Tarn Sike Nature Reserve

Sunbiggin Tarn by Matt Raftery FlickTarn Sike Nature Reserve has a number of different habitats and is located within Sunbiggin Tarn and Moors Site of Special Scientific Interest. It is important due to the variety and number of flora and for breeding birds. From the tarn a stream flows into and through the reserve.

One habitat is acidic heath vegetation, home to cross-leaved heath, Sphagnum moss, and purple moor grass.Marsh Marigold by Lakeland Cam Lime-rich flushes have black bog-rush, bird's eye primrose, and Parnassus grass as well as early marsh and northern marsh orchid, broad leaved cotton grass, and sedges. Other plants found in these areas include bog bean, round leaved sundew, butterwort, marsh marigold, meadowsweet and marsh cinquefoil.

Redshank by Cornwall CamThe birds include mallard, redshank, curlew, snipe, meadow pipit, skylark and yellow wagtail. In the winter are also teal and short-eared owl.

Fifteen species of snail are found in the lime-rich flushes. The reserve's butterflies include the common blue, green veined white, and small heath. Moths are the emperor and fox. The occasional fox, hare, stoat and short-tailed vole have been spotted.Foxcub by Cornwall Cam

Map Reference:
OS 1:50,000
Sheet No 91
NY 665 076
Open to members. Non-members need to have a permit – tel. 01539 816 300 for details.
From Orton take road signed for Raisbeck; at Raisbeck follow signs for Sunbiggin tarn, then Asby and Soulby. After 2km and crossing a cattlegrid, road opens onto the fell. Park and follow boundary wall on left side of road for 300km to reserve.

Photos courtesy of © Matt Raftery , Tony Richards , Charles Winpenny

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