Low Newton Local Nature Reserve Walk
follow Finchale Priory/Brasside signs.
In Brasside take right signposted 'prison staff and visitor car park' and public Bridleway.
Continue along side of Prison until it opens out and bear right to the parking area.
Site entrance is through the metal gate, near the phone mast.
AboutA visit to Low Newton Junction Local Nature Reserve is an interesting one. There are so many different habitats in such a small area. The site provides an excellent wildlife corridor on the edge of the East Coast main line and Newton Hall housing estate. Past uses as a sand quarry and a railway junction has had a direct bearing on the wide variety of habitats now present. Species rich grassland carpets the old sand quarry, containing wild flowers such as northern marsh orchid, harebell, ox-eye daisy and birdsfoot trefoil. Birdsfoot trefoil is the larval food plant of the dingy skipper butterfly and a population of this nationally and regionally rare butterfly can be found here. Ponds have developed along the old railway lines to the north and the cuttings act as a drain for the surrounding land. Toads, frogs, newts, dragonflies and damsel flies can be seen during the warmer months. Because of their low numbers, great crested newts are protected by law. It is an offence to handle or photograph them without a licence. If you accidentally catch a newt, please return it to the water. Marshes have developed in low-lying areas around the ponds. There is a lot of tree cover. Birch, oak, willow and hawthorn provide a home for birds such as the reed bunting, a Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) species. There is also a small area of heather on the slopes of the railway cutting.
Parking: See above. No disabled parking
Public transport: Services 63,62, 64 (Arriva) D4 (Go North East). Bus stops at Canterbury Road and HM Prison Frankland
Dogs: Allowed under control and on a lead during bird
nesting season (March to August). Please clean up after your dog
Designation: Local Nature Reserve, UK Woodland Assurance
Scheme certified suitable for: Walkers only. Cyclists and horse riders can only use the dismantled railway
Habitats: Ponds, meadows, grassland, lowland heath, woodland
This route also passes near to the Lambton Hounds Inn, a quality assured Taste Durham establishment. Route supplied by Durham County Council Countryside Team.
- Distance: 1-5 Miles
Parking & Transport
- Car parking
- In countryside
- Village Location