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List of local nature reserves in West Sussex facts for kids

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Local nature reserves (LNRs) are designated by local authorities under the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949. The local authority must have a legal control over the site, by owning or leasing it or having an agreement with the owner. LNRs are sites which have a special local interest either biologically or geologically, and local authorities have a duty to care for them. They can apply local bye-laws to manage and protect LNRs.

As of March 2019, there are twenty-seven LNRs in West Sussex. Nine are Sites of Special Scientific Interest, six are Nature Conservation Review sites, four are Ramsar sites, two are Special Areas of Conservation, four are Special Protection Areas, one includes a scheduled monument and two are managed by the Sussex Wildlife Trust.

West Sussex is in south-east England and it has a population of approximately 780,000. The county town is Chichester. In the north of the county are the heavy clays and sands of the Weald. The chalk of the South Downs runs across the centre from east to west and in the south a coastal plain runs down to the English Channel.



Site Photograph Area Location Borough Other classifications Map Details Access Description
Ardingly Reservoir Ardingly Reservoir 74.5 hectares
(184 acres)
Haywards Heath
51°02′56″N 0°06′18″W / 51.049°N 0.105°W / 51.049; -0.105 (Ardingly Reservoir)
Mid Sussex Map Details Yes The reservoir has open water, hay meadow, deciduous woodland, hazel coppice, reedbeds and wetland. There are sandstone outcrops which support uncommon ferns, mosses, liverworts and lichens. Nesting birds include great crested grebes and kingfishers.
Ashenground and Bolnore Woods Ashenground Wood 14.4 hectares
(36 acres)
Haywards Heath
50°59′24″N 0°06′58″W / 50.990°N 0.116°W / 50.990; -0.116 (Ashenground and Bolnore Woods)
Mid Sussex Map Details Yes These woods have oak, beech and field maple, together with old coppice hornbeam, ash and hazel. Fauna include bats, woodpeckers and owls.
Bedelands Farm Nature Reserve Bedelands Farm 36.2 hectares
(89 acres)
Burgess Hill
50°58′19″N 0°07′23″W / 50.972°N 0.123°W / 50.972; -0.123 (Bedelands Farm Nature Reserve)
Mid Sussex Map Details Yes The farm has woodland, wildflower meadows, grazed meadows, wetland and ancient hedgerows. The woodland has ancient hornbeams and wild service trees, while wildflowers include the yellow rattle.
Blunts Wood and Paiges Meadow Blunts Wood and Paiges Meadow 28.9 hectares
(71 acres)
Haywards Heath
51°00′14″N 0°07′26″W / 51.004°N 0.124°W / 51.004; -0.124 (Blunts Wood and Paiges Meadow)
Mid Sussex Map Details Yes This site has diverse habitats with a pond, wetland, hedgerows, grassland, birch woodland, hazel coppice, mixed coppice and bluebell woodland.
Brandy Hole Copse Brandy Hole Copse 6.5 hectares
(16 acres)
50°51′07″N 0°47′28″W / 50.852°N 0.791°W / 50.852; -0.791 (Brandy Hole Copse)
Chichester SM Map Details Yes This site has broadleaved and coniferous woodland, open water, marshland, heath, tall fern and herbs. Fauna includes pipistrelle bats.
Brooks Local Nature Reserve, TheThe Brooks Local Nature Reserve The Brooks Local Nature Reserve 19.1 hectares
(47 acres)
Bognor Regis
50°48′18″N 0°40′34″W / 50.805°N 0.676°W / 50.805; -0.676 (The Brooks (Bersted Brooks))
Arun Map Details Yes The Brooks has extensive grassland, reedbeds, ponds and newly planted woodland. One area has been turned into a dog-free wildlife sanctuary for ground-nesting birds. The site is flooded every winter, which makes it a good habitat for wetland flora and fauna.
Burton and Chingford Ponds Burton Mill Pond 63.0 hectares
(156 acres)
50°56′56″N 0°36′43″W / 50.949°N 0.612°W / 50.949; -0.612 (Burton and Chingford Ponds)
Chichester SSSI SWT Map Details Yes This site has ponds, carr woodland, bog, wet heath and marshy grassland. There is a diverse range of invertebrates including three nationally rare species, the snail Omphiscola glabra and the craneflies Erioptera meijerei and Tipula marginata. The site is also important for its breeding water birds, such as water rails and great crested grebes.
