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Reserves - Meeth Quarry
Near Hatherleigh, North Devon
Open water, wet grassland, stone quarry face and woodland.
Meeth Quarry is unlike any other Devon Wildlife Trust nature reserve. Its industrial past has dramatically shaped its present. For nearly 100 years it was a series of busy clay quarries and mines. The legacy of this industry has created a very diverse landscape. Today, two enormous lakes and massive piles of clay spoil dominate its features. Elsewhere there are ponds, woodlands, bogs and grasslands.
Together these make Meeth Quarry nature reserve a home for a diverse range of wildlife and a wonderful place for people to explore.
****News 17 Aug 2015: if visiting the reserve please be aware that the tracks are being used by vehicles transporting timber from the plantation forest (not DWT land) situated between DWT Meeth Quarry and DWT Ash Moor nature reserves. Lorries will be using the tracks through Meeth Quarry for at least two weeks.****
What to see:
- 14 species of dragonfly and damselfly around the settling ponds and other areas of open water
- Butterflies (including wood white, grayling and green hairstreak)
- Brown hare in the sparse open areas on former clay 'spoil' heaps
- Skylarks and tree pipits in the open grassland
- Geese and ducks, incuding tufted duck, shoveler and goosander, on the lakes
Due to the sheer size of the reserve and variety of habitats present in the landscape, Meeth Quarry has the potential to become a flagship nature reserve in the heart of the Northern Devon Nature Improvement Area. It is hoped that Meeth will offer year-round opportunities to see fascinating wildlife and a living demonstration of landscape restoration in action.
Devon Wildlife Trust's Chief Executive, Harry Barton, says 'There is still a lot to be done, but we will continue to work hard to secure the funding and resources needed to realize the full potential of this fantastic asset in terms of benefits to both wildlife and the wider community. ’
Meeth Quarry contains large areas of dangerous deep water - swimming is prohibited.