Landscape In Gateshead, Tyne And Wear
Small and pretty local nature reserve with lots of wildlife to see.
Stargate Ponds are a lovely little hidden gem near Ryton in Gateshead. When we visited, we had the place to ourselves, so it was a really peaceful and pretty wander.
It's not a huge site at 2 acres, but it's big enough to wander round for half an hour or so. It's also fairly flat with obvious paths, so it's not a strenuous walk.
Stargate Ponds was a former quarry like many nature reserves, and there are plenty of birds, insects and butterflies to see. It gets a bit busy in the spring, with dragonflies darting about, birds such as Partridges, Meadow Pipits and Coal Tits booling around and a variety of butterflies and moths can be seen, including the pretty Burnet Moth.
The grassland part of the reserve is a haven for ground nesting birds such as Skylark, so dogs need to be kept on leads during breeding season. Other birds that you can spot at Stargate include the Green Woodpecker which feed on ants which are in abundance here.
It's a lovely spot if you're a bit of a twitcher like us (keep an eye out for the Kingfisher which is occasionally seen here) and a great place to go for some peace and quiet for 30 minutes.
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You'll see the path into the reserve when you park up.
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There is a dedicated parking area for the nature reserve.
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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