TYPE OF HABITAT
Cliff-top grassland covering 2.0ha, with a panoramic view.
OS map ref .SS 200 046
1.8km (I mile) south of Bude. on the road to Widemouth Bay, opposite the Chough Hotel; the Coastal Footpath also crosses the reserve.
Approximately 5 acres, the reserve consists of a narrow strip of magnificent vertical and slumping high cliffs, 2 miles north of Widemouth Bay. Typical coastal vegetation is found an the cliff tops and parts of the face, including maritime grassland, maritime western heath and some patches of mixed scrub. Hedges mark the northern and southern boundaries of the reserve. The exposed position keeps the heathland and scrub windclipped. A seat commanding a fine panoramic view is situated midway between the hedges. From here you can see to the tracking station at Morwenstow. Folds in the rock can be seen clearly from the sea, and from certain points along the foreshore.
SPECIES OF PARTICULAR INTEREST
The maritime grassland is very short in places and consists mainly of red fescue with typical cliff flowers such as sea campion, thrift, wild carrot and, in eroded areas, sea plantain. In places, taller coarse grasses take over, accompanied by thistles, docks and dandelions. A small area of maritime heath is situated near the seat opposite the hotel. This consists of western gorse and bell heather with scattered clumps of ling. The heathland is replaced by scrub with blackthorn, brambles, western and European gorse. Dodder, a parasitic plant which looks like red string thrown onto the gorse, is widespread, and in August supports a mass of small, pink flowers.
|Wheatears, stonechats, meadow and rock pipits ca be seen on the cliff top. Gulls and fulmars, as well as ravens use the cliff face; shags, cormorants, razorbills and guillemots feed at sea. Many of these birds breed along this coast. Seals also frequent the area.|
More Nature Reserves