The neutral grassland has an abundance of wildflowers including meadowseet and spotted orchid. The upper slopes provide breeding habitat for willow warbler, yellowhammer, linnet and lesser white-throat, a scarce breeding bird in Gateshead.
Know before you go
Grazing animalsExmoor ponies graze the site in late summer and autumn to preserve its botanical interest
Not readily accessible with a stile at entrance to the site. No pathways and some steep slopes at lower part of the reserve.Very waterlogged in parts.
Access and Parking
There is no parking directly adjacent to the reserve. Visitors are advised to park in the village and take the footpath through the Tyneside Golf Club in the direction of the river. Please be advised that the site is grazed with Exmoor ponies in late summer and autumn to preserve its botanical interest.
There is a regular bus service from Newcastle and the Gateshead Exchange to Ryton.
When to visit
Opening timesOpen all hours
Best time to visitMarch to July
About the reserve
This site is an important component of the Tyne Valley wildlife corridor, which follows the River Tyne from Wylam to Bill Quay.
The neutral grassland has flush communities dominated by hard and soft rush with common-spotted orchid, marsh thistle, meadowsweet and ragged robin. Cowslip and primrose occur on a small flush at the base of the slope with two small ponds.
The drier upper slopes support a typical community with field woodrush, heath bedstraw, cats-ear and birds-foot trefoil. This is becoming increasingly invaded by gorse and hawthorn scrub providing breeding habitat for willow warbler, yellowhammer, linnet and lesser whitethroat, a scarce breeding bird in Gateshead.
Durham Wildlife Trust took over the management of this site from Gateshead Council in June 2014 and will be continuing the work to develop the area for wildlife.