Wadsley and Loxley Commoners
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Nature
Autumn LeavesWadsley & Loxley Common is a great place to go for a walk. It is 785 feet above sea level, so it commands wonderful views. At 100 acres in area it is large enough to feel wild and open, whilst small enough to feel safe in the knowledge that you cannot get lost.
It consists of four different habitats: meadowland, mature woodland, lowland heathland and silver birch scrub. This makes it a good place to see a large variety of birds, over 78 species have been recorded in the last fifteen years. In the woodlands to the north and the south of the Common you can see common birds like: Great tit, Blue tit, Chaffinch, Robin, Wren and Willow warbler in summer. Less common birds such as: Coal tit, Long tailed tit, Goldcrest, Treecreeper and Nuthatch can also be found all year round and, if you are really lucky, a Great spotted woodpecker. The meadowland attracts birds like: Magpie, Crow, Meadow pipit, Jay and Mistle thrush, whilst the lowland heath plays host to Dunnock, Linnet, and the odd Kestrel and you may hear a Yellowhammer or Skylark, although both these species are declining. The silver birch scrub holds Song Thrush, Blackbird, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, and Chiffchaff in summer, and there is always a chance that you may see a Green Woodpecker.

Crocuses planted by wisewood schoolchildrenThere's a good variety of mammals: Rabbits, Field Mice, Moles and Grey Squirrels in the woodlands. Don't be surprised if you glimpse a Weasel or disturb a Fox.
A summer walk will reward you with a host of wild flowers. 146 species have been recorded. The first Coltsfoot appear as early as February, followed by Dog Violets, Birds Foot Trefoil, Tufted Vetch, Common Catsear and Mallow. Amongst the Common Heather and Bell Heather on the lowland heathland, you will also find Bilberry, Heath Bedstraw and Tormentil.

Crocuses planted by Wisewood schoolchildren


The Common in summer also plays host to 53 species of Moth; the Orange Underwing being the most common. 16 species of Butterfly have been recorded with Meadow Brown and Small Tortoiseshell being the most common. Over 30 species of insect are present in summer with evidence of the Mining Bee being very visible.


Heather HillsA walk through the woodlands in autumn should produce good numbers of fungi. Puff-balls, Birch bracket, Fly Agaric and Blewits are common. 57 species have been recorded and some have been eaten. Whatever time of year you decide to go for a walk on the Common, there is always plenty of wildlife to see and enjoy.

Because of various factors, Global Warming and improvements in air quality being two of them, it is sometimes neccessary to give nature a helping hand. Listed below are some of the measures taken to help the Commons remain beautiful and varied.

Removal of some of the Silver Birch trees,
- this will open up the fantastic views we have from the Common, and will also allow the heather to thrive.
At certain times of the year burning small areas of heather,
- this will help to create a mosaic of different age classes within the heather.
Controlling the bracken in certain areas by beating and bruising,
- helping to encourage varied habitats.
Mowing some areas of grassland,
- to encourage recreational areas for visitors to easily access.
Leaving some areas of grassland unmanaged,
- to encourage habitats for native wildlife and bird life.

Managing the Commons is beneficial for both visitors and wildlife. Failure to manage the Commons would result in us losing the open views, the special habitats and the specialist species that make the Commons such an enjoyable place to visit.