Path along river Tas by Michelle Hoare 1/5
Beech along boundary by Michelle Hoare 2/5
Credit Michelle Hoare 3/5
Common comma butterfly by Jan Burnet 4/5
Beech along ancient boundary 5/5

Smockmill Common

Smockmill Common is a County Wildlife Site and an historic common. This wooded site also includes area of open grassland where plants such as Ladies bedstraw and common knapweed can be found. The river Tas runs along one border and is a great place to spot dragonflies and if you are lucky the elusive otter.

Please note this site is not a Norfolk Wildlife Trust reserve.

Habitat description from the Wildlife in Common Survey

A site with a good diversity of habitats and species, lying just south of the River Tas, with Newton Flotman closeby.

Wet woodland and scrub to the west of the site is dominated by alder (Alnus glutinosa) and willow (Salix sp.) with hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna). There is an area of hazel (Corylus avellana) coppice in the south, near the car park. To the east is drier oak (Quercus robur) dominated woodland with ash (Fraxinus excelsior), sycamore (Acer pseudoplatanus), beech (Fagus sylvatica), hawthorn and elder (Sambucus nigra). There was little ground flora at the time of surveying, apart from low bramble scrub (Rubus fruticosus agg.), stands of nettle (Urtica dioica), bracken (Pteridium aquilinum) and with some areas dominated by dog’s mercury (Mercuralis perennis).

There are areas of sycamore regeneration with both small trees and young saplings. Within the woodland area to the east of the site there is evidence of three previous gravel/sand extraction sites. A clearing exists within the woodland which overlooks the grassland digging sites. This feature may be an extention of these diggings. An ancient boundary is visible within the woodland as a earth bank lined with mature coppiced beech trees (Fagus sylvatica) situated on the eastern boundary and runs from south to north.  

The central part of the site is dry grassland with a belt of bramble scrub as it grades into woodland, where it quickly becomes wetter. Species in the grassland include Lady’s bedstraw (Galium verum), harebell (Campanula rotundifolia), centaury (Centaurium erythraea), sheep’s sorrel (Rumex acetosella), lesser stitchwort (Stellaria graminea), Yorkshire fog (Holcus lanatus), red fescue (Festuca rubra) and hairy sedge (Carex hirta). This grassland area also contains two previous sand/gravel digging sites.  

The wet woodland has a couple of open areas with fen-marshy grassland, with meadow sweet (Filipendula ulmaria), watermint (Mentha aquatica), common reed (Phragmites australis), meadow rue (Thalictrum sp.), angelica (Angelica sylvestris), hard rush (Juncus inflexus), hemp agrimony (Eupatorium cannabinum), water forget-me-not (Myosotis scorpioides) and pond sedges (Carex spp.). The wet woodland has stands of giant horsetail (Equisetum telmateia), particularly to the south.

There is an open area of fen-marshy grassland at the northerny boundary of the site adjacent to the River Tas, with common reed (Phragmites australis), angelica (Angelica sylvestris), hard rush (Juncus inflexus), hemp agrimony (Eupatorium cannabinum), water forget-me-not (Myosotis scorpioides), bittercress (Cardamine hirsuta), greater tussock sedge (Carex paniculata), snowdrops (Galanthus nivalis), moschatel (Adoxa moschatellina), russian comfrey (Symphytum x uplandicum), meadowsweet (Filipendula ulmaria) and reed sweet-grass (Glyceria maxima). This area also contains a wet ditch where any water overflows into the river and three embankments which run along the rivers edge and the wet woodland boundary.

Download survey results



Cargate Lane
Saxlingham Nethergate
Post code
NR15 iTU
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