School Aycliffe

Woodland surrounding the wetland at School Aycliffe

The wetlands and woodland are mainly located to the north of Burnyngill Close in School Aycliffe and south of the Oakleaf golf complex. The best location for parking is in the community centre car park which is situated off Eastfields Road.

School Aycliffe Wetland and Woodland comprises approximately 8 hectares of land, which descends to the north where Redhouse Beck defines the boundary.

The wetland supports a range of habitat types, including wetland, carr, scrub, woodland, meadow and a beck.

The site has a variety of wildlife including fauna such as kingfishers, great spotted woodpecker and water voles. Of particular flora interest is the small temporary wetland located adjacent to Redhouse Beck in the north east of the site which includes tufted hair grass, soft rush, reed, meadow sweet, bulbous buttercup and greater willow herb.

The substantial permanent pond has a rich variety of invertebrate and amphibian species.

The woodland contains many species including crack willow, alder, cherry, horse chestnut and oak.

Trees that are dangerous are removed on an urgent basis. Occasionally standing dead wood is retained if the tree poses no threat to safety, this is to favour wildlife including many species of insects, birds such as woodpeckers and bats which regularly roost in holes and cracks in dead wood.

Redhouse Beck occasionally breaks its banks and floods the wetland area. This can result in a large quantity of silt and sand covering the footpaths. Great Aycliffe Town Council attempts to maintain a clear, walkable route, however, the wetland area to the north of the site is currently not suitable for wheelchairs.

A number of surfaced footpaths are present throughout the site and small stretches of boardwalk have been installed to the north of the site to enable walkers to cross the wetter areas. This site is currently not suitable for wheelchair access.

There is also a substantial dipping platform in the pond.

Great Aycliffe Town Council is unable to survey the site as often as they would like, if you see something that you feel the managers of the site should be aware of, then please contact the Environment Officer on (01325) 300700.