Eames Farm Eames Farm 132.5 hectares
(327 acres)
50°49′59″N 0°55′34″W / 50.833°N 0.926°W / 50.833; -0.926 (Eames Farm)
Chichester NCR Ramsar SPA SSSI Map Details No This area of grazing marsh, wetland and reedbed is managed as an organic farm. It has many rare plants and insects and a diverse variety of migrating waders and wildfowl.
Eastern Road Nature Reserve Eastern Road Nature Reserve 3.5 hectares
(8.6 acres)
Haywards Heath
51°00′36″N 0°04′23″W / 51.010°N 0.073°W / 51.010; -0.073 (Eastern Road Nature Reserve)
Mid Sussex Map Details Yes The reserve has rough grassland, wetland, woodland and scrub. There are aquatic insects such as dragonflies and other invertebrates include frogs and newts.
Fairmile Bottom Fairmile Bottom 61.3 hectares
(151 acres)
50°52′34″N 0°35′46″W / 50.876°N 0.596°W / 50.876; -0.596 (Fairmile Bottom)
Arun SSSI Map Details Yes This site has wildflower meadows on chalk and woodland with groves of yew trees. There is an outstanding variety of beetles and many moths and butterflies.
Grattons Park Grattons Park 7.7 hectares
(19 acres)
51°07′37″N 0°09′32″W / 51.127°N 0.159°W / 51.127; -0.159 (Grattons Park)
Crawley Map Details Yes Gatwick Stream runs through this park and other habitats are broadleaved woodland and grassland. Flora include lesser celandine and wild daffodils, while there are birds such as tree creepers, great spotted woodpecker and long-tailed tits.
Harting Down Harting Down 206.6 hectares
(511 acres)
50°57′22″N 0°51′50″W / 50.956°N 0.864°W / 50.956; -0.864 (Harting Down)
Chichester NCR SSSI Map Details Yes This sloping site on the South Downs has grassland with scattered woodland and scrub. There are grizzled skipper butterflies, blue carpenter bees and cheese snails.
Iping Common (Stedham with Iping) Iping Common 118.2 hectares
(292 acres)
50°59′24″N 0°47′31″W / 50.990°N 0.792°W / 50.990; -0.792 (Iping Common)
Chichester NCR SSSI SWT Map Details Yes This is described by Natural England as one of the richest areas of heath in the county. Most of it is dry but there are also areas of wet heath, two ponds, woodland, scrub and grassland. It has a rich invertebrate fauna and breeding heathland birds include nightjars and stonechats.
Lancing Ring Lancing Ring 29.4 hectares
(73 acres)
50°50′35″N 0°19′23″W / 50.843°N 0.323°W / 50.843; -0.323 (Lancing Ring)
Adur Map Details Yes This chalk grassland site has adders and lizards. There is also woodland with flowers including early purple orchids and dewponds which have many newts.
Lynchmere Commons Lynchmere Commons 122.0 hectares
(301 acres)
51°04′19″N 0°46′05″W / 51.072°N 0.768°W / 51.072; -0.768 (Lynchmere Commons)
Chichester Map Details Yes This heathland site is composed of Stanley, Lynchmere and Marley Commons. They have diverse insect species and unusual plants such as bilberries.
Mill Hill Mill Hill 13.5 hectares
(33 acres)
50°51′11″N 0°16′52″W / 50.853°N 0.281°W / 50.853; -0.281 (Mill Hill)
Adur Map Details Yes This site has chalk grassland, scrub and secondary woodland. It is one of the best areas in Sussex for butterflies, with 29 species recorded, including the Adonis blue. More than 160 species of flowering plant have been recorded, such as horseshoe vetch.
Nutborne Marshes Nutborne Marshes 386.9 hectares
(956 acres)
Thorney Island
50°49′19″N 0°54′00″W / 50.822°N 0.900°W / 50.822; -0.900 (Nutborne Marshes)
Chichester NCR Ramsar SAC SPA SSSI Map Details No This is an area of intertidal and subtidal saltmarsh and mudflats. There are many invertebrates on the mudflats such as ragworms and the banks have unusual plants including sea wormwood. Migrating birds include curlews, grey plovers and dunlins.
