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Mude Valley

A variety of habitats including woodland, grassland, river and wetlands. 

Mude Valley Nature Reserve is made up of Mudeford and Peregrine Woods. It’s a designated Site of Nature Conservation Interest.  

The Mude Valley is to the east of the Christchurch area following the River Mude from Somerford to the north and Mudeford to the south.  

The 17.5ha reserve includes amenity areas and is surrounded by extensive urban development. 

The first recorded use of the site is thought to have been by monks, who probably used a pond in the valley to farm carp. 

The diversity of habitats in a relatively small area has created a rich variety of plant communities. 

The water features benefit wildlife, particularly invertebrates such as dragonflies and damselflies. The river contains a rich variety of aquatic invertebrates and supports many fish species.  

The angling pond is leased by Mudeford Wood Angling Club and contains a selection of coarse fish, including perch, bream and common carp. 

Butterflies are well represented and over 47 species of birds have been recorded.  

Getting there 

Nearest town

Christchurch 

Grid reference

SZ 183 930 

Nearest postcode

BH23 4TR 

Nearest train station

Christchurch or Hinton Admiral 

Nearest bus stops

Somerford Road, near the junction with Newlands Road and De Havilland Road. 

Near Curlew Road and The Runway junction.  

Near Brabazon Drive junction.

Parking  

Mudeford Woods Community Centre on Pipers Drive. 

Toilets 

There are toilets in the community centre, when it’s open.  

Accessibility 

Largely flat terrain with gravel paths, including a cycle track and greenway which runs for much of the site’s length.

Dogs  

Dogs are allowed but must be under close control.

Site designation 

Site of Nature Conservation Interest.   

Habitats 

Woodland, grassland, river and associated wetlands. 

Look out for 

  • Bearded couch
  • short-fruited willowherb
  • intermediate polypody
  • cyperus sedge
  • clustered clover
  • suffocated clover
  • banded demoiselle
  • scarce chaser
  • white letter hairstreak
  • song thrush
  • bullfinch
  • stone loach
  • bullhead
  • brook lamprey
  • salmon
  • eel
  • trout.

What to do 

There’s a pleasant woodland and riverside walk along the River Mude, taking in areas of meadow and lakeside. A fit point is situated on the adjacent recreation ground.