Swardeston Common is an area of common land to the south of Norwich containing a variety of habitats and species, from gorse scattered acid grassland to orchid-carpeted marsh and tall-herb fen. The condition of the common has changed dramatically over time, altering the associated species across the years.
Up until the 1960’s the common was grazed by cattle which kept large patches of scrub at bay and allowed the neutral and acid grasslands to flourish. After the cattle were removed the common scrubbed up dramatically until recent times. Presently, the common is managed in a way that is sympathetic to its interesting flora and wildlife through scrub control and annual hay cropping. The ponds are home to newts, frogs and water-snail species; the marsh supports a wide variety of wetland plants including common twayblades and orchids; the rabbit grazed acid grassland provides a welcomed contrast to the neighbouring tall sward of neutral meadow and the patchwork of scrub creates a safe haven for a multitude of nesting birds.
Neutral grassland, acid grassland, marshy grassland, fen, scrub, ponds.
When to visit -
To see the beauty of the marshy grassland you should visit this site in mid to late June before the area is cut and raked in mid-July, here you’ll find marsh orchids, common twayblades and yellow rattle in full bloom. Visit in spring and the scrub is alive with early bird songs and calls, and if you listen hard you might just hear the elusive nightingale.
- Swardeston Common Steering Group, Norwich Fringe Project and South Norfolk District Council.
– Contact the Norwich Fringe Project
who are always looking out for new volunteers to help manage natural green spaces through carrying out practical conservation tasks.
Submit a wildlife sighting -
Your wildlife records are important to us and we would love to know what wildlife you see when visiting this site. To submit a wildlife record for this site click here
Website - South Norfolk District Council