Clints Quarry Nature Reserve
This reserve, now a Site of Special Scientific Interest, was once a limestone quarry with its deposits used in agriculture and industry. Quarry work ceased in the early 1930s, and vegetation took over the spoil heaps and vertical rock faces.
Grasses and flowering plants are in abundance. These include oat grass, sedges, tufted hair grass, hemp agrimony, and ox-eye daisies. Pink pyramidal orchids and bee orchids can be spotted as well as the pale pink common spotted orchid and pink northern marsh orchid. The numerous rabbits help keep the grass in check.
In addition to the grassland there is bare rock and limestone woodland. The woodland gives birth to bluebell, dog's mercury, enchanter's nightshade, and the early purple and common twayblade orchids.
Butterflies inhabiting the reserve include the common blue, meadow brown, and gatekeeper. Kestrels and ravens have nests on the cliff faces. Gold-crest, long-tailed tit, and tree creeper birds are found in the woodland.
The pools formed by the depressions left from industry provide water for wildlife and a home for frogs, stickleback, and newts.
Location: near Egremont; A595 from Egremont turning right to A5086, then first left; parking opposite entrance; by bicycle on the Egremont-Whitehaven route.
Sheet No 89
NY 008 124
Open to the public
Photos courtesy of Ann Bowker
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