Augill Pasture Nature Reserve

Cranesbill flower by Tony RichardsAugill Pasture Nature Reserve is under the care of the Cumbria Wildlife Trust but owned by Plantlife. There was industry in this area in the past: a smelt mill that produced lead and a mill. The land was used for grazing and hay. Trees were cut for fuel. This activity resulted in the rare hay meadow habitat of this reserve. This reserve has one of the most diverse grasslands in the eastern part of the county. From May to September there are many flowers in bloom.

Knapweed by Charles WinpennyMarshy areas support marsh marigold, ragged robin, marsh valerian, sedges and the rare bird's-eye primrose. Dry areas are home to devil's-bit scabious, knapweed, wood cranesbill, great burnet, yellow rattle, and other plants. Rare/unusual plants include several types of orchids, globeflower, and adder's tongue fern.

Hawthorn berries by Charles WinpennyMoving towards the woodland vegetation includes birch, hawthorn, and blackthorn scrub. In the wetter woodland bay willow flourish. Woods contain ash, birch, rowan, hazel, and hawthorn. Bluebells, dog's mercury, and wood avens like the ground under the trees.

Rabbits are found in the grassland, and roe deer in the wood.

To visit Augill Pasture take the A66 east from Brough for 1km, then take first left, then immediate right to Augill House Farm. Follow this road till it ends and park by council storage area. Go through gate on left hand side of storage area and head uphill past old smelt mill. The pasture is open to everyone.

Photos courtesy of Tony Richards and Charles Winpenny

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