Barlow Burn Nature Reserve

Terrain: Moderate
Size: 19.8 hectares
OS Map: 316
Nearest Postcode: NE21 6JN
Nearest Town: Blaydon
Grid Reference: NZ 162 622
Space for notices concerning current nature reserve

Several blocks of woodland with disused sand quarry habitats including ponds and grasslands

The site has several blocks of woodland with disused sand quarry habitats including ponds and grasslands. Bog Wood has rich and diverse ground flora unique in Gateshead including globeflower, bogbean, yellow flag, narrow buckler fern and meadowsweet.

Streamside vegetation has tall-herb communities with celery-leaved water crowfoot, hairy willowherb, sweet cicely and figwort. Large bittercress, marsh marigold and marsh hawk’s-beard is found in wooded areas.

The grasslands have considerable botanical interest with sheep’s-bit, kidney vetch and bird’s-foot growing on bare ground with restharrow, bird’s-foot-trefoil and harebell in more closed communities. There are good numbers of butterflies including dingy skipper, wall brown and common blue.

The old quarry settling ponds are heavily vegetated with reedmace as the dominant marginal and water horsetail with occasional water plantain and hairy willowherb. Broad-leaved and Canadian pondweed is abundant with smaller amounts of water-starwort. Breeding birds abound include water rail, reed bunting, sedge warbler, grasshopper warbler and little grebe as well as large populations of frogs and toads.

DWT took over the management of this site from Gateshead Council in June 2014 and will be continuing the work to develop the area for wildlife.

Reserve Map & Access

There is a surfaced footpath running through the centre of the reserve. Other areas of the site are less accessible.

Access and Parking
The reserve is linked with accessible paths from Blaydon Burn via a cycle route. Some parking is available at Sandy Bank which offers a pleasant walk through the reserve.

Barlow Burn is 15 mins from the Metro Centre. Set Sat Nav to NE21 6JN.  There is space for two cars opposite a stile/cycle path entrance sign posted “Greenside – Barlow”.  If there is no parking, then go down the hill 100m to a larger area on the right.

To get to the ponds, follow the track/cycle path for about 1.5km, and approx. 50m before you get to the only buildings, follow a less distinct path to your left. This will take you behind the electricity pylon and to the ponds. The ponds are at NZ 156 618 or if you use the “What3Words” app then it is at “duration.tapers.amazed”

This path will take you out of the reserve at the far end, but as the route is not circular, you will need to return the same way.

Public Transport
Not readily accessible by public transport. There is a regular bus service to Greenside but the site is still some way from the village. Private transport is recommended.

Welcome, but on leads at all times.

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Durham Wildlife Trust Relies on the support of its members and volunteers to help manage and maintain its nature reserves for you, for wildlife and for future generations. Every £1 raised through membership generates £5.32 for nature conservation from Tees to Tyne. Please join today if you are not already a member.