Pagham Harbour Pagham Harbour 599.1 hectares
(1,480 acres)
Bognor Regis
50°45′58″N 0°45′58″W / 50.766°N 0.766°W / 50.766; -0.766 (Pagham Harbour)
Arun NCR Ramsar SPA SSSI Map Details PP This is a large area of salt marsh, mud flats, shingle, open water, reed swamp and wet grassland. It is of national importance for breeding birds and wintering wildfowl and waders. It also has nationally important communities of plants and invertebrates, including the nationally endangered sea anemone Nematostella vectensis.
Pilsey Island Pilsey Island 17.8 hectares
(44 acres)
Thorney Island
50°48′04″N 0°54′32″W / 50.801°N 0.909°W / 50.801; -0.909 (Pilsey Island)
Chichester NCR Ramsar SAC SPA SSSI Map Details No The island has sand dunes, mudflats, salt marsh and bare and vegetated shingle. There are many plants, spiders and insects.
Scrase Valley Scrase Valley 8.0 hectares
(20 acres)
Haywards Heath
51°00′14″N 0°05′10″W / 51.004°N 0.086°W / 51.004; -0.086 (Scrase Valley)
Mid Sussex Map Details Yes This site has grassland, woodland and marsh. There are a number of unusual plants, such as purple toothwort, marsh cinquefoil, meadow thistle and marsh speedwell. The Friends of The Scrase Valley have planted three black poplar trees, which is a nationally rare species.
Shoreham Beach Shoreham Beach 26.2 hectares
(65 acres)
50°49′34″N 0°16′16″W / 50.826°N 0.271°W / 50.826; -0.271 (Shoreham Beach)
Adur Map Details Yes The beach has vegetated shingle, which is an internationally rare habitat, with flora including yellow horned poppy, sea kale and curled dock.
Target Hill Park Target Hill Park 9.0 hectares
(22 acres)
51°05′49″N 0°13′05″W / 51.097°N 0.218°W / 51.097; -0.218 (Target Hill Park)
Crawley Map Details Yes The diverse habitats in this park include ponds, wetlands, woodlands, meadows and scrub. There are reptiles such as slow-worms, adders and common lizards, while butterflies include skippers, meadow brown, small heaths and ringlets.
Tilgate Forest Tilgate Forest 6.9 hectares
(17 acres)
51°06′07″N 0°09′47″W / 51.102°N 0.163°W / 51.102; -0.163 (Tilgate Forest)
Crawley Map Details Yes This site has woods, tall herb and fern, and heathland. The most common trees in areas of natural woodland are birch, oak and hazel, while plantations are mainly Scots pine, red oak, western hemlock and beech.
Tottington Wood Tottington Wood 5.1 hectares
(13 acres)
50°54′00″N 0°16′19″W / 50.900°N 0.272°W / 50.900; -0.272 (Tottington Wood)
Horsham Map Details Yes This semi-ancient wood is recorded back to 1600 and it has an oak tree which is over 250 years old. Mammals include roe deer and bats and there are birds such as woodpeckers and blue tits.
Warnham Warnham 38.4 hectares
(95 acres)
51°04′55″N 0°19′48″W / 51.082°N 0.330°W / 51.082; -0.330 (Warnha)
Horsham Map Details Yes The principal feature of the site is the 7-hectare (17-acre) Warnham Millpond, together with its islands and marginal vegetation. Boldings Brook runs through the site and in the winter it floods areas of wet grassland and willow carr. Invertebrates include 523 species of moths and 366 plant species have been recorded.
West Beach West Beach 15.7 hectares
(39 acres)
50°46′48″N 0°32′49″W / 50.780°N 0.547°W / 50.780; -0.547 (West Beach)
Arun SSSI Map Details Yes This stretch of shoreline has sand dunes at the back with a vegetated shingle beach, which is a nationally uncommon habitat, in front. The intertidal zone has soft muds and sands with many invertebrates, which are an important source of food for wintering birds, especially sanderling.
Widewater Lagoon Widewater Lagoon 8.8 hectares
(22 acres)
50°49′26″N 0°17′56″W / 50.824°N 0.299°W / 50.824; -0.299 (Widewater Lagoon)
Adur Map Details Yes This coastal lagoon is separated from Lancing Beach by a man-made shingle bank. The water is brackish and there are wildfowl such as herons and swans.
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