Teesdale Allotments

Teesdale Allotments is a Site of Special Scientific Interest in the Teesdale district of County Durham, England. It consists of two large upland areas north of the Tees valley, one to the north and east of the village of Newbiggin, the other to the north-east of Middleton-in-Teesdale.

The area, which adjoins the Upper Teesdale SSSI, consists of enclosed upland grazings, and is of national importance for its bird populations. Species that breed in the area include Northern lapwing, common snipe, common redshank, Eurasian golden plover, black grouse and Eurasian curlew, all except the last of which are declining in numbers nationally. Densities of breeding waders are among the highest in Britain, with up to 90 pairs recorded from one 1 km square.[1]

The black grouse population is particularly important: while this species has declined almost everywhere in England, and is now extinct in some former breeding areas, such as Dartmoor and Exmoor, the population in Teesdale has remained relatively stable, and the area now holds 30 percent of the English population, 7 percent of it in the Teesdale Allotments.

Other breeding birds include common teal, merlin, red grouse, short-eared owl, ring ouzel, and Northern wheatear, all of which are listed, or are candidates for listing, in the United Kingdom's Red Data Book (Birds). Three breeding species—merlin, golden plover and short-eared owl—are listed in Annex 1 of the European Commission's Birds Directive as requiring special protection.[1]

Teesdale Allotments
Map showing the location of Teesdale Allotments
Map showing the location of Teesdale Allotments
Location of Teesdale Allotments SSSI, Co Durham
LocationTeesdale, North East, England
Coordinates54°39′23″N 2°6′33″W / 54.65639°N 2.10917°WCoordinates: 54°39′23″N 2°6′33″W / 54.65639°N 2.10917°W
Area1,308.34 ha (5.0515 sq mi)
Governing bodyNatural England
WebsiteMap of site


  1. ^ a b "Teesdale Allotments" (PDF). English Nature. 1994. Retrieved 1 August 2010.
List of Sites of Special Scientific Interest in County Durham

This is a list of the Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) in County Durham, England. It excludes SSSIs situated in that area south of the River Tyne that is now part of the metropolitan county of Tyne and Wear as well as the area north of the River Tees which, prior to 1996, formed part of the county of Cleveland.

As of July 2010, County Durham has 88 sites that have been designated as SSSIs, of which 67 have been designated for their biological interest, 16 for their geological interest, and 5 for both.Five of these sites are shared with an adjacent county:

Moorhouse and Cross Fell with Cumbria;

Derwent Gorge and Horsleyhope Ravine, Hexhamshire Moors and Muggleswick, Stanhope and Edmundbyers Commons and Blanchland Moor with Northumberland;

Durham Coast with both Cleveland (in the south) and Tyne and Wear (in the north).

Middle Side and Stonygill Meadows

Middle Side and Stonygill Meadows is a Site of Special Scientific Interest in the Teesdale district of County Durham, England. It consists of two separate areas, one to the north of the River Tees, the other on the south bank, about 2 km upstream from the village of Middleton-in-Teesdale. The Park End Wood and Middle Crossthwaite SSSIs lie on the same stretch of floodplain, the Teesdale Allotments SSSI is a short distance to the north, while the higher ground to the south of the river is part of the Upper Teesdale SSSI.

The site mainly consists of hay meadows, which are managed by traditional methods and support a wide variety of grasses and forbs. Common grasses include red fescue, Festuca rubra, cock's foot, Dactylis glomerata, common bent, Agrostis capillaris, and sweet vernal grass, Anthoxanthum odoratum. Common herbs include common sorrel, Rumex acetosa, wood cranesbill, Geranium sylvaticum, and great burnet, Sanguisorba officinalis. Less common are the locally rare melancholy thistle, Cirsium helenioides, globe flower, Trollius europaeus, common bistort, Polygonum bistorta, and alpine bistort, P. viviparum.

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