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The Stour Valley LNR is a superb site on the north-western edge of the Borough of Bournemouth. In 2007, it became the first of Bournemouth’s nature reserves to receive a Green Flag| award, which it still holds. The reserve consists of a two-mile stretch of riverside footpath, as well as meadows, hedgerows and woodland.
There is plenty of nature interest, with many plant and tree species, both resident and migrant birds, insects, mammals and more. There are regular sightings of kingfishers, which breed along this stretch of river, and otters are occasionally spotted by lucky observers. In spring and summer, flower-filled meadows attract colourful butterflies such as the small tortoiseshell, peacock, orange tip and marbled white. An arboretum has recently had many of its trees labelled, with an accompanying trail. The site is grazed by Shetland and other cattle, part of a programme of grazing management| on nature reserves across the Borough.
The site is situated on the northern edge of the Borough, and can be accessed from a number of points. There is a free car park in Granby Road, just off Muscliffe Lane. There is also a small car park at the end of Brecon Close, off New Road, and access from the service road off Northbourne roundabout, that leads to Cherry Tree Nursery and the sewage treatment works.
The ‘Wheels Along The Stour’ project means that there is now wheelchair access along the river for a major stretch of the reserve, from Granby Road all the way up to Brecon Close.
There are several guided walks| on the site throughout the year.
A management plan| provides detailed information about the management and wildlife of the site.
You can check the location of this site using the Parks and Countryside map|.
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