The Flora of Newbiggin
The key areas of interest are: (a) the coastal edge North of Church Point,
(b) grazed areas, ditches and gorse to the west of the Golf Course,
(c) Woodhorn Church, (d) the Road Pools and (e) the cliff top path from Spital to the Wansbeck Estuary
A Common Dog Violet
The coastal edge is narrow, constantly under pressure from erosion and limited by the Caravan Park and Golf Course boundaries. A plant typical of this area is Thrift. Closer examination of the dune area near the blast beach will reveal Dog-violet, Plantain species, Yellow-wort and Grasses including Marram. A note of caution not all plants are native ones. Tipping of garden rubbish (assumed to be harmless, decomposable waste) can spread garden plants which in time become naturalised, e.g. Dame’s-violet and Greater Periwinkle along the path between Golf Course Clubhouse and Caravan Park.
A Common Vetch
The grazed area west of the Golf course is covered in a carpet of Scabious during the summer, an attractive source of pollen for insects. North of this is a large area of Gorse and some Broom. The banks of the ash lagoons are covered by a mixture of small copses (containing Ash, Whitebeam and Elder) and sprawling brambles. The fence along this stretch is popular with Blackberry pickers in late summer. Ditches and a few small temporary pools are home to some interesting aquatic plants like Water-crowfoot and Water Plantain.
Woodhorn Church is surrounded by mature trees and in spring it is carpeted with Snowdrops. The car park has tiny flowering plants all year round including Common Whitlow Grass and Common Field-speedwell.
Three Road Pools (two either side of the railway embankment) and another further south, which acts as a ‘Sustainable Drainage System’, are fringed with mainly Reedmace, Common Reed, Sedges and Willows. Mature Hawthorns and Elder can be found here along with Rosebay Willowherb a plant spread along railway embankments and now very common.
A Sweet Violet Viola
Spittal area car park is largely planted but the cliff top path heading South is again a narrow boundary between the coastal erosion and the arable farmland. Once the Wansbeck Estuary is reached there is an abundance of interesting plants. This area is probably best approached by heading towards the river, from the numerous paths near the North Seaton Recycling centre, then by following the River Wansbeck downstream all the way to the estuary.
Throughout the year detail will be added to this section and to the plant gallery.