Saturday, 31 August 2013

Avon Wildlife Safari Day 44 - Visit North Somerset.....

Great diving beetle larvae found in the rhynes on Puxton Moor. photo: Aseda

Avon Wildlife Trust's Puxton Moor nature reserve is set within the heart of the North Somerset Levels and Moors. It is an extremely valuable nature reserve, incorporating large amounts of SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest) land and species rich rhynes (watery ditches). This area has been extensively surveyed by Dr Kate Pressland, Avon Wildlife Trust's Senior Project Officer, on the North Somerset Wetland programme, and her team. Kate works across the North Somerset Levels and Moors, surveying the ditches and assessing the quality of the habitat, in order to establish the most productive way to develop a conservation plan to connect up the 'living landscape'. So far Kate and her team have collected 7232 different species records of plants and invertebrates across the extensive area of low-lying wetland adjacent to the Severn Estuary that makes up her project area. This area is rich in irreplaceable natural and historic heritage, with evidence of Roman habitation and Medieval earthwork. If you would like to find out more about this work then take a look at the Avon Wildlife Trust website here.

There are footpaths across the nature reserve as marked on the map to the left in small, black, dotted lines, but if you would like to download and print out your own map and key you can do so here. There is also an open access arrangement across the site but please be careful as the rhynes are often steep sided and may contain deep water.
The wetlands are rich in both flora and fauna, with rare plants such as frogbit and rootless duckweed and scarce invertebrates like the hairy dragonfly and water scorpion.

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