Pasturefields saltmarsh

Pasturefields Saltmarsh

One of the last known surviving inland saltmarsh in the British Isles

Location

Pasturefields Saltmarsh
Hixon
Staffordshire
ST17 0RB (nearest)
Hixon
ST17 0RB (nearest)
A static map of Pasturefields Saltmarsh

Know before you go

Size
8 hectares

Entry fee

No

Parking information

Sorry there is no parking area

Grazing animals

Yes

Walking trails

You are welcome to enter the reserve outside the bird breeding season of March - August. Please be aware there are unfenced wet ditches and boggy areas so please keep to higher ground.

Please also be aware we need to keep the field gate locked at all times, so the only access is by climbing the field gate at present.

 Contact the Trust for disabled access information.

Access

Do not pass through the gate during breeding season. 

Dogs

On a lead

When to visit

Opening times

You are welcome to enter the reserve outside the bird breeding season of March - August. Please be aware there are unfenced wet ditches and boggy areas so please keep to higher ground.

Best time to visit

May to July

About the reserve

Highlights

If you're a keen botanist then you'll find some unique saltmarsh plants at their only. 

Staffordshire site Staffordshire–on-Sea!

You might be a long way from the sea, but this unique site provides an unusual taste of the coastline. Small it may be, but Pasturefields is one of only two remaining natural inland saltmarsh in the British Isles. Due to its unique ecological status, the reserve was proposed as a candidate Special Area of Conservation (a European habitat designation) in 1997.  

What’s it doing here?

The site is a remnant of the former saltmarshes of the Trent Valley, once exploited for brine extraction. This saltmarsh still has two old brine wells, fed by naturally saline (salt-rich) water seeping up from deep underground. Despite its small size, it contains an unusual variety of halophytic plants (salt tolerant) which are usually found in saline coastal habitats. These include sea plantain, lesser sea spurrey, saltmarsh rue, sea arrowgrass and sea milkwort.  

Do not disturb!

The site's damp conditions and location in the flood plain of the River Trent make it a valuable site for wading birds such as snipe, redshank and lapwing. Other birds regularly encountered include skylark, meadow pipit, grey heron, kestrel and buzzard. Because these birds are so vulnerable to disturbance visitors are asked not to wander beyond the gate during the bird breeding season.  

Dirty Feet

All the plants in the marsh are salt tolerant (halophytic) and are usually found on coastal marshes and estuaries. These include sea plantain, lesser sea spurrey, saltmarsh rue, sea arrowgrass and sea milkwort. Nobody knows exactly how they got here, but it is possible that they came as seeds on the feet of birds migrating via the coast.  

A Living Landscape

This nature reserve is part of the Staffordshire Rivers Living Landscape

'Living Landscapes' is The Wildlife Trusts innovative approach to nature conservation, and involves focusing our efforts on improving the wider landscape to make it better for wildlife.  Find out more here

Contact us

Staffordshire Wildlife Trust
Contact number: 01889 880100

Environmental designation

Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI)
Special Areas of Conservation (SAC)

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