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Baker's Pit Nature Reserve

A large area of heathland with some areas of pasture that are managed by local farmers. The site’s history of china clay working has left its mark and in addition to the buildings, habitats have been created such as open water in the large flooded clay pit.

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Location of Baker's Pit Nature ReserveHabitat type: Old china clay works, heathland, wet willow woodland, scrub, grassland
Size of reserve: 45 hectares / 111 acres
OS map number: 102
Grid reference: SW 481 359
Best time to visit: All year

County Wildlife Site Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Environmentally Sensitive Area Scheduled Ancient Monument grazing animals archaeological remains fossils may be found here information board information leaflet available waymarked trail views of surrounding area bird life restricted parking available

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From the A30 at Crowlas, turn west on the B3309 and continue to the T-junction with B3311 at the top of the hill. Turn right and continue until the road drops into Nancledra. At the bottom, a narrow bridge leads into the village, but turn left to Georgia. A few hundred yards further on, turn left, then left again (sign-posted to Georgia). Pass Georgia Farm and follow the road, which becomes a track. There is a pull-in on the right-hand side, with room for 2 or 3 cars.

Flooded clay pit, photo by Ben VolantSmall parking area. Please do not obstruct the gate. Several footpaths cross the reserve; these can be muddy and slippery with inclines.

Characteristic wildlife of this reserve
The whitethroat is a common summer visitor. It lives in scrub and overgrown hedgerows. The colourful male is likely to perch on an exposed bough, showing his white throat, blue-grey head marking and reddish-brown back and wings. The whitethroat has a scratchy song and a harsh alarm call.

This is a fairly typical area of western heathland, a component of which is western gorse, which flowers in late summer. It is a dense, spiny, evergreen shrub, with characteristic yellow flowers and is generally smaller than the ubiquitous common gorse.

Merlin, hen harrier and peregrine all visit this reserve during the winter months.

Other information
The reserve was a gift from Imerys in 2000.

China Clay extraction in this area was first mentioned by William Borlase, a Cornish scholar, in 1758. The engine house still stands, the settling tanks are well preserved, as is the clay dry, where the clay slurry would be dried.