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Snelsmore Common is a jewel in West Berkshire's crown

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Reserve is a haven for whole host of wildlife

CLARE SULSTON is the seasonal warden for the Berkshire, Buckinghamshire & Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust.

She explains why Snelsmore Common is such an asset to West Berkshire

Snelsmore Common is one of those special wild places that brings a smile to your face and makes you take a big relaxing sigh.

The fact that the reserve is surrounded by farmland, roads and housing spreading out from Newbury emphasises the jewel and oasis-like nature of this little pocket of heathland, boggy mire and woodland.

You’d have to travel a long way to find anything with a character quite like that of Snelsmore.

The mix of rare habitats brings with it a blend of unusual species, including the strange nocturnal churring nightjar, boggy sundew plants and the quick-as-lightning green tiger beetles.

In spring the woodlands are full of singing warblers.

Eagle-eyed visitors to the common may also spot an elusive adder, slow worm, grass snake or lizard.

As well as being a wonderful place for wildlife, the reserve is also open to people to come and visit and appreciate for

themselves just how special this place is.

Wander round slowly, keeping to the main paths to help protect the wildlife and many rare and unusual creatures may reveal themselves to you.

Pictures by Phil Cannings

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