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Mude Valley

Information on Mude Valley Nature Reserve in Christchurch, including woodland and wetland wildlife interest and location.

Mude Valley Nature Reserve is made up of Mudeford and Peregrine Woods and designated as a Site of Nature Conservation Interest (SNCI). The Mude Valley is to the east of the borough following the River Mude from Somerford to the north and Mudeford to the south. There are a variety of natural habitats including woodland, grassland, the river and associated wetlands. It includes amenity areas and is surrounded by extensive urban development. The site was granted SNCI status in January 2000. The Mude Valley Management Plan (pdf, 189kb) (opens in a new window) gives further information.

The first recorded site use is thought to have been by monks then based at the site of the former Somerford Grange. It is suggested that a pond on the site was used for the farming of carp.

The diversity of habitats in a relatively small area has created a rich variety of plant communities. The water features benefit wildlife, particularly invertebrates such as dragonflies and damselflies. Butterflies are well represented and over 47 species of birds have been recorded. The river contains a rich variety of aquatic invertebrates and supports many fish species. The angling pond is leased by Mudeford Wood Angling Club (day tickets available) and contains a selection of coarse fish, including Perch, Bream and Common Carp.

Nearest town:Christchurch
Grid reference:

SZ 183 930

Nearest postcode:BH23 4TR
Nearest train station:Christchurch/Hinton Admiral
Nearest bus stop:Somerford Road, near junction with Newlands Road and De Havilland Road, near junction with Curlew Road / The Runway, near junction Brabazon Drive
Parking:

Mudeford Woods Community Centre, Pipers Drive

Accessibility:Largely flat terrain, paths mainly gravel based, including cycle track/greenway which run for much of length of site
Habitat:Woodland, grassland, river and associated wetlands
Look out for:Bearded Couch, Short Fruited Willowherb, Intermediate Polypody, Cyperus Sedge, Clustered Clover, Suffocated Clover, Banded Demoiselle, Scarce Chaser, White Letter Hairstreak, Song Thrush, Bullfinch, Stone Loach, Bullhead, Brook Lamprey, Salmon, Eel and Trout
Dogs allowed?Yes but under close control
Size:17.5 ha
Managed by:Christchurch & East Dorset Landscape and Countryside Team
Site designationsSites of Nature Conservation Interest
What to do?A pleasant woodland and riverside walk along the River Mude, taking in areas of meadow and lakeside interest. A fit point is situated on the adjacent recreation ground. Toilets within Community Centre when open
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