Rainton Meadows

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Rainton Meadows: Restoration has created an interlinkedm series of ponds and scrapes, newly re-seeded grasslands and a larger area of new woodland all linked by an extensive footpath network.

The habitats on the reserve complement those found at Joes Pond Nature Reserve and both sites can be enjoyed in one visit.

The new wetlands and grasslands are proving highly attractive to birdlife, with over 200 species recorded.

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County Durham, England, Great Britain, UK, Europe
Joes Pond


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Joes Pond

It is an excellent reserve for birdwatching with over 140 species of birds being recorded. Joes Pond was designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) in 1968.

The site contains a variety of habitats including open water and reed swamp, with areas of herb rich fen and willow carr. There is also an area of dense scrub which offers roosting for Long-eared Owls and two artificially created wildflower meadows which host a wide variety of plants including several orchid species such as Northern Marsh and Common Spotted Orchid.The pond attracts many species of birds including wintering Teal, Pochard and Tufted Duck with breeding Great-crested Grebe, Mute Swan and Ruddy Duck.The pond has a wide variety of invertebrates including Water Scorpion,Water Hog-louse,Water Spider and Great Pond Snail in addition to supporting six species of dragonfly and damselfly.The pond is also a breeding site for Common Toad, Frogs and Smooth Newts with small mammals such as Water Voles and Water Shrew using the pond margins.

Despite the ponds urban fringe location it is still home to several mammal species such as Roe Deer and Foxes.

Also footpaths are found around the reserve.


How to get here


Situated midway between Durham and Sunderland just off the A690. Follow the brown signs for Rainton Meadows just south of Houghton-le-Spring or alternatively leave the A1(M) at Chester-le-Street and head west on the A183/A1052.


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