Landscape In Gateshead, Tyne And Wear
Nature Reserve with SSSI status in Blaydon.
The town of Blaydon has not really been on our radar until recently, however, we have discovered a few gems there of late.
Shibdon Pond is a nature reserve built on top of a series of wet pastures called watery meadows. The pond was formed after mining and railway activity changed the water levels here in the early 1900s. It gained its SSSI status in 1985 and has been a popular place for wildlife ever since.
There are several habitats at the Nature Reserve and you'll probably walk around 3km if you cover all the footpaths.
There is a pond, reed beds, grasslands and scrubs and you can potentially spot lots of wildlife on your walk. Over 140 bird species have been seen here including Reed Bunting, Sedge Warblers and Kingfishers. During the winter months you might also spot Cormorants or Redshank.
If you're a serious twitcher you can purchase a key for the hide from Thornley Woodlands Centre, which you can also use at the hides of Thornley Woods, Clara Vale Nature Reserve and at Lamesley Pastures.
Shibdon Pond is a lovely little gem of a place, particularly if you're a bad birdwatcher like me.
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The entrance to the pond is on a path to the right of the car park.
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There is a small car park for Blaydon Youth Centre where you can park.
Contributed by Sandra Clemens
I love the great outdoors and have been a National Trust & English Heritage member for years. I also love going off the beaten track and finding places like Sharp's Folly or Rothley Castle which are hidden gems in Northumberland. My favourite recent hike was climbing Red Screes in the Lake District on a whim, not fully grasping how high 776m was. It was still an achievement to conquer a Wainwright walk and I hope to do more one day.
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