Walmsley Sanctuary

The sanctuary is situated about 2km north of Wadebridge. It includes over 20 hectares of reclaimed flood plain between the farm of Lower Amble and the River Amble, and lies less than 1km inland from the Camel Estuary. Its highest point is about four metres above the Ordnance Datum.

Walmsley Sanctuary from the air (Oliver Bampton)

The reserve has developed from three fields of pasture on land reclaimed from salt marsh and now protected from flooding by a dam at the mouth of the River Amble. The vegetation is predominantly Juncus effusus.  The reserve also includes hedges, ditches, a shallow pond left over when the river was straightened and one bank of the River Amble. The Environment Agency constructed excellent new areas of water and essential new embankments outside the new hide, whilst carrying out their Amble Marshes Management Scheme in 1998.

Naturalist and broadcaster Bill Oddie officially opened the fabulous tower hide in December 1999. With the hide being 4m high, excellent views are possible over most of the reserve and the surrounding countryside, in comparitively luxurious comfort

Species to be seen include, in winter, Teal, large flocks of Wigeon, Lapwing and Golden Plover. Also Shoveler, Snipe, Greenshank, Green Sandpiper, Ruff, Curlew, Black-tailed Godwit, White-fronted Gees (low numbers), Little Egret and Barn Owl.  In summer, breeding birds include Mute Swan, Mallard, Shelduck, Reed Bunting, Sedge  Warbler and Reed Warbler
   Passage migrants include waders, egrets, herons, wildfowl and raptors. Almost anything can turn up! Rarities include Black Stork, Black Duck, American Bittern, Temminck’s Stint, Marsh Harrier and Citrine Wagtail.
The sanctuary is nationally important for wintering waders and wildfowl.  During high tides, many estuary birds use the reserve as a refuge.  

 Walmsley Sanctuary  is a members only reserve and there is no access for the general  public. However for non members seeking access keys are available for hire at  a cost of £5 per day.  Please e-mail the warden walmsley_warden@cbwps.org.uk   (phone 07702 527603)  Keys may be obtained  by members from the Membership  Secretary.

 
 

 The red line is the route to take to the Tower Hide.     The blue and yellow lines are the extent of the reserve.

Leave Wadebridge on the B3314 Rock to Port Isaac road. Proceed to the traffic light controlled bridge over the River Trewornan. Use the narrow public footpath gate on the right hand side (Rock side of bridge) and follow the footpath across the fields towards the hide. After the first stile keep  close to the hedge on your left. Do not cut across the  field. Please use the stiles and do not climb the hedges. To avoid disturbance to this statutory bird sanctuary, the hides are the only area open to visitors.

 Contact the Walmsley Warden HERE

Views from the sky of Walmsley Sanctuary

Aerial footage of the Walmsley Sanctuary was commissioned by the Environment Agency to view their recent Water Level Management works. This was carried out from a radio controlled aeroplane flown by Oliver Bampton and we are grateful to him for permission to use his videos. The Warden reports that this caused no disturbance to the birds.


 


 

CBWPS/CWT secure Chapel Amble SSSI

Latest News: This land purchase was completed on 25th October

On 25th September  a partnership between the Society and  the Cornwall Wildlife Trust was successful in its bid to acquire 20 acres of wet grassland next to Walmsley Sanctuary. This is the first significant reserve purchase for the Society together with the CWT in over 20 years and will greatly enhance our ability to provide a safe haven for birds in this wonderful SSSI. The shooting of wild birds at the site will now thankfully cease.
The land was secured at the auction guide price of £70,000. The CBWPS is able to use the funds originally raised to buy additional land at Maer Lake (which in the end fell through) as part of its share of the funding, but we also appeal to members for their financial support of the purchase. All donations (the more substantial the better!) will be very welcome. Please contact John Stanlake or any other board member if you would like to donate.
A map of the Walmsley area is shown below. The blue outline is the existing Walmsley Sanctuary and the yellow is the extension. The red line shows the path which should be taken to reach the hides.
Congratulations and thanks to all those in both organisations who made this exciting development possible.

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