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Reserves > Congresbury Moor

Congresbury Moor Reserve comprises five fields plus a sixth, Footmead, which is just outside the historic moor, in the parish of Yatton. The five fields are: Ten Acres, New Croft, Meakers, Phippens and Nortons. Ten Acres is divided into three portions. Below you will find an overview of Congresbury Moor Reserve and detailed sections on its individual fields.

Footmead is an ancient field of a strange shape in the parish of Yatton next to Gangwall, a former flood defence and causeway. When purchased by YACWAG the field had been very unintensively managed. Access to the field is poor, through another landowner’s fields.




GRID REFERENCE: ST 425650



SIZE: 1 ha



PREVIOUS OWNER: Bristol Society of Friends (since 1856)



WHEN PURCHASED: December 2007



PURCHASE PRICE: £4,000



FUNDERS: YACWAG funds



SPECIAL WILDLIFE:

Weltand plants like tubular water dropwort, ragged robin, yellow loosestrife, brooklime. Grass snakes.


Footmead is managed by an annual hay cut taken after mid July in order to allow plants to set seed and some invertebrates to complete their life cycles.


In 2010 after the ditches had been cleared and bare earth was created on the margins, the following plants came up.


Plants coming up on the bare earth created by the ditch works carried out late winter 2010/11:

Marsh speedwell    Veronica scutellata

Lesser water parnsip    Berula erecta

Tubular water dropwort - Oenanthe fistulosa (T&F moved some of these plants to the ditch edge from dry positions further into the field)

Bittersweet    Solanum tuberosum

Water forgetmenot    Myosotis scorpioides

Water mint    Mentha aquatica

Brooklime    Veronica beccabunga

Sweet vernal grass    Anthoxanthum odoratum

Yorkshire fog    Holcus lanatus

Oxeye daisy    Leucanthemum vulgare

Ragged robin    Lychnis flos-cuculi

Yellow loosestrife    Lysimachia vulgaris (occasional mainly on south west side)

Celery leaved buttercup    Ranunculus scleratus

Tufted vetch    Vicia cracca

Meadow vetchling    Lathyrus pratensis

Greater birdsfoot trefoil Lotus uliginosus

Red clover    Trifolium pratense

Meadow buttercup    Ranunculus acris

Creeping buttercup    Ranunculus repens

Great willowherb

Square stalked St Johns wort    Hypericum tetrapterum

Branched bur reed    Sparganium erectum

Scentless mayweed    Tripleurospermum inodorum

Oil seed rape    Brassica napus (single plant)

Bog stitchwort    Stellaria uliginosa ??



PUBLIC ACCESS:

The field can be overlooked with binoculars from Gangwall. Access is by appointment, or by joining a workparty or survey group. The field is left undisturbed for wildlife.


Management of the field is challenging, since access by machinery is very difficult for most of the year due to mud in the adjacent field. YACWAG manages by a hay cut when possible and grazing by cattle and/or sheep.


A pole box was erected and barn owls have bred here, in spite of its proximity to the Congresbury Moor owls.  An artificial otter holt was made in the field. Otters have left signs of their presence nearby.


Overview
Ten Acres (1999)
New Croft (2000)
Meakers (2000)
Phippens (2001)
Footmead (2007)
Nortons (2009)

Overview

Congresbury Moor is the historic name for part of the wetland known as Northmarsh that served Congresbury as common land until Enclosure in 1813 (note: the Enclosure Acts was a series of Acts of Parliament in the UK which enclosed open fields and common land in the country, creating legal property rights to land that was previously considered common). Situated south and east of the Strawberry Line the Congresbury Moor Reserve now lies within the Biddle Street Site of Scientific Interest (SSSI).


Most of its fields are managed as “rough grassland” with a non-intensive level of cutting and grazing. There are some wetland wild flowers like fleabane and cuckoo flower, as well as moorland birds like snipe and stonechat and, due to the high numbers of small mammals, kestrels and barn owls also breed here. Otters pass through and Roe deer can sometimes be observed from the Strawberry Line, which gives a good view over the Ten Acre field.

Ten Acres

Ten Acres was the first of YACWAG’s land purchases in 1999.


A large blind ditch was constructed to provide wetland habitat. This is known as the Wiggly Ditch.



GRID REFERENCE: ST 427645



SIZE: 4.09 ha

One large field divided into three compartments of approximately equal size.



