Fandom

London Bird Club Wiki

Bentley Priory

550pages on
this wiki
Add New Page
Talk0 Share

BENTLEY PRIORY OPEN SPACE is a 66-hectare (163-acre) area of countryside lying north of the Uxbridge Road in Stanmore, Middlesex. The open space is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), in particular for its meadow areas. The site also includes extensive woodlands and two ponds. In the summer cattle graze the meadows. The site is a haven for bird life and has a wide range of plant life.

Address: Bentley Priory Open Space, Masefield Avenue, Stanmore, Middlesex HA7 3LY (Map; OS grid reference TQ155927).

History Edit

The name Bentley is thought to derive from the Anglo-Saxon words beonet, a place covered in coarse grass, and leah, a piece of cleared ground on the uplands. These words imply open space and traditional grassland, which remain a feature of the reserve today. A monastic settlement occupied the site in the 13th century, but was demolished. Bentley Priory house was built in 1766 as a country house and became the home of the Dowager Queen Adelaide in the 1850s. It was later used as a hotel and as a girls’ school until it was purchased by the Royal Air Force in 1926, which retained some land immediately surrounding the house but relinquished most of the land south of the house to form the nature reserve. After more than 80 years associated with the RAF, the mansion was sold to a developer in 2008 to be converted into luxury flats.

Habitat Edit

The reserve slopes southwards from the edge of the Stanmore Hill ridge in the north. The lower part is London clay but as one climbs north the clay is overlaid by pebbly Claygate beds with a cap of quaternary gravels on the ridge. This rapidly draining soil supports heathland vegetation where Gorse thrives. When water trickling down through the gravel reaches the clay a number of springs emerge and form streams.

The reserve is a patchwork of woods and open grassland within which lie two bodies of water, Summerhouse Lake and Boot Pond. Heriot’s Wood is ancient woodland, and many of its trees are Hornbeam (characteristic of ancient woods). To the west of Summerhouse Lake stands an Oak at least 400 years old. Wild Service Tree can also be found.

The open grassland is “unimproved” (never treated with fertiliser) and is rich in wild flowers. The dominant grasses are Common Bent-grass, Red Fescue and Yorkshire Fog. Wild flowers include uncommon species such as Greater Burnet Saxifrage, Great Burnet, Spotted Orchid, Betony, Devil's-bit Scabious, Harebell and Adder’s Tongue Fern. A herd of cows grazes the grassland in summer to maintain the pastures and promote the diversity of wild flowers. Bluebell can be found both in the woodland and in open grassland (which is unusual in eastern England). Sanicle is also found in the woods.

To the east of the site lies a private fenced park with a small herd of fallow deer.

The site is maintained by volunteers from the Harrow Nature Conservation Forum.  

Species Edit

BIRDS  Bentley Priory is not well watched by birders and probably deserves greater attention, since the limited number of reports made in the past few year include some interesting sightings. Summerhouse Lake has become a regular venue for wintering Goosander, with up to 10 present in 2011–12. Mandarin Duck are also a regular feature, with up to 11 present early in 2013. Other recent sightings include a Wood Warbler in 2006, a Red-breasted Merganser in 2009, a Mealy Redpoll in 2012 and three Raven in 2012.


The following list of 109 "potential" bird species has been compiled from ‘Birds of Bentley Priory, Stanmore, Middlesex” by C. R. Kightley and P. A. Whittington (London Bird Report No 48, 1983, pp93-105): Little Grebe; Great Crested Grebe; Cormorant; Grey Heron; Mute Swan; grey goose (pos Greylag Goose); Canada Goose; Teal; Mallard; Pintail; Pochard; Tufted Duck; Sparrowhawk; Buzzard; Osprey; Kestrel; Hobby; Grey Partridge; Pheasant; Water Rail; Moorhen; Coot; Lapwing; Snipe; Woodcock; Curlew; Redshank; Common Sandpiper; Black-headed Gull; Common Gull; Lesser Black-backed Gull; Herring Gull; Great Black-backed Gull; Common Tern; Feral Pigeon; Stock Dove; Wood Pigeon; Collared Dove; Turtle Dove; Cuckoo; Tawny Owl; Swift; Kingfisher; Wryneck; Green Woodpecker; Great Spotted Woodpecker; Lesser Spotted Woodpecker; Skylark; Sand Martin; Swallow; House Martin; Tree Pipet; Meadow Pipet; Yellow Wagtail; Grey Wagtail; Pied Wagtail; Wren; Dunnock; Robin; Black Redstart; Redstart; Whinchat; Wheatear; Ring Ouzel; Blackbird; Fieldfare; Song Thrush; Redwing; Mistle Thrush; Grasshopper Warbler; Sedge Warbler; Reed Warbler; Lesser Whitethroat; Whitethroat; Garden Warbler; Blackcap; Chiffchaff; Willow Warbler; Goldcrest; Firecrest; Spotted Flycatcher; Pied Flycatcher; Long-tailed Tit; Marsh Tit; Willow Tit; Coal Tit; Blue Tit; Great Tit; Nuthatch; Treecreeper; Jay; Magpie; Jackdaw; Rook; Carrion Crow; Starling; House Sparrow; Tree Sparrow; Chaffinch; Brambling; Greenfinch; Goldfinch; Siskin; Linnet; Redpoll; Bullfinch; Hawfinch; Yellowhammer; Reed Bunting.

