An area of grassland, scrub and woodland on the site of a former clay pit, once used for brick-making


About the site

Claylands Local Nature Reserve is a Site of Importance for Nature Conservation (SINC). It lies close to residential areas of Bishop's Waltham and as such is well used by local people. The site has secondary woodland, grassy and scrub covered slopes, meadows and several ponds.


The south facing slopes form the banks of a once thriving clay pit and brickworks. It was established in 1862, continuing production until 1956. The clayworks was one of the main sources of employment in the area. The Botley to Bishops Waltham railway line transported bricks and terracotta pots far and wide.

Products were used in buildings such as Buckingham Palace and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. The warm slopes of the old clay works are now an important habitat for insects. Butterflies such as Marbled White, Green Hairstreak and Common Blue frequent the slopes.

After dark on summer evenings, the flightless female glow worm (which is in fact a beetle) glows to attract the winged males. The network of ponds provides a habitat for all three native species of newt.

Contact us

South Area Office, Ranger Depot, Pylands Lane, Southampton SO31 1BH

Phone 023 8040 2534