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Gorse, Allerthorpe Common

Yorkshire Wildlife Trust nature reserve in East Yorkshire -

Allerthorpe Common lies on river and lake sands, which were deposited during the last glacial period 12-10,000 years ago. The soils are acidic and a variety of habitats, including wet and dry heath, mire, grassland and woodland have formed.

In the drier areas heather dominates, interspersed with cross-leaved heath and purple moor grass. In the wetter areas purple moor grass forms characteristic dense tussocks. Common cottongrass and marsh cinquefoil occur in the wet mire conditions.

The range of habitats encourages a very rich variety of invertebrates for an area of only 6.5 hectares. There are many notable species, as well as over 200 different species of moth and 150 species of spider.

The ponds hold a number of water beetles and dragonflies are a common sight, darting around the ponds in summer. Species include four-spotted chaser, blue-tailed damselfly and locally occurring black darter.

Allerthorpe Common is a particularly good place to see adders and lizards. One of the best times to see adders is on warm days in February when they emerge from hibernation.

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