Your Photos can normally be seen here....
This is an area of outstanding beauty and historic importance. The site hides behind a wooded spoil mound beside the Holyhead Road and is mainly made up of old spoil heaps which over time have regenerated and now give us various habitats from direct south facing slopes to hidden shaded marshland. The site contains remnants of Ketley canal built in 1788 as well as other water features. There are also paddocks lining the eastern flank which create an almost rural feel to the site. In total there are about 11 acres with a good network of footpaths crossing the site. From the highest point there are superb views towards the North and West.
There are two main areas of heather both of which are to the south-east of the site. They are either side of a gentle rise and cover an area of about 200 square meters. The heather provides food for many butterflies and other insects which in turn provide food for a small colony of common lizards.
Gorse and Scrub
There are several areas of mature gorse and small shrubby trees. These areas are a particularly good place to see summer migrant birds such as warblers such as chiff chaffs, willow warbler and whitethroat, but are also winter home to redwing, fieldfare and our own thrushes and blackbirds.
There are two ponds on the site. The smaller is tucked beneath a steep bank and overhung with branches. It is a good place in late spring to see newts. The larger pond is near the western boundary of the site and is ringed with reed and marestail but due to management has a fairly large are of open water. This is the place to see moorhens, a variety of dragonflies and damselflies as well as frogs, toads and newts.
A small area of only about 500 square meters in the shadow of two mounds on a slope down to the old canal. In winter it is a good place to see snipe and all year round for the heron which loves the huge number of frogs which inhabit the area as well as marsh, or perhaps they are willow, tits The plant-life in this area is different from that found in the other areas of the site.
All the woodland is regenerative and a mix of Scots pine, oak, ash, holly, birch and sycamore. The only area which should be described as wodland is the mound between the Holyhead Road and the old Ketley Canal. This is a good place to see buzzards, sparrowhawks, long-tailed tits, woodpeckers, tree-creepers, nuthatches and bullfinches. The main butterfly in this area is the speckled wood . There are no footpaths through the wooded mound.
Large area on the top of the largest mound which covers about 2 acres. In the past this site has had partridge and skylarks. Due to the pressure of more people the skylarks have deserted the site. There are orchids in a couple of sites and other species found in acid situations. Two rarer butterflies can be seen here. The dingy skipper and the green hairstreak are seen every year along with the more obvious meadow brown, holly blue, copper, wall and occasional frittilliary.
There are two large areas of bramble. One is found by the access out onto Holyhead Road and the other on the south side of the site where it exist on to Red Lees. This is a great place to find blackcaps and lesser whitethroats in autumn. The southern site is a good place to see butterflies in autumn with red admiral, peacock, comma and painted ladies feasting on the rotting fruit.
Two main paddocks border the east of the site. There are grazed continually by horses. They have different species to the acid mound tops and have good nettle beds to the sides. There are still partridge present here as well as many bird species. The one butterfly regularly seen here is the Tortoiseshell. Which used to be very common but now is seen in small numbers.
The old canal basin still filled with water. It has the steep slope of the wooded mound to the north so is a very sheltered site. To its south is the marshy or wet area which feeds into the canal ensuring the canal stays filled. Access to the canal is difficult but a footpath passes the eastern end of the canal. The canal is filled in spring with spawn and hundreds of frogs can be seen here in February /March. Best place to see the heron as well as moorhen and coot.
Bullfinch, greenfinch, chaffinch, linnet, goldfinch green woodpecker, greater spotted woodpecker, lesser spotted woodpecker(winter) blue tit, great tit, long-tailed tit, willow/marsh tit, coal tit ` blackbird, mistle thrush, song thrush, redwing, fieldfare, ring ouzel (spring) wren, robin, treecreeper, nuthatch, red legged partridge, tawny owl, dunnock, buzzard, sparrowhawk, kestrel swallow, swift, house martin blackcap, chiff-chaff, willow warbler, garden warbler, whitethroat and lesser whitethroat(spring and mainly autumn), jay, crow, magpie pied wagtail, grey wagtail heron, house sparrow, goldcrest, starling , spotted flycatcher, wheatear (spr/autumn) mallard, coot, moorhen, snipe(harsh winter).
Grey squirrel, bank vole, badger, fox, weasel and shrew.
Butterfly / Moth
Brimstone , red admiral, tortoiseshell, peacock, painted lady, comma large white, small white, black-veined white, small white, orange tip, dingy skipper, green hairstreak, small copper, wall speckled wood, meadow brown, gatekeeper, small heath common blue, holly blue, silver studded blue.
Identification being carried out over the next two years and will be added as a separate page when completed.
Heather, early purple orchid, pyramidal orchid, reed mace, bee orchid (occasional), nettle, plantains, (More work being done on species and will have their own page in time).
Hazel, guelder rose, wild rose, gorse, broom, elder, bramble.
Ash, oak, sycamore, scots pine, holly, hawthorn, silver birch.
No survey done or planned at the present time.
No survey done or planned at the present time.