Hetton Bogs Nature Reserve
Landscape Houghton-le-Spring Tyne And Wear

Hetton Bogs Nature Reserve

Landscape In Houghton-le-Spring, Tyne And Wear

A local nature reserve with a modern history of regeneration from marshland to bog due to the end of water mills.

The Hetton Bogs Nature Reserve is situated between Hetton-le-Hole and Rainton Bridge. If you approach from the main road B1284 at Hetton-le-Hole, you will observe that part of it is poshly called Hetton Park, but Hetton Bogs got my attention and vote. You may need your wellies for this one.

Since 1984 it has been a Site of Special Scientific Interest because in the Durham Wildlife Trust report it consists of:

Tall Fen: A type of wetland characterized by tall, herbaceous vegetation.

Flushed Fen-Meadow: A wet meadow with a mix of grasses and flowering plants.

Springhead: The source of a spring or stream.

Swamp: A waterlogged area with specific vegetation.

Willow Carr: A wet woodland dominated by willow trees.

Some parts are semi-ancient woodland where the wetter parts have Birch and Oak and the drier parts have Ash, Hazel, and Holly.

Some parts have dead trees, but all contributing to the ecosystems.

My first visit was in early April and I had just missed the best of the Lesser Celandine. Upon looking it up I found it is also called pilewort, which is due to its historical use in curing haemorrhoids! Like many flowers it closes when rain is imminent.

There were plenty of Marsh Marigolds which also go by 30 other names (according to Wikipedia) of which I like Soldiers Buttons, Publican and Sinners, and Kingcup. Marigold was taken from 'Mary Gold' as a tribute to The Virgin Mary at Easter In Medieval Churches.

There were also plenty of Wood Anemones. This plant gets its name from the Greek Myths where the God of wind Anemos sent his namesakes the Anemones out to herald his coming in early spring. This is why it is also known as Windflowers.

All these plants are members of the Buttercup family.

Alga, lichen, and moss are all doing their bit. The type of alga here is the good guy in this boggy environment. It helps provide soil stability and balance, provides energy to the ecosystem, and contributes to nutrient cycling. Lichen is known for acting as an air scrubber. It traps small pollutant particulates. Mosses are known for their water retention and thrive in wet acidic areas.

There is also Fughi and apparently, there is Fly Algaric showing off in Autumn.

The photo shows some Brown Bracket fungus

The path is known as Coalfield Way due to past industry in the area, and maybe the route many a miner took. It follows Hetton Burn which was in full flow gurgling away. It meanders a lot and springs to mind the old geography lesson about the formation of oxbow lakes.

Would you like to know how it transformed from marsh to bog? Here goes: Rainton Bridge Corn Mill and Brewery used water to drive machinery from Sedge Letch and Rainton Burn, of which the Hetton Burn comes off. During the 19th century, it was very successful, but by the 1920s trade had ceased and so the mill races (which are the swift-running waters that propel the water wheels) stopped and caused stagnant ponds to form causing perfect conditions for bogs.

There are information boards explaining what you may see, including Kingfishers and Water Voles.

Having a saunter here and taking in all the ecosystems is a joy.

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How To Find Hetton Bogs Nature Reserve

Where Is Hetton Bogs Nature Reserve?

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54.827903, -1.45742

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Where To Park For Hetton Bogs Nature Reserve?

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54.827364, 54.827364

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I parked on a layby by Louvain Terrace on the A182 to the west of Hetton le Hole Town centre.

Contributed by Rosalind Parker

Thanks for reading through and getting to the end of this post. I enjoy exploring the Fabulous North (Especially as a Southerner residing up North). I like 'snippets' of information, and more so, if they are obscure, amusing or meaningful. The photographs are taken on a mobile phone, without any enhancements.

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Hetton Bogs Nature Reserve was listed in Landscape // Tyne And Wear // Houghton-le-Spring