Thorpe Park No 1 Gravel Pit

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Thorpe Park No 1 Gravel Pit
Site of Special Scientific Interest
Thorpe Park No. 1 Gravel Pit (4).jpg
Area of Search Surrey
Grid reference TQ 027 681 [1]
InterestBiological
Area42.5 hectares (105 acres) [1]
Notification 1999 [1]
Location map Magic Map

Thorpe Park No 1 Gravel Pit is a 42.5-hectare (105-acre) biological Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) east of Virginia Water in Surrey. [1] [2] It is part of the Thorpe Park theme park.

Contents

Ecology

This former gravel pit has been designated an SSSI because it is nationally important for wintering gadwall. There are also several other species of wintering wildfowl, such as goldeneyes and smew. [3]

Gadwalls such as this pictured (this example has distinctive male colouring) are not found widely elsewhere inland in England and contributed to the site's listing Gadwall drake.jpg
Gadwalls such as this pictured (this example has distinctive male colouring) are not found widely elsewhere inland in England and contributed to the site's listing

History

The gravel pits at Thorpe Park were developed by Ready Mixed Concrete Ltd in the 1930s for the extraction of both sand and gravel for use in construction. They were intentionally flooded in the 1970s when the site was re-purposed for recreational use. [4] [5]

The British Trust for Ornithology noted a Wetlands Advisory Service report of 2003 that suggested recreational activities at the site might have contributed to a decline in recorded gadwall numbers. [6] The site is used for waterskiing but the activity is prohibited between 1 October - 31 March, which is the period when the gadwalls use it for feeding. At other times of the year, the number of participants is restricted. [7]

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References

  1. 1 2 3 4 "Designated Sites View: Thorpe Park No 1 Gravel Pit". Sites of Special Scientific Interest. Natural England. Retrieved 22 December 2018.
  2. "Map of Thorpe Park No 1 Gravel Pit". Sites of Special Scientific Interest. Natural England. Retrieved 22 December 2018.
  3. "Thorpe Park No 1 Gravel Pit citation" (PDF). Sites of Special Scientific Interest. Natural England. Retrieved 22 December 2018.
  4. Nagle, Garrett (1999). Britain's Changing Environment. Nelson Thornes. p. 58. ISBN   978-0-17490-023-8.
  5. Arbogast, Belinda F.; Knepper, Daniel H.; Langer, William H. (2000). The Human Factor in Mining Reclamation. U.S. Geological Survey Circular. 1191. U.S. Geological Survey. p. 16. ISBN   978-0-60793-275-1.
  6. "BTO Research Report No. 361: South West London Waterbodies SPA Wildfowl Population Analysis" (PDF). British Trust for Ornithology: 9, 19. Retrieved 2015-04-20.Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  7. "Appropriate Assessment Report" (PDF). Runnymede Council. March 2014: 7–8. Retrieved 2015-04-20.Cite journal requires |journal= (help)

Further reading

Coordinates: 51°24′11″N0°31′30″W / 51.403°N 0.525°W / 51.403; -0.525