Newbiggin Golf Course including “The mound”
and the Ash Lagoon Embankment
Newbiggin Golf course is a private members golf course. The moor land itself is owned by the Newbiggin Freeholders and leased to the golf club. The public can access the site but do not get in the way of the golfers or you will be warned off in typical Newbiggin fashion! Fortunately, the main birdwatching areas lie outside the actual golf course.
The ash lagoon embankment forms the Western boundary of the golf course. A muddy path runs parallel to the security fence from the power station at the North end to the corner of the Moor housing estate at the South end. The embankment provides the first real cover for birds arriving over the sea. It can be spectacular in the right conditions. It is an unmanaged, rather overgrown area consisting of Bramble scrub interspersed with stands of Hawthorn, Willow, Sycamore and Ash. The security fence doesn’t allow you to get too close to the birds and can obstruct the view.
The “Burnt Gorse” is an area of approx. halfway along the path lying between the security fence and the golf course. It is an extensive area of Gorse scrub which periodically (well, most years!) the locals tend to set alight.
The South West corner of the moor is comprised of a number of different habitats, including; horse paddocks, ditches, Gorse Scrub, pools and wetland. Anything can turn up in this area particularly during migration.
The Mound is a large, tree covered area, originally designed as a landscaped feature to hide the Ash lagoons from the nearby housing estate. This is another migration hotspot but it is difficult to find birds now as it is overgrown. Also, it has become a bit of a dumping ground for locals.
There are a number of ways to access the moor and golf course:
- Access to the path bordering the Eastern fringes; described in the site’Church point to Beacon Point‘.
- Access to the North end of the site; described in the site ‘Beacon Point to Lyne Burn mouth‘. When you enter links area next to the large, concrete blocks, instead of heading for the sea, follow the path south which runs parallel to the security fence.
- Access to the South West corner and the Mound. Turn off the A197 at the war memorial (just North of Newbiggin Sports Centre) onto Oakland Avenue where there is roadside parking. Walk along the gated path through the mound and arrive at the South end of the Ash lagoon embankment.
- Access to the South West corner and the mound. Park at the end of East lee on the Moor housing estate and it is only a short walk to the South end of the ash lagoon embankment.
- Park at the end of Prospect place (Immediately after the Cresswell Arms public house) and walk North through the horse paddock which runs parallel to Seacrest Road. The line of Willows and Buckthorn bordering the housing estate often holds birds during falls.