Batch Nature Reserve lies beside the Cam Brook, about 1 km
noth-east of Paulton. It is owned by Wessex Water (and is
adjacent to the sewage works), and has been managed by CVWG
Batch was the spoil heap for two collieries. Paulton Engine
Colliery, to the east of the batch, was one of the earliest
pits in the area and closed in 1869. A central portion of
the spoil heap has subsequently been excavated and removed,
leaving a very sheltered area in the middle of the batch and
an exposed cliff of spoil which is designated as a RIGS (Regionally
Important Geological and Geomorphological Site).
time, a variety of habitats has formed on this small site
supporting a great diversity of wildlife. The steep north
side of the batch, which slopes down to the river, is densely
wooded, with some quite mature trees. There are areas of impenetrable
scrub, of great value to nesting birds and important feeding
sites for winter thrushes. The several small patches of grassland
have different species composition, indicating the varied
nature of the substrate. Over 70
bird species have been seen on or around the reserve and
21 species of butterfly.
More than 160 different vascular
plant species have been recorded, together with 39
bryophyte species so far.
2006 a Management Plan was drawn up for the site and regular
monthly workdays are held. Over the years, invasion by brambles
has been a serious problem, so that management work consists
mostly of keeping the scrub and brambles under control to
maintain the diversity of habitat. In addition, an access
path to the RIGS cliff is maintained and has recently been
extended to form a circular route.