Thurstaston Common

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Thurstaston Common
Site of Special Scientific Interest
Direction Marker, Thurstaston Hill (geograph 2990383).jpg
Merseyside UK location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Location within Merseyside
Area of Search Merseyside
Grid reference SJ245851
Coordinates 53°21′18″N3°08′06″W / 53.355°N 3.135°W / 53.355; -3.135 Coordinates: 53°21′18″N3°08′06″W / 53.355°N 3.135°W / 53.355; -3.135
InterestBiological and Geological
Area70.8 hectares, 174.9 acres (708,000 m2)
Notification 1954 / 1983
Natural England website

Thurstaston Common is an area of almost 250 acres (100 ha) of parklands, wood and heath between Frankby and Thurstaston, on the Wirral Peninsula in North West England. The common is jointly owned by the National Trust and the Metropolitan Borough of Wirral. Royden Country Park is nearby and offers additional facilities.

Contents

The Common is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) [1] [2] and a local nature reserve. [3] [4] [5] From the top of the 298 ft (91 m) Thurstaston Hill there are views of the Dee Estuary (itself an SSSI) and across to the Clwydian Hills of North Wales. The area is popular with walkers and families.

SSSI

The common is underlain by Triassic sandstone and the varied habitats include wet and dry heaths, acidic marshy grassland and deciduous woodland with birch and oak. The heath is dominated by heather, with bilberry, wavy hair-grass, gorse, heath grass, tormentil, hairy sedge, pill sedge and heath bedstraw, with cross-leaved heath Erica tetralix and purple moor-grass; in the wet, peaty hollows are heath rush, common cottongrass and hare's-tail cottongrass, deer grass, Sphagnum compactum , bog asphodel and bulbous rush. Also present in wet patches are oblong-leaved sundew and round-leaved sundew. Birds that breed here include sparrowhawk, tawny owl, great spotted woodpecker, lesser spotted woodpecker, Eurasian jay, redpoll and linnet. [1]

"Thor's Stone"

Thor's Stone. Thors Stone, Thurstaston Common (geograph 2990412).jpg
Thor's Stone.

Thurstaston Hill is the location of Thor's Stone, a large sandstone outcrop and a place of romantic legend. In the 19th century it was supposed that early Viking settlers may have held religious ceremonies here. A visit to the site by members of the British Archaeological Association in 1888 heard an account by Rev. A. E. P. Gray, rector of Wallasey, that the 'Thor Stone' was also known in the locality as 'Fair Maiden's Hall' and that children were "in the habit of coming once a year to dance around the stone". [6] This part of Wirral was certainly part of a Norse colony centred on Thingwall in the 10th and 11th centuries. However, geologists and historians now think that the rock is a natural formation similar to a tor, arising from periglacial weathering of the sandstone, which was later exploited by quarrymen in the 18th and 19th centuries. [7]

Related Research Articles

Thurstaston Village in England

Thurstaston is a village on the Wirral Peninsula, England. It is part of the West Kirby & Thurstaston Ward of the Metropolitan Borough of Wirral. The village lies on the A540 road between Heswall and Caldy, although it extends some distance down Station Road to the bank of the Dee estuary where there is a large caravan park.

Gentleshaw Common

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Sandhurst to Owlsmoor Bogs and Heaths

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Allerthorpe Common

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Sound Heath

Sound Heath, also known as Sound Common, is an area of common land in Sound, near Nantwich in Cheshire, England, which includes heathland, grassland, scrub, woodland and wetland habitats. The majority of the area is designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest and a Local Nature Reserve.

Pow Hill Bog

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Abbotts Moss Nature Reserve

Abbotts Moss is a 12-hectare (30-acre) nature reserve near Delamere Forest, northwest of Winsford, Cheshire. It is managed by the Cheshire Wildlife Trust under lease from the Forestry Commission and lies within a larger Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). The reserve is south of the A556 road near Sandiway and is divided in two by the Whitegate Way, a former railway line now used as a footpath and bridleway.

Cleaver Heath Nature Reserve Nature reserve and Site of Special Scientific Interest in Wirral, England

Cleaver Heath Nature Reserve is a nature reserve in Heswall, on the Wirral Peninsula, managed by the Cheshire Wildlife Trust. It forms part of the Heswall Dales Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).

