Saturday 20th, 1000-1300, Derwent Gorge and Muggleswick Wood: visit
We have permission from Natural England for a party of 12 maximum to visit this designated site. and their description follows.
The site contains some of the finest ancient oak woodlands in north east England as well as some unique semi natural grasslands. It is designated as Site of Scientific Special Interest for these features in addition to its lichen assemblage.
Main habitats: ancient oak and ash woodland
Features of interest
The zonation of woodland types, from dry acid sessile oak woods on the higher ground to the flushed lime rich ash woodland and wet alder woodland in the lower slopes, creates a rich diversity of woodland flora and fauna. The site is recognised as regionally important for epiphytic lichens, with over 60 species recorded.
Red kites and buzzards may be seen gliding above the canopy with spotted and pied flycatcher, redpoll, siskins and wood warblers within the woods. Dippers, kingfishers and goosanders frequent the river and its tributaries, whilst historically the site has had populations of red squirrel and there are roe deer in the woods.
Noel Jackson comments on a very recent visit; ‘We had a lovely morning out with Lanchester Wildlife Group Juniors in the Derwent Gorge near Crooked Oak. The highlight of the trip was a Pied Flycatcher but the flowers were good too. It was not just ancient woodland indicators like Sanicle, Common Cow-wheat and Woodruff but the way that so many species were mixed up to gether. We got a very real feel for what Biodiverse means. We also found a
Salvia that had just come into leaf so we were unable to identify it. Reason to go back again I think.’
The reserve lies 4 miles (6.5km) south-west of Consett in Co Durham. Take the A629 through Castleside towards Stanhope, after half a mile turn right towards Muggleswick.
[Enter the NNR along a public footpath which begins a further mile and a quarter (2km) along this road on the right hand side (grid reference NZ055487).]
BUT, parking is restricted to 3 cars at the most, so please do NOT park as above. instead we will
meet at Whitehall car park (along the Waskerley Way) at 1000 and travel in 3 cars max to the parking spot. Click here for directions.
You will need sturdy footwear and wellies are best for uneven s woodland paths that may involve a little scrambling. Be prepared for the weather, dress according to the forecast. No cafe, so bring your own hot drinks and lunch.
There are places available, so if you wish to attend please email me at;
by Wednesday 17th and indicate if you need a lift or are able to offer a lift.