Local Nature Reserves are sited on Council owned land and are declared by the Council in partnership with Natural England.
They are managed with 'the conservation of nature and the provision of opportunities for study, research or enjoyment of nature as the priority concern'.
The Council manages the Local Nature Reserves to protect and enhance their biodiversity whilst encouraging their use for informal recreation and education. We also have responsibility for identifying potential new sites as Local Nature Reserves and making new declarations.
There are currently seven Local Nature Reserves in the Borough:
Cleadon Hills Local Nature Reserve
Cleadon Hills Local Nature Reserve is situated just north of Cleadon Village off Sunniside Lane.
Recent events on the site have included a butterfly day in the company of a local expert and a spring clean.
More information: Cleadon Hills local nature reserve484.14KB
Harton Downhill Local Nature Reserve
Harton Downhill Local Nature Reserve is known locally as Blackberry Hills and is situated by the Coast Road in the Horsley Hill area of South Shields.
In 2003/04, children from Downhill Infant School and Cheviot Junior School explored the site with the Countryside Officer. This provided inspiration for art workshops with local artist Jim Roberts.
Using the children's designs Jim created 12 metal posts which have been placed out on the reserve to guide the grass cutters around them, leaving a little more of the vegetation on site uncut, which will mean more wild flowers and more wildlife.
More information: The Coast: Trow Point to Lizard Point264.26KB
Marsden Old Quarry Local Nature Reserve
Marsden Old Quarry Local Nature Reserve is situated just opposite Lizard Lane Caravan Park. This site has received considerable grant funding from the Aggregates Levy Sustainability Fund to carry out a series of improvements, which have included:
- Removing all graffiti from the cliff faces
- Improving access points
- Installing new signs and interpretation boards
- Managing problem plant species such as Japanese Knotweed
- Creating new areas of precious magnesian limestone grassland and surfacing muddy paths
Recent public events on the site have included a Family Fun Day, quiz and treasure hunt, practical management tasks and a wild flower walk.
More information: Marsden Old Quarry nature reserve408.55KB
Primrose Local Nature Reserve
Primrose Local Nature Reserve is situated along the River Don footpath in Jarrow.
For the past few years, Countryside Volunteers South Tyneside (CVST) have undertaken annual 'clean ups' of the reserve to assist with its management.
Other recent events at the reserve have included bug hunts, pond dipping and a talk on the water birds by the Avicultural Warden from the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust.
Tilesheds Local Nature Reserve
Tilesheds Local Nature Reserve is situated off Tileshed Lane between Boldon and Cleadon. Close to the reserve Countryside Volunteers South Tyneside (CVST) have created an 'edible landscape' by planting out old and unusual varieties of fruit trees for both human and animal visitors to eat and enjoy.
To receive booklets about this project free of charge, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Recent public events at Tilesheds LNR have included Apple Day celebrations and a 'Tots and Teddies' event for younger children.
More information: Newton Garth and Tilesheds Local Nature Reserve190.94KB
Station Burn Local Nature Reserve
Station Burn Local Nature Reserve is situated next to Brockley Whins Metro Station and was declared in 2006.
Recent improvements include the installation of litter bins, signage, fencing and new paths. Also habitat management has helped to safeguard the water vole population.
More information: Station Burn and Colliery Wood201.52KB
Whitburn Point Local Nature Reserve
Whitburn Point Local Nature Reserve is situated in the Whitburn Coastal Park just east of the Shearwater Estate.
The reserve was declared in 2003 and is managed by the National Trust. The Whitburn Observatory is situated on the Local Nature Reserve and is used by Durham Bird Club and other interested members of the community for watching sea birds and mammals.
More information: The coast - Lizard point to Whitburn223.43KB
Plans for our Local Nature Reserves
We are planning to improve and expand our resource of Local Nature Reserves and the first step is to produce management plans for the existing reserves. Over the next 12 months, draft plans will be written for the following sites, and consulted on:
- Cleadon Hills Local Nature Reserve
- Harton Downhill Local Nature Reserve
- Marsden Old Quarry Local Nature Reserve
- Primrose Local Nature Reserve
- Station Burn Local Nature Reserve
- Tilesheds Local Nature Reserve
- Whitburn Point Local Nature Reserve
The management plans will set out what is already known about each site including its history, ecology and infrastructure, leading on to what we would like to achieve on the site and how. Drafts of each plan will be sent out for consultation and this is your opportunity to get involved.
We will be inviting comments and suggestions for each site in turn and would welcome input from site users to help us plan how to get the most out of each site both for people and wildlife.
Some aspects of the management plans will be aspirational, meaning that we may not yet have the resources to implement everything we would like to do, but the plans will be used as a tool to help us gain the support and resources needed to manage them more effectively.