Landscapes for Life
Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs) are some of the UK’s most cherished and outstanding landscapes.
The carboniferous limestone cliffs at Symonds Yat are a magnet for birds of prey, including the Peregrine Falcon, which nests on Coldwell Rocks. There is a viewing point at Symonds Yat Rock from where you can watch the Peregrines while they hunt and raise their young between April and August. Other birds of prey such as the Goshawk, Sparrowhawk and Common Buzzard can also be seen here. Sometimes Ospreys, on their spring and autumn migrations, stop off here, attracted by the river below where Kingfishers, Sand Martins, Swifts, Swallows and House Martins all nest.
Nightjars are summer visitors to the Wye Valley. They like moorland heath and open woodland, such as the heathland restoration initiatives at Beacon Hill, near Trellech Broadmeend and Tiddenham Chase. You will find it hard to spot one during the day as their camouflage is excellent so, for your best chance, take a walk around these sites just as it is going dark between April and June. You will probably hear them before you spot their kestrel-like silhouettes against the darkening sky. The males give a most unusual ‘churring’ call that you will instantly recognise.