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Sole Common Pond

A pond rich in wildlife in the middle of a piece of ancient Berkshire common, Sole Common Pond offers exceptional value in terms of sheer variety of habitats for its size.

Fascinating variety

A pond rich in wildlife with areas of bog, heath and woodland in the middle of a piece of ancient Berkshire common. This nature reserve certainly offers value in terms of sheer variety of habitats for its size.

Beautiful bog life

While the pond, heathland and mature woodland are well worth experiencing, the wildlife gem of this reserve is the bog and its beautiful plants. In the bog, the insectivorous round-leaved sundew can be seen flowering from June to August. Valued as a herbal remedy for breathing problems, the sundew secretes a sticky fluid which traps and entangles unsuspecting insects. Also, look out for bogbean, marsh St John's-wort and the polypody fern. Carpeted by bog-mosses, the bog has been damaged by collectors in the past although it is recovering well under BBOWT's careful management. Please avoid walking on the sphagnum bog as it is easily damaged.

Damsels and dragons

The pond is also brimming with wildlife. Fifteen species of damselfly and dragonfly have been recorded here - keeled skimmers are abundant over the open water. The heathland has been invaded by birch and bracken. Listen out for wood warblers in the canopy. Woodcock probe the wet ground for worms and other food. In autumn, the woodland floor is dotted with many brightly coloured fungi including the large and gaudy bitter beech bolete and the bright red beechwood sickener. The reserve is prone to flood in winter.

Things to do

Download the site risk assessment.

Nearby nature reserves

Rack Marsh
3 miles - Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust
Snelsmore Common Country Park
3 miles - Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust
Kintbury Newt Ponds
3 miles - Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust

Nature reserve map

Please join your local wildlife trust today

Please join your local wildlife trust today

Please join your local wildlife trust today

Reserve information

Location
4.5 miles north-west of
Newbury
Berkshire
RG20 8PT
Map reference
SU 411 706
Great for...
birdwatching
fungi
lichens and mosses
Best time to visit
Mar - Nov
Get directions
Find out here
Public transport
Plan your journey
Opening Times
Open at all times
Size
3.00 hectares
Walking information
Sloping; no paths, wet in valley
Parking
Take the A4 west from Newbury; take B4000 towards Wickham; after 2.75 miles turn right, towards Boxford; after 400 m turn left at track; park before the gate and without blocking access.
Dogs
Dogs must be on lead
Reserve manager
Berks, Bucks & Oxon Wildlife Trust (BBOWT)
Tel: 01628 829574
info@bbowt.org.uk

Smartphone Safari

Every weekend on BBC Radio Berkshire and BBC Radio Oxford we broadcast a Smartphone Safari. Listen along as we explore some of our fantastic reserves and introduce you to the wildlife you can see.