Although a couple of dozen of the 109 species listed above have not been recorded in recent years, at least a dozen unlisted species have been reported. As well as the seven mentioned above, they include Little Egret, Gadwall, Crossbill and the now ubiquitous Ring-necked Parakeet.

OTHER VERTEBRATES  According to the HNCF, bats flying above Bentley Priory or nesting in holes in old trees include Daubenton’s Bat, Noctule, Common Pipistrelle, Soprano Pipistrelle and Natterer's Bat. The HNCF website also refers to Grass Snake, lizards and amphibians. Further information needed, please.

INVERTEBRATES  Information needed, please

Practicalities Edit

Directions

There is no designated car parking for Bentley Priory Open Space, but a car park in Warren Lane at Stanmore Common is within five minutes’ walk.

The site is about a mile west of Stanmore tube station (Jubilee Line). Buses 340 and H12 pass nearby on Uxbridge Road, bus 258 passes the western edge of the site on Common Road, and bus 142 goes along The Common and passes close to the Priory Drive access point.

Access

The site has a number of access points: Old Lodge Way; Masefield Avenue; an unpaved road from Clamp Hill and then a footpath, skirting Lower Priory Farm; a path from Common Road; a gate on Priory Drive; Aylmer Drive; Embry Way. The site is open year round. Two hard surfaced paths are suitable for baby buggies and outdoor wheelchairs: the Deer Path, which runs north from Old Lodge way gate to Priory Drive gate, and the Weald Path, which runs west to Weald gate. Facilities

There are no on-site facilities, but Stanmore, with shops, pubs, restaurants, etc, is close by.

External links and resources Edit

Harrow Nature Conservation Forum: Bentley Priory website page Harrow Nature Conservation Forum: Bentley Proiry circular walk leaflet with map

Patch Lists Edit

Bird List 2012 (Richard Francis)

Great Crested Grebe, Cormorant, Grey Heron, Little Egret, Canada Goose, Gadwall, Mallard, Pochard, Tufted Duck, Mandarin, Goosander, Sparrowhawk, Kestrel, Common Buzzard, Red Kite, Moorhen, Coot, Woodcock, Black-Headed Gull, Common Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Herring Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Feral Rock Dove, Stock Dove, Woodpigeon, Collared Dove, Tawny Owl, Swift, Kingfisher, Ring-Necked Parakeet, Green Woodpecker, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, Skylark, Swallow, House Martin, Meadow Pipit, Grey Wagtail, Pied Wagtail, Wren, Dunnock, Robin, Wheatear, Common Redstart, Blackbird, Fieldfare, Song Thrush, Redwing, Mistle Thrush, Spotted Flycatcher, Common Whitethroat, Lesser Whitethroat, Blackcap, Chiffchaff, Willow warbler, Goldcrest, Firecrest, Long-Tailed Tit, Blue Tit, Coal Tit, Great Tit, Nuthatch, Treecreeper, Jay, Magpie, Jackdaw, Carrion Crow, Raven, Starling, House Sparrow, Chaffinch, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Siskin, Redpoll, Bullfinch, Crossbill. (Total 78) Visits, 30+

Bird List 2012 (Alan Lewis?)

Cormorant, Grey Heron, Mute Swan, Canada Goose, Mandarin Duck, Gadwall, Mallard, Tufted Duck, Goosander, Sparrowhawk, Common Buzzard, Moorhen, Coot, Black-headed Gull, Stock Dove, Woodpigeon, Ring-necked Parakeet, Swift, Swallow, Grey Wagtail, Pied Wagtail, Wren, Dunnock, Robin, Blackbird, Fieldfare, Song Thrush, Redwing, Mistle Thrush, Whitethroat, Blackcap (winter and summer), Chiffchaff, Long-tailed Tit, Coal Tit, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Nuthatch, Treecreeper, Jay, Magpie, Jackdaw, Carrion Crow, Chaffinch, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Siskin, Mealy Redpoll, Bullfinch.

Bird List 2011 (Alan Lewis?)