Rosenannon Downs

Rosenannon Downs is a nature reserve in mid Cornwall, England, UK, being designated Rosenannon Bog and Downs Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), noted for its biological characteristics. The site supports a wide variety of flora and fauna and includes Bronze Age barrows. Conservation work is carried out on the site by the owners, the Cornwall Wildlife Trust.

Chaceley Meadow SSSI

Chaceley Meadow is a 1.8-hectare (4.4-acre) biological Site of Special Scientific Interest in Gloucestershire, notified in 1954 and renotified in 1993. It lies on the eastern edge of Chaceley village and is about half a mile west of the River Severn.

Poors Allotment biological Site of Special Scientific Interest in Gloucestershire, UK

Poor's Allotment is a 28.57-hectare (70.6-acre) biological Site of Special Scientific Interest in Gloucestershire, notified in 1954. The site is listed in the 'Forest of Dean Local Plan Review' as a Key Wildlife Site (KWS).

Allendale Moors

Allendale Moors is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) in Northumberland, England. The upland moorland ridge site is listed for its heath, flush and upland grassland which provide a habitat for a nationally important assemblage of moorland breeding birds.

Bewick and Beanley Moors

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Wildmoor Heath

Wildmoor Heath is a 91-hectare (220-acre) nature reserve north of Crowthorne in Berkshire. It is managed by the Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust. The reserve is part of two Sites of Special Scientific Interest: Wildmoor Heath itself is part of Sandhurst to Owlsmoor Bogs and Heaths and a separate area called Broadmoor Bottom is part of Broadmoor to Bagshot Woods and Heaths.

Ulverscroft Valley

Ulverscroft Valley is a 110.8 hectares biological Site of Special Scientific Interest north-west of Markfield in Leicestershire. The site is in five separate blocks, and two areas are nature reserves managed by the Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust (LRWT). Lea Meadows is owned by the LRWT and it is also a scheduled monument. Part of Ulverscroft Nature Reserve is owned by the LRWT and part is owned by the National Trust and leased to the LRWT.

Royden Park Public park in Frankby, Wirral, England

Royden Park is a park in Frankby, Wirral, England, managed by Wirral Council. The grounds of the park were originally part of an estate owned by Ernest Royden which comprised the park, Hill Bark house and Thurstaston Common. Upon his death the estate passed to Hoylake council and was opened to the public for recreation. The park features a visitor centre, walled garden, miniature railway, woodland walks and a lake.

The Flashes

The Flashes is a 115.1-hectare (284-acre) Local Nature Reserve west of Godalming in Surrey. It is owned by the National Trust and managed by Waverley Borough Council. It is part of Thursley, Hankley and Frensham Commons Sites of Special Scientific Interest, Thursley, Ash, Pirbright & Chobham Special Area of Conservation and Thursley, Hankley & Frensham Commons Special Protection Area,

Ashford Hill is a British national nature reserve next to the village of Ashford Hill in Hampshire. Part of the reserve is a designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). The site is one of Natural Englands nature reserves

Ron Ward's Meadow With Tadley Pastures is a site of Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). It is based on the edge of Tadley in Hampshire, England. It is managed by the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust.

Sullington Warren

Sullington Warren is a 24.7-hectare (61-acre) biological Site of Special Scientific Interest in Storrington in West Sussex. It is owned by the National Trust and it includes several tumuli which are Scheduled Monuments.

References

  1. 1 2 "Thurstaston Common citation" (PDF). Sites of Special Scientific Interest. Natural England. Retrieved 26 July 2013.
  2. "Map of Thurstaston Common". Sites of Special Scientific Interest. Natural England. Retrieved 26 July 2013.
  3. "Thurstaston Common". Local Nature Reserves. Natural England. Retrieved 26 July 2013.
  4. "Map of Thurstaston Common". Local Nature Reserves. Natural England. Retrieved 26 July 2013.
  5. "Thurstaston Common Nature Reserve". Wirral Council. Retrieved 28 January 2011.
  6. Journal of the British Archaeological Association, 1888
  7. Stephen J. Roberts, A History of Wirral, 2002, ISBN   978-1-86077-512-3