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Purdown and Stoke Park



Purdown and Stoke Park Estate combined add up to an area of about 150 Ha / 370.658 acres (Stoke Park = 108 hectares / 270 acres) and covers a range of habitats and soil types with different micro climates; ranging from Rough grassland and species-rich meadows, to scrub, hedgerows, wasteland, woodland (ancient and secondary), marshland, wetland - ponds, lakes, ditches, springs and marshy areas. The higher ground to the North and South is drier and more calcaerous (parts, especially at purdown are not to disimilar from the Downs with Upright Brome dominating) and the central high ground and lower parts making way for damp neutral hay meadow.

The area is home to a huge array of wildlife and forms part of a collection of nature areas in North East Bristol along with Eastville Park, Frome Valley and Oldbury Court Estate. Muntjac are resident and Roe Deer occasionally visit from the diminishing countryside to the North, along with several colonies of Rabbits (one of the few places they can be seen in Bristol), Badgers, Foxes, Hedgehogs... even Otters have even been recorded venturing from the nearby River Frome; taking a stop off at Duchess pond. Multiple species of Bat including: Common and Suprano Pipestrelle, Daubenton's to name a few. Reptiles and Amphibians; Grass snakes, Slow Worms, Frogs and Toads, and an impressive number of birds including: Green Woodpecker, Stone Chat, Meadow Pipit's, Pied Flycatcher, occasionally Ring-necked Parakeet, Reed Warblers and even Bittern's have been recorded at Duchess pond. A number of bird's of prey can also be seen: Common Buzzard, Sparrow Hawk, Kestrel, and very occasionally Red Kite and Tawny Owl. The diverse array of plant life provide for countless invertebrates among which support countless species of Butterfles and Moths.

A lot of work is being done to improve the state of the area including pond restoration, reintroduction of grazing from Cattle and Goats (in the WWII Gun Battery), hedge-laying and clearance of invasive Cherry Laurel in Long Wood and Hermitage Wood. But there's also a lot of negatives - both from good intentions but which are misunderstood such as mass tree planting and from added pressures, dog-walkers being number one. Stoke Park in particular has become an extremely popular destination for dog walking - boosted massively since Lock Down; especially by those doing it as a business who often take out packs of dogs; unleashing them off the lead and bombarding the place; plattening meadows and flushing out wildlife; especially birds.


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Locations within Purdown and Stoke Park