Roydon Common (CL 77) forms the heart of the Gaywood Valley Living Landscape Area. At least 15 species of dragonfly frequently occur at Roydon, including the rare black darter, for which this is one of only two breeding sites in Norfolk. Rare keeled skimmers have also been seen recently. More than 30 species of butterfly have been seen including white admiral, brown argus, and both green and purple hairstreak. 450 species of moth have been recorded and the impressive minotaur beetle is found. Reptiles, including adder, are present. Numerous rare and interesting plants occur, but perhaps the greatest spectacle occurs in August and early September when the site’s prodigious stands of heather are in flower.
Many birds frequent the common, with nightjars and woodlarks nesting in good numbers. In winter there is usually a small roost of hen harriers, and occasional merlin are seen. Barn owls and, occasionally, short-eared owls occur. A great grey shrike is seen during most winters. Flocks of linnets breed on the Common, but are often noticed as feeding flocks on Rising Heath. For further information on the site please visit our reserve page