PREVIOUS OWNER: Malcolm Cooke of Rectory Farm Yatton



WHEN PURCHASED: October 1999



PURCHASE PRICE: £24,900



HOW FUNDED:

Heritage Lottery Fund

YANSEC: Wessex Watermark Gold Award



HABITAT CREATION: English Nature



SPECIAL WILDLIFE:

Kestrel, barn owl, snipe in winter, roe deer, harvest mice.

Pole boxes for kestrels and owls were erected in 2001/2 and replaced in 2011/12



PUBLIC ACCESS:

Ten Acres is conveniently situated so barn owls and kestrels feeding on the mammals in the field can be seen from the Strawberry Line. Physical access to Ten Acres is available through open days, or if you would like to visit at another time, e.g. for research purposes, please contact us.



New Croft

New Croft, the next field to the west of Ten Acres, is a traditional hay meadow, enclosed from the moor in the seventeenth century. ("Croft" means enclosure.) It has meadow plants like pepper saxifrage, wild carrot and knapweed. Wide margins are left uncut to allow homes for voles and invertebrates but the centre of the field is cut for hay annually.



GRID REFERENCE: ST 428646



SIZE: 1.81 HA



PREVIOUS OWNER: Mary Meaker



WHEN PURCHASED: October 2000



PURCHASE PRICE: £17,500 with another small field - Meakers



HOW FUNDED:

Heritage Lottery Fund

YANSEC: Wessex Watermark



SPECIAL WILDLIFE:

Hay meadow flowers such as knapweed, pepper saxifrage, greater birdsfoot trefoil, meadowsweet. Insects like 6 spot burnet moths, marbled white butterflies.



PUBLIC ACCESS:

New Croft is visited in the summer to survey the invertebrates and wild flowers there. If you would be interested in joining a group to look around please get in touch. Otherwise the field is left undisturbed for nature, apart from Open Days.


2 Black Poplar cuttings were planted winter 2001/2


Two public traditional hay-cutting events with vintage machinery were held in New Croft July 2002, July 2003


Meakers

Meakers is a small field named after Mrs Mary Meaker who sold it to YACWAG along with New Croft.



GRID REFERENCE: ST 428643



SIZE: 0.98 HA



PREVIOUS OWNER: Mary Meaker



WHEN PURCHASED: October 2000



PURCHASE PRICE: £17,500 with New Croft



HOW FUNDED: Heritage Lottery Fund

YANSEC: Wessex Watermark



SPECIAL WILDLIFE:

In and near the ditch – tubular water dropwort, water mint, fleabane.



PUBLIC ACCESS:

If you would be interested in looking around the field or carrying out wildlife surveys, please get in touch. Otherwise the field is left undisturbed for nature, apart from Open Days.


Meakers in 2011 had a creeping thistle infestation which has declined as soil fertility has decreased. YACWAG does not intend to treat it.


Pole box erected December 2004.

Phippens

Phippens is the next field to the west of Meakers – a field that YACWAG was keen to purchase to complete a block of land managed for wildlife. It is named after Bill Phippen, a Congresbury farmer who sold it to YACWAG.




GRID REFERENCE: ST 428643



SIZE: 0.63 ha



PREVIOUS OWNER: Bill Phippen



WHEN PURCHASED: November 2001



PURCHASE PRICE: £5,000



HOW FUNDED:

YANSEC

Anonymous donor

In memoriam donation Trevor Riddle



SPECIAL WILDLIFE:

Cuckoo flower in spring, reed buntings breed in a bramble patch in the field.



PUBLIC ACCESS:

If you would be interested in joining a group to look around this field, or to carry out surveys, please get in touch. Otherwise the field is left undisturbed for nature, apart from Open Days.


A pole box was erected in December 2004.


Footmead

The purchase of Nortons completed our land purchases giving a block of land managed for wildlife on Congresbury Moor. This means livestock can be moved from field to field.



GRID REFERENCE: ST429642



SIZE: 0.38 ha



PREVIOUS OWNER: Mr Jones



WHEN PURCHASED: Nov 2009



PURCHASE PRICE: £12,000



HOW FUNDED:

YANSEC – 58.3%

YACWAG funds



SPECIAL WILDLIFE:

The field has several species of vetch. An oak tree is on the ditch edge.



PUBLIC ACCESS:

This small field can be viewed from the track that forms part of the Strawberry Line (Moor Lane). Physical access is possible through organized workparties, surveys or by contacting YACWAG. Otherwise the field is left undisturbed for nature.



In 2012 Nortons north ditch was re-dug and willows pollarded. A little owl box was put in the oak tree and pole box erected.


Nortons

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