We visit the ancient Bristol nature reserve with a wildlife corridor, river and 19th-century pond

Leap Valley can be traced back to the 14th-century

Near Downend on the edge of North Bristol, Leap Valley dates back to at least 1327 and has a long-recorded history associated with Baugh Farm, which is thought to date from 1571.

The northern end of the Valley and ‘kick-about’ area are believed to have been part of a pasture called Gosty Leaze that dates to the 19th century. It was a farmyard in 1924 and had nine piggeries and sheds on it in 1944.

The wetland was referred to as a Withybed suggesting that willow was grown there and there is some evidence that in the past there was a water mill with a mill pond.

Surrounded by houses and cut in half by the busy Badminton Road, nowadays Leap Valley is owned by the South Gloucestershire Council and cared for with assistance from The Friends of Leap Valley. It has a pond, wetlands and a play area to name a few.

Leap Valley forms part of a wildlife corridor linking the River Frome to Emersons Green and is home to an array of fauna and flora. A large variety of birds are recorded here each year as well as at least ten species of butterfly, badgers, grey squirrels, red foxes, Pipistrelle bats and about 17 different species of grass.

Here are is a gallery of photos from our visit to Leap Valley:

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