We visit the ‘secret’ Bristol nature reserve that thousands of people drive past every day

It also includes an ancient stone marking the eastern boundary of Bristol

Thousands of people drive past it every day, many of them to shop at the huge Tesco Extra supermarket around the corner, but the Callington Road Nature Reserve must still be one of the city’s best-kept secrets.

Located in Brislington, the 6.5 hectares of green space were once a large area of surplus allotment land.

Some of the surplus lands were sold for the development of a new hospital in 2003 under the condition that the hospital developer would provide funds to establish the site as a nature reserve, which included the construction of new entrances, footpaths, fences and dew pond, the undertaking of habitat management works and new native tree and shrub planting.

The Bristol City Council also purchased the adjacent field area from a private landowner to add to the new nature reserve.

As a result of the land formally being cultivated as allotments, previously grown trees and flowers have survived and flourished, including plum, damson and apple trees, redcurrant bushes, Michaelmas Daisies, Golden Rid and Evening Primrose.

Callington Road Nature Reserve was designated as a Local Nature Reserve in 2009, and nowadays, Friends of Callington Road Nature Reserve are involved with the management of the nature reserve.

Near the entrance to the Upper Slopes, visitors can come across an ancient boundary stone marking the eastern boundary of Bristol that dates back to 1897.

Near this area, there is a seasonal pond, which is normally dry in the summer. It was originally built as a ‘wheel washing’ pond in the days when wooden wheeled horse-drawn carts were common.

The Centurian Green Lane also runs through the nature reserve and is a public right of way.

Here are 14 photos from our visit to Callington Road Nature Reserve:

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