (Walney to Weir) of the National Cycle Network.

By train

The nearest train stations are at Cark (5 km to the south) and Ulverston (7 km to the south).

By bus

Regular bus services from Ulverston to Haverthwaite are provided by Stagecoach.

By car

Take the A590 from Junction 36 of the M6 to Haverthwaite village. Then follow the B5278 through the village towards Cark. Immediately after crossing the River Leven turn right onto a one track lane. Follow this lane along the river for 2 km to reach the NNR at SD329827.

There is a small permit holders’ car park to the north of the reserve, which must be used at all times as there is a possibility of flooding along the road at exceptionally high tides.

Contact

For more information about the site:

Email: enquiries@naturalengland.org.uk Telephone: 0300 060 6000

Rusland Moss

The reserve is at the head of the Rusland Valley and is the northern part of one of the few remaining raised mires (peat bogs) in the country.

Main habitats: peatland

Area: 22 ha

Management: Lake District National Park Authority.

Features of interest

Though it has suffered past damage from drainage and peat-cutting, the reserve retains peat forming vegetation and has some surrounding fen.

Sphagnum (bog) mosses dominate the uncut areas of the Moss, with purple moorgrass in the cut areas and fen and carr woodland at the edges. Past drainage has enabled trees and rhododendron to colonise the Moss and they are currently being removed from the mire expanse to allow the peat-forming vegetation to recover.

Rare invertebrates found at the site include the large heath butterfly and money spider.

Please note that there are no public rights of way across the reserve and tree stumps, flooded ditches and wet footpaths can make this site hazardous to visit.

Contact

For information about the site contact Lake District National Park Authority.

Sandscale Haws

The name Sandscale Haws is derived from the Scandinavian words ‘sandra’ and ‘skali’, meaning ‘sand’ and ‘temporary hut’, and the site was probably a wintering ground for sheep. Hawns is an old Norse word meaning ‘hill’.

Main habitat: coastal

Management: National Trust.

Features of interest

Further information about the NNR, its wildlife and how to visit can be found on the Sandscale Haws page of the National Trust website.

Contact

Email: sandscalehaws@nationaltrust.org.uk
Telephone: 01229 462855

National Trust
Sandscale Haws National Nature Reserve
Roanhead
near Barrow in Furness
LA14 4QJ

Sandybeck Meadow

The reserve is a rich area of neutral grassland. This small site is divided in two by the beck from which the site gets its name.

Although permission is not required to access the reserve, visitors are advised to contact the site manager in advance on 01697 350005.

From 1 March through to 31 July, you must keep your dog on a short leash.

Main habitats: neutral grassland

Features of interest

Sandybeck Meadow is one of the smallest NNRs in the country. It is a rare fragment of species rich meadow habitat and offers a spectacular show during the summer months when the diverse range of flora is in bloom.

There are good numbers of greater butterfly orchid on the site, predominately on the northern field.

Directions

The reserve is situated in the Lorton Vale about 4 km south of Cockermouth and lies just within the Lake District National Park. The meadow is located at the junction of two minor roads approximately 3 km to the east of the A5086 Cockermouth to Egremont road.

Grid ref: NY134526801: OS Landranger No 89

By train

The nearest train station is in Workington (15km to the west) served by Northern Rail.

By bus

For details of local bus services go to the Traveline website

By car

The reserve is in Lorton Vale, at the junction of Sandy Beck (which drains into the river Cocker) and Mirk Lane, a minor road from the village of Brandlingill to Lanefoot Farm. By car, access to the area is via minor roads from the A5086, B5292 and B5289.

On foot/bike

Lorton Vale is on Route 71 of the Sustrans National Cycle Network.

Contact

For more information about visiting the reserve or volunteering please contact the North Cumbria NNR team on 016973 50005.

Smardale Gill

The reserve is part of the disused Darlington to Tebay railway line.

Main habitat: woodland

Management: Cumbria Wildlife Trust.

Further information about the NNR, its wildlife and how to visit can be found on the Smardale Gill page of the Cumbria Wildlife Trust website.

Contact

Email: mail@cumbriawildlifetrust.org.uk
Tel: 01539 816300

South Solway Mosses

South Solway Mosses NNR is a composite of 3 large lowland raised bogs: Bowness Common, Glasson Moss and Wedholme Flow.

Main habitat: lowland raised bog

The reserve (land owned and leased by Natural England) covers 1000ha of the South Solway Mosses Special Area of Conservation (SAC).

Features of interest

Local plant life includes a range of sphagnum species, hare’s-tail cotton grass, bog rosemary, cranberry, and cross-leaved heath. All 3 native sundew species are present.

A range of breeding birds is found on the reserve including sparrowhawk, curlew, snipe, sedge and grasshopper warblers. Invertebrates found include large heath butterfly, bog bush cricket and banded demoiselle dragonfly.

Safety

You should wear suitable footwear on the reserve – wellies are required except on the boardwalk on the north edge of Glasson Moss.

Sometimes there is machinery operating on the reserve; please keep away unless you need to contact the operator. If you do, approach from the front, stop before you get too close and wait for the operator to stop.

Deep peaty pools can be found all over the bogs, if you step in you’ll get wet and mucky but it is easy to get out. Be aware there are also a number of deep, steep-sided open water filled drains; please treat these like any other natural water body - don’t enter if you don’t think you will get out.

Directions

South Solway Mosses NNR is in North Cumbria, centred around Kirkbride which is 12 miles west of Carlisle on the Solway coast or 6 miles north of Wigton on the A596.