Grey Heron, Mute Swan, Canada Goose, Gadwall, Mallard, Tufted Duck, Goosander, Common Buzzard, Moorhen, Coot, Black-headed Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Stock Dove, Woodpigeon, Ring-necked Parakeet, Green Woodpecker, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Swallow, Grey Wagtail, Wren, Dunnock, Robin, Blackbird, Fieldfare, Song Thrush, Redwing, Mistle Thrush, Blackcap, Chiffchaff, Goldcrest, Long-tailed Tit, Coal Tit, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Nuthatch, Jay, Magpie, Jackdaw, Carrion Crow, Starling, Chaffinch, Greenfinch, Siskin. -- Visits for 2011: 6

Bird List 2010 (Alan Lewis?)

Little Grebe, Cormorant, Grey Heron, Mute Swan, Canada Goose, Mandarin Duck, Teal, Mallard, Pochard, Tufted Duck, Goosander, Common Buzzard, Kestrel, Moorhen, Coot, Black-headed Gull, Common Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Stock Dove, Woodpigeon, Collared Dove, Ring-necked Parakeet, Swift, Green Woodpecker, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Swallow, Grey Wagtail, Wren, Dunnock, Robin, Blackbird, Fieldfare, Song Thrush, Redwing, Mistle Thrush, Blackcap (overwintering), Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler, Goldcrest, Long-tailed Tit, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Nuthatch, Treecreeper, Jay, Magpie, Jackdaw, Carrion Crow, Starling, House Sparrow, Chaffinch, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Siskin, Bullfinch. — Visits for 2010: 10

Bird List 2009 (Alan Lewis?)

Little Grebe, Cormorant, Grey Heron, Mute Swan, Canada Goose, Mandarin Duck, Gadwall, Mallard, Tufted Duck, Sparrowhawk, Red-breasted Merganser, Common Buzzard, Moorhen, Coot, Black-headed Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Feral Pigeon, Stock Dove, Woodpigeon, Collared Dove, Ring-necked Parakeet Swift, Green Woodpecker, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Swallow, House Martin, Grey Wagtail, Wren, Dunnock, Robin, Blackbird, Fieldfare, Song Thrush, Redwing, Mistle Thrush, Whitethroat, Garden Warbler, Blackcap, Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler, Goldcrest, Long-tailed Tit, Coal Tit, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Nuthatch, Treecreeper, Jay, Magpie, Jackdaw, Carrion Crow, Starling, House Sparrow, Chaffinch, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Siskin, Bullfinch. — Visits for 2009: 11

Bird List 2007 (Alan Lewis?)

Great Crested Grebe, Cormorant, Grey Heron, Canada Goose, Mandarin Duck, Mallard, Shoveler, Pochard, Tufted Duck, Sparrowhawk, Moorhen, Coot, Black-headed Gull, Common Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Feral Pigeon, Stock Dove, Woodpigeon, Collared Dove, Ring-necked Parakeet, Swift, Green Woodpecker, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Swallow, Grey Wagtail, Pied Wagtail, Wren, Dunnock, Robin, Blackbird, Song Thrush, Redwing, Mistle Thrush, Whitethroat, Garden Warbler, Blackcap, Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler, Goldcrest, Long-tailed Tit, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Nuthatch, Treecreeper, Jay, Jackdaw, Magpie, Carrion Crow, Starling, House Sparrow, Chaffinch, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Siskin, Bullfinch. — Visits for 2007: 10

Bird List 2006 (Alan Lewis?)

Little Grebe, Great Crested Grebe, Cormorant, Grey Heron, Mute Swan, Canada Goose, Mandarin Duck, Mallard, Shoveler, Tufted Duck, Goosander, Sparrowhawk, Common Buzzard, Moorhen, Coot, Common Snipe, Black-headed Gull, Common Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Herring Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Common Tern, Feral Pigeon, Stock Dove, Woodpigeon, Collared Dove, Ring-necked Parakeet, yellow and green parrot (escape), Tawny Owl, Swift, Kingfisher, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Green Woodpecker, Swallow, House Martin, Wren, Dunnock, Robin, Redstart, Blackbird, Fieldfare, Song Thrush, Redwing, Mistle Thrush, Grasshopper Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat, Whitethroat, Blackcap, Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler, Wood Warbler, Goldcrest, Firecrest, Spotted Flycatcher, Long-tailed Tit, Coal Tit, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Nuthatch, Treecreeper, Jay, Magpie, Jackdaw, Carrion Crow, Starling, House Sparrow, Chaffinch, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Siskin, Bullfinch. — Species as of 28 December 2006 (percentage of above list is 64.2%)

Ad blocker interference detected!


Wikia is a free-to-use site that makes money from advertising. We have a modified experience for viewers using ad blockers

Wikia is not accessible if you’ve made further modifications. Remove the custom ad blocker rule(s) and the page will load as expected.