Wellington Gravel Pits

Overview
One of the most important birding sites in Herefordshire is a working gravel pit with mixed habitat. There are several pits, islands, reedbed, farmland and hedges. A public footpath crosses the site, with one hide on the footpath overlooking the main lake.

Directions, parking, access times and other facilities
Map reference: SO 500478
Sat Nav/Post Code: HR4 8BY

Vehicular and footpath access: Access to the site is by public footpath that runs from the A49 approximately five miles north of Hereford City at SO500478, proceeding east to join the minor road to Marden at SO515478. Parking is usually possible in the lay-by on the A49 opposite the start. From here the path runs through the centre of the area, initially passing north of the new workings and then the fly-fishing pit with a small pit to the left. Following the public footpath, you cross the Wellington Brook keeping to the public footpath continuing to hide at SO509478. For those approaching from Marden, there is a pedestrian crossing over the railway line at SO511478; due care should be taken at this crossing.

During quarry working hours the site can be accessed at the main entrance gate
SO509482 and vehicles may be parked in the visitor’s car park (check at the weighbridge office for the closing time). The site is accessible at any time via the footpaths. Leave the car park via the gate and footpath, travelling south with the reedbed on your left, followed by a small pit after which you will join the public footpath directly opposite the hide.

Other facilities: There are no facilities available at the site. However, on the opposite side of the A49 there is a Wyevale Garden Centre with a café and toilet facilities and in Wellington Village there is a Public House and a Village shop.

Maps:
Ordnance Survey Explorer 202 & Landranger 149
OS Map View (1:25,000)

What to see:
Resident Barn Owl, Little Owl, Black-headed and Lesser Black-backed Gull, Bullfinch, Goldfinch, Kestrel, Buzzard, Grey Heron, Little Egret, Great Crested Grebe, Canada Goose and Greylag Goose, Coot, Moorhen, Goldcrest, Kingfisher, Mallard, Mandarin Duck, Green Woodpecker, Oystercatcher, Reed Bunting.
Winter Fieldfare, Lesser Redpoll, Pintail, Teal, Wigeon, Shoveler, Redwing, Gadwall, Goldeneye, Snipe and occasional Jack Snipe.
Summer Common Sandpiper, Little Ringed Plover, House Martin, Sand Martin, Swallow, Swift, Whitethroat, Reed Warbler, Sedge Warbler, Willow Warbler, Cetti’s Warbler.
Spring/autumn Green Sandpiper, Cuckoo and the first county record of Bearded Tit in 2016.
Resources:
Information about archaeological findings on the site of the gravel pits can be found at www.worcestershire.gov.uk/…/archaeology_at_wellington_quarry_herefordshire.pdf
Nearby sites:
Herefordshire Wildlife Trust www.herefordshirewt.org Queens Wood Country Park HR6 0PY, open 24hrs. Queens Wood Café open 9 – 4. Bodenham Lakes Nature Reserve SO523511 open 24hrs.