Stour Valley Local Nature Reserve

A riverside walk along the Stour in the northen suburbs of Bournemouth

 

Stour Valley Nature Reserve: popular but pleasant - Stour Valley local nature reserve is, primarily, a longish stretch of the south bank of the river Stour in Northbourne. It can be accessed from several places but I chose to enter from the service road by Cherry Tree Nursery as it was easy to find. The down side to this is you have to walk alongside the sewage works for a while which is not that pleasant scentwise! On the plus side, this access point takes you across some grassy meadows that you might otherwise miss from other entrances. Being near a substantial number of houses in a suburb of Bournemouth this riverside walk is very popular with the local dog owners but, I have to say, that on my visit I saw very little trace of dog mess despite seeing countless dogs. That said, lots of dogs along the bank and in the river is inevitably going to cause a lot of disturbance to wild animals, especially birds, and so this does diminish the value of a visit somewhat. I suspect you will hardly ever see the birds that the information board indicates may be present! A very popular spot perhaps but, none the less, a pleasant walk; I enjoyed it. The footpath along the riverside is wheelchair friendly.    
Site Name Stour Valley Local Nature Reserve
Protection
Interest
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Diversity Average (100-150 species)
Map Reference SZ 096961
County
SSSI
Website
Site Habitats
Habitat Relationship
F4: Slow moving rivers

Significant

G2: Neutral Grassland

Partial

S1: Hedgerow Scrub

Minority

W1: Broad-leaf Woodland

Minority