Known locally as the Slip, this is still a popular place for picnics, with views of the river and surrounding fields. This site, along with the Marsh next door, was once used for clay extraction for brickmaking. This has left a patchwork of seasonally flooded wet grassland, home to birds such as snipe.
Access: Pedestrian and vehicle entrance at the end of Old Northwick Lane (via unsurfaced track).
Height barrier on entrance track 6'6" 1.98 metres.
parking, waymarked trail, benches, public footpaths, interpretation boards, amenity grassland.
Open: Pedestrian and vehicle access 24hrs.
Dogs: Well behaved dogs welcome, please clear up after your dog using the bin provided.
Habitat: Amenity Grassland, River bank, Unimproved Wet Grassland, Marsh
Notable Wildlife: Kingfisher, Snipe, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Reed Bunting, Soapwort
Other features: Earthwork remains of brick pits.
Northwick Manor Heritage Trail
Northwick Lido marks the start of the 3 mile circular Northwick Manor Heritage Trail. This leads north along the river to Bevere, returning via Northwick Road, with information about the wildlife and history of the area along the way. For more information and a map of the trail please visit Northwick Manor Community Heritage Project
Management tasks include:
- Coppicing of willows on the river bank
- Maintenance of furniture
- Footpath cutting
- Mowing – amenity grassland
- Mowing – Unimproved wet grassland
- Himalayan balsam removal
- Hedgerow restoration
Northwick Lido is situated on the flood plain of the river Severn at the end of Old Northwick Lane, approximately one mile down stream from Bevere lock and less than a mile upstream of Gheluvelt Park.
The reserve forms part of the riverside green corridor extending into the city from the north. It comprises an area of rough grassland (that is subject to periodic flooding), mature hedgerows and old oak and willow pollards, together with a public recreation area of managed grassland. It is bordered to the north by Northwick Marsh SSSI and to the south by open grazing land.
What can you see there?
The rough grass provides a home for many invertebrate species, including butterflies, damsel and dragonflies and many types of beetles to name but a few.
This wealth of smaller animals supports birds and mammals not normally seen so close to a city centre: Badgers and foxes are frequent visitors, the latrines of the former can be spotted around the field margins, while foxes can often be seen lying up in the long grass.
The long grass provides a home for bank and field voles, providing food for foxes and stoats, but also kestrel, buzzard and little owl, which nest nearby. The plaintive three note call of reed bunting can be heard, often accompanied by the soft calls of bullfinches. Summer migrant species such as spotted flycatcher may breed on the reserve; a bird that has declined alarmingly over the past two decades.
Swallows, house martins and swifts can all be seen regularly, hawking for their aerial insect prey. On occasion, common terns visit the site in search of fish fry in the shallow water of the river and adjacent marsh, while lapwing and snipe will drop in to feed during the winter months.
What have we been doing there?
Since 2001, the Conservation team have been steadily improving the site for both wildlife and visitors.
We have improved access with kissing gates and new fences, improved the car parking facilities and re-surfaced the vehicle access.
A new hedge of native tree species was planted adjacent to the lane. Now well established, the hedge is providing food and homes for many species.
Some of the older trees have needed attention to prevent them from deteriorating further. Old willow pollards in danger of collapse have been re-cut to allow regeneration, while a storm damaged oak received a canopy reduction to prevent losing the tree. The timber that was generated was used to create stag beetle hibernacula on site, replicating the standing dead timber necessary for these endangered insects to reproduce.
Himalayan balsam is an invasive weed that has spread along watercourses throughout the country. The River Severn is no exception; in recent years we have managed to remove it annually from this site, allowing native vegetation to re-colonise the river bank. However, the plant reappears each year from seed washed in from up stream; making it necessary to repeat the process annually.
The area of rough grassland is cut over a two year period. The grass is cut and removed from half the area annually. This allows a diversity of species that would not be possible if the grassland was composed of a single sward length.
An area of the marsh was dug out to create a 'scrape' that will provide open water habitat for insects such as damsel and dragonflies, together with improved feeding opportunities for many bird species.