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Plessey Woods

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===Check-list=== ===Check-list===
-[[Image:Nuthatch_AL.jpg|thumb|50px|right|Photo by {{user|lazza|Andy Lamb}}<br /> Nuthatch, Plessey Woods]]+[[Image:Nuthatch_AL.jpg|thumb|100px|right|Photo by {{user|lazza|Andy Lamb}}<br /> Nuthatch, Plessey Woods]]
{{BirdsSee|[[Great Cormorant|Cormorant]], [[Mute Swan]], [[Canada Goose]], [[Mallard]], [[Goosander]], [[Eurasian Sparrowhawk| Sparrowhawk]], [[Buzzard]], [[Eurasian Kestrel|Kestrel]], [[Common Pheasant]], [[Great Crested Grebe]], [[Grey Heron]], [[Common Moorhen]], [[Common Coot]], [[Northern Lapwing]], [[Eurasian Curlew]], [[Black-headed Gull]], [[Lesser Black-backed Gull]], [[Herring Gull]], [[Great Black-backed Gull]], [[Common Wood Pigeon]], [[Eurasian Collared Dove]], [[Common Cuckoo]], [[Barn Owl]], [[Common Swift]], [[Common Kingfisher]], [[Great Spotted Woodpecker]], [[Eurasian Skylark]], [[Sand Martin]], [[Barn Swallow]], [[Northern House Martin]], [[Meadow Pipit]], [[Pied Wagtail]], [[Grey Wagtail]], [[Yellow Wagtail]], [[Eurasian Wren]], [[Dunnock]], [[European Robin]], [[Eurasian Blackbird]], [[Fieldfare]], [[Song Thrush]], [[Mistle Thrush]], [[Eurasian Reed Warbler]], [[Sedge Warbler]], [[Blackcap]], [[Common Whitethroat]], [[Common Chiffchaff]], [[Willow Warbler]], [[Goldcrest]], [[Long-tailed Tit]], [[Blue Tit]], [[Great Tit]], [[Coal Tit]], [[Eurasian Nuthatch]], [[Eurasian Treecreeper]], [[Common Magpie]], [[Eurasian Jay|Jay]], [[Eurasian Jackdaw]], [[Rook]], [[Carrion Crow]], [[Common Starling]], [[House Sparrow]], [[Chaffinch]], [[European Greenfinch]], [[European Goldfinch]], [[Eurasian Bullfinch]], [[Eurasian Linnet]], [[Yellowhammer]], [[Reed Bunting]] {{BirdsSee|[[Great Cormorant|Cormorant]], [[Mute Swan]], [[Canada Goose]], [[Mallard]], [[Goosander]], [[Eurasian Sparrowhawk| Sparrowhawk]], [[Buzzard]], [[Eurasian Kestrel|Kestrel]], [[Common Pheasant]], [[Great Crested Grebe]], [[Grey Heron]], [[Common Moorhen]], [[Common Coot]], [[Northern Lapwing]], [[Eurasian Curlew]], [[Black-headed Gull]], [[Lesser Black-backed Gull]], [[Herring Gull]], [[Great Black-backed Gull]], [[Common Wood Pigeon]], [[Eurasian Collared Dove]], [[Common Cuckoo]], [[Barn Owl]], [[Common Swift]], [[Common Kingfisher]], [[Great Spotted Woodpecker]], [[Eurasian Skylark]], [[Sand Martin]], [[Barn Swallow]], [[Northern House Martin]], [[Meadow Pipit]], [[Pied Wagtail]], [[Grey Wagtail]], [[Yellow Wagtail]], [[Eurasian Wren]], [[Dunnock]], [[European Robin]], [[Eurasian Blackbird]], [[Fieldfare]], [[Song Thrush]], [[Mistle Thrush]], [[Eurasian Reed Warbler]], [[Sedge Warbler]], [[Blackcap]], [[Common Whitethroat]], [[Common Chiffchaff]], [[Willow Warbler]], [[Goldcrest]], [[Long-tailed Tit]], [[Blue Tit]], [[Great Tit]], [[Coal Tit]], [[Eurasian Nuthatch]], [[Eurasian Treecreeper]], [[Common Magpie]], [[Eurasian Jay|Jay]], [[Eurasian Jackdaw]], [[Rook]], [[Carrion Crow]], [[Common Starling]], [[House Sparrow]], [[Chaffinch]], [[European Greenfinch]], [[European Goldfinch]], [[Eurasian Bullfinch]], [[Eurasian Linnet]], [[Yellowhammer]], [[Reed Bunting]]

Revision as of 10:49, 25 April 2012


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Photo by Andy LambHalf Farm Wood, Plessey Woods
Photo by Andy Lamb
Half Farm Wood, Plessey Woods

England, Northumberland

Contents

Overview

Plessey Woods is a country park in south east Northumberland lying along the north bank of the River Blyth about 4 miles inland from the North Sea. The woods are approximately 2 miles north east of Cramlington and 1 mile south west of Bedlington, with several access points along the A192 (Cramlington to Morpeth) road, including a pay-and-display car park to the north of the village of Hartford Bridge.