Bowness Common and Glasson Moss are north of the B5307, near the villages of Glasson, Whitrigg and Bowness-on-Solway. Wedholme Flow is south of the B5307, near the villages of Newton Arlosh and Kirkbride.

By cycle

Glasson and Bowness-on-Solway are on route 72 of the Sustrans National Cycle Network.

By train

The nearest train station is in Wigton (6 miles to the south).

By bus

For details of local bus services go to the Traveline website.

By car

By car, access to the area is via minor roads from the B3507 (Carlisle to Silloth road) and A595/ A596 (Carlisle to Aspatria road).

On foot

Two major trails cross the area, the Cumbria Coastal Way and the Hadrian’s Wall Path.

Contact

Email enquiries@naturalengland.org.uk
Telephone: 0300 060 6000

Tarn Moss

Tarn Moss NNR is a basin mire which supports nutrient-poor fen communities. Although permission is not required to access the reserve, it is a sensitive habitat and visitors are advised to contact the site manager in advance. Contact the North Cumbria NNR Team on 016973 50005 for more details.

Main habitats: peat

Features of interest

The mire communities are of special interest comprising areas of typical acid mire within a matrix of nutrient poor fen, the latter being unusual in true basin mires. In comparison with other Cumbrian basin mires, Tarn Moss is remarkable in being almost entirely devoid of tree or scrub cover, as well as being little disturbed with no obvious signs of past peat cutting.

The poor-fen is the most extensive and best developed community at Tarn Moss. It is characterised by the dominance of Sphagnum bog-mosses and various sedges. Other species include marsh pennywort, marsh cinquefoil, water horsetail, marsh violet , common marsh-bedstraw, lesser spearwort, bog asphodel and cranberry.

Directions

By train

The nearest train station is in Penrith served by Virgin Trains.

By bus

Regular bus services from Penrith to Keswick, along the A66, are provided by Stagecoach Northwest

By car

Tarn Moss is south of, and immediately adjacent to, the A66, 1km east of its junction with the A5091. The nearest towns are Penrith (12km to the east) and Keswick (14km to the west).

On foot/bike

The Moss has some hidden ditches and wet hollows and great care should be taken when walking across its surface.

The reserve is on Route 71 of the Sustrans National Cycle Network

Contact

For more information about visiting the reserve or volunteering please contact the North Cumbria NNR team on 016973 50005.

Thornhill Moss and Meadows

Thornhill Moss NNR is a valley mire and a remnant of a formerly large area of wetland created by two waterways - Holme Dub and Crummock Beck.

Main habitats: peatland

Features of interest

Thornhill Moss is one of only 3 known examples of a sloping valley mire in west Cumbria. The site displays a range of nutrient-poor and nutrient–rich conditions typical of a valley mire and supports a particularly rich and varied flora.

Rare species include lesser-butterfly and early-marsh orchids.

The NNR is almost all that remains of a once large valley wetland complex which has been drained and used for agricultural purposes. The flora communities are maintained by grazing with a small number of Highland cattle in late summer and autumn. Additionally, scrub is selectively controlled by cutting and removal.

Directions

By train

The nearest train station is Wigton served by Northern Rail.

By bus

For details of local bus services go to the Traveline website.

By car

Thornhill Moss is 10 km west of Wigton. The nearest town is Abbeytown, 3 km to the north east. By car, access is via minor roads from the B5301 and B5302. You can park in a layby on the B5302 to the north of a farm track which leads to the reserve.

On foot

Although permission is not required to access the reserve there are no connecting public rights of way or informal rights of way. Visitors are therefore advised to contact the site manager in advance via 016973 50005.

Contact

For more information about visiting the reserve or volunteering, please contact the North Cumbria NNR team on 016973 50005.

Walton Moss

Walton Moss is one of the most pristine bogs in Britain

Main habitats: peatland

Area: 24 ha

Walton Moss has features typical of raised mire but also has structural features of upland blanket bog. It has a variety of Sphagnum moss species and other bryophytes, including some nationally scarce species.

The reserve is home to rare mosses and liverworts, the rare bog rosemary and all three native species of sundew.

In winter a visitor may encounter a merlin or even a peregrine falcon hunting over the Moss.

Directions

By train

The nearest train stations are Brampton and Carlisle served by Northern Rail.

By bus

For details of bus services from Carlisle to Walton go to the Traveline website

By car

The reserve is 7 km north of Brampton and 15 km north east of Carlisle. The nearest villages are Hethersgill (2 km to the west) and Walton (2 km to the south). By car, access to the area is via minor roads from the A6071 and B6318.

On foot/bike

Hethersgill is on Regional Route 10 (Reivers Route) of the Sustrans National Cycle Network which passes near the reserve’s northern boundary.

Contact

For more information about visiting the reserve or volunteering please contact the North Cumbria NNR team on 016973 50005.

Whitbarrow

The reserve lies on Whitbarrow Scar, a carboniferous limestone outcrop just over 200m high.

Main habitats: woodland, lowland grassland, limestone Pavement

Area: 572 ha

Features of interest

Although most NNRs are managed by Natural England, some are wholly or partly managed by other bodies approved under Section 35 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.

Whitbarrow NNR is owned and managed by the Forestry Commission, Lake District National Park Authority and the Cumbria Wildlife Trust.

Further information on the NNR, including the wildlife and how to visit can be found on the Cumbria Wildlife Trust website.

Contact

Joe Murphy (reserve manager)

Tel: 01539 816300

Email:mail@cumbriawildlifetrust.org.uk