The woods cover over 100 acres (0.40 km2) of woodland, meadows and riverside, with several paths through the woods and along the river banks, numerous picnic areas, and a visitors' centre and café.


Birds

Notable Species

Resident species

Kingfisher, Dipper are frequently seen along the river, as are Mallard, Mute Swan, and Grey Heron. In the surrounding woods commonly found species include Great Spotted Woodpecker, Nuthatch, Treecreeper, Jay, Goldcrest and several tit and finch species.

Kestrel, Buzzard and Sparrowhawk are also all reasonably common.

Summer Visitors

Plessey Woods hosts many visiting species during the summer. Among hirundines, Barn Swallow, Sand Martin, and House Martin are common, and several species of warbler can be found, including Blackcap, Chiffchaff, Eurasian Reed Warbler, Willow Warbler and Sedge Warbler.

Winter Visitors

Winter visitors on the river include Goosander and Great Cormorant, while Fieldfare and Redwing can be commonly seen in the surrounding meadows.

Passage Birds

Rarities

Check-list

Photo by Andy Lamb Nuthatch, Plessey Woods
Photo by Andy Lamb
Nuthatch, Plessey Woods

Birds you can see here include:

Cormorant, Mute Swan, Canada Goose, Mallard, Goosander, Sparrowhawk, Buzzard, Kestrel, Common Pheasant, Great Crested Grebe, Grey Heron, Common Moorhen, Common Coot, Northern Lapwing, Eurasian Curlew, Black-headed Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Herring Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Common Wood Pigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Common Cuckoo, Barn Owl, Common Swift, Common Kingfisher, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Eurasian Skylark, Sand Martin, Barn Swallow, Northern House Martin, Meadow Pipit, Pied Wagtail, Grey Wagtail, Yellow Wagtail, Eurasian Wren, Dunnock, European Robin, Eurasian Blackbird, Fieldfare, Song Thrush, Mistle Thrush, Eurasian Reed Warbler, Sedge Warbler, Blackcap, Common Whitethroat, Common Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler, Goldcrest, Long-tailed Tit, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Coal Tit, Eurasian Nuthatch, Eurasian Treecreeper, Common Magpie, Jay, Eurasian Jackdaw, Rook, Carrion Crow, Common Starling, House Sparrow, Chaffinch, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch, Eurasian Bullfinch, Eurasian Linnet, Yellowhammer, Reed Bunting

Other Wildlife

There is a good population of red squirrels in the woods, although they can be difficult to find at peak times due to the number of dog walkers. There are occasional sightings of otters in the River Blyth, and the woods and surrounding meadows also hold roe deer, foxes, rabbits, stoats and hares.


Site Information

History and Use

The woods get their name from John de Plessey, who was granted permission to use timber from the woods to build a mill during the 13th century by the Baron of Morpeth, Robert de Merlay.

In addition to providing timber, the woods held were mined for coal from the mid 17th century until the early 19th century, and provided good quality sandstone that was used in local buildings (such as the nearby Hartford Hall) and reportedly in the rebuilding of the Houses of Parliament in the mid 19th century.

Areas of Interest

River Blyth and Valley Wood

Running through the woods from the North West - at Plessey Mill Farm - to the East at Hartford Bridge, the River Blyth provides the main habitat for several key species at Plessey Woods, including otter, dipper and kingfisher. In addition, there are several red squirrel feeders along the river banks, and the paths here are a good place to find squirrels early morning. Mostly wooded, with footpaths along its northern bank through Valley Wood, there are several picnic areas in clearings along the banks, including the popular Pool, which provides easy access to a short stretch of the river suitable for swimming.

Half Farm Wood and Quarry Wood

Occupying the highest parts of Plessey Woods, these woods are mixed deciduous woodlands in the centre of the park, surrounded by various surfaced and unsurfaced paths. Half Farm Wood is the location of the main bird-feeding station, situated adjacent to one of the picnic areas, while Quarry Wood is the site of an old sandstone quarry.

Plessey Bank

Woodland lying on the steeper south bank of the River Blyth, which is managed as a nature sanctuary and has no public access, although many of its woodland species are visible from the north bank of the river.

The Meadow

A large area of grassland within the park boundaries.

Other

MapThere is also a small pond near Pegwhistle Burn, along the western edge of the park, which is a good site for insects and other water life.

Access and Facilities

The main vehicle access is via the public pay-and-display car park, on the left about 300yds after the A192/A1068 junction heading north from Cramilngton to Morpeth.

Public rights of way link Plessey Woods with the surrounding countryside.

The park has a Visitor Centre, located near the main car park, which has toilets, a café and a small information centre, all with disabled access. Recent sightings are posted on a board in the visitor centre, although this is far from exhaustive.

A children's play park is located next to the Visitor Centre.

There are several areas for picnics, including the fields next to the Visitor Centre, the "beach" area on the River Blyth, and in the woods near the bird-feeder area.

Grid reference NZ238805


Contact Details

External Links

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