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Local Natural History

In the rural Parish of Beaumont a large variety of fauna and flora can be found. There is a major river, woodlands, marshes, and a network of fields. Kestrels, sparrow hawks and buzzards can be seen overhead and tawny owls and barn owls can be seen as dusk or heard at night.
Photograph of mole outside Carew House, Kirkandrews on Eden, taken by Bryony Kirk
There are many now less common woodland birds such as woodpeckers, various species of finch and tit. We also have several species of bat breeding and roosting locally including the European brown long-eared bat, Common and Soprano pipistrelle bats, and swallows nesting here in the summer, arriving on 14th/15th of April and departing for Africa during mid September. In the fields stoats can be seen together with their prey, rabbits.
Photograph of taken just below Beaumont Parish Hall at dawn in September 2014 River Eden by Stephen Lloyd-Smart
December 2016. Nice group of about 50 Whooper Swans that have been on Carr Bed for the last week or so. These are birds that breed in Iceland and spend the winter on the Solway. Other sightings of note along the local river recently have been large numbers of Teal, several pairs of Goldeneye ducks and Goosanders, and some Little Grebe. Wading birds in the area have included Curlew, Redshank and a solitary little Egret
Down at the River Eden, flocks of Whooper swans, oystercatchers, avocets, gooseanders and sand martins can be seen, according to the season. If you go down to the river, near Beaumont Parish Hall, in the early morning or in the late evening you may see an otter feeding or see deer crossing to the other side.
Local woodlands are the home of Red Squirrels and several species of deer.
Photograph of the River Eden below Beaumont Parish Hall, taken by Stephen Lloyd-Smart.

Walkers and Cyclists

The roads, lanes and footpath in this area are almost all suitable for exploring the countryside either on foot or by bike.
Hadrian's Wall Path runs through the land at Hollow Creek and the Vallum runs through the front garden. We are also only 400 yards from the Cumbrian Coastal Way, on the Cumbrian Cycle RouteHadrian’s Cycleway (National Route 72) and the Reivers Cycleway (Regional Route 10).

Birders and Nature lovers

Local nature reserves are plentiful. At Finglandrigg Wood NNR near Kirkbampton you will find red squirrels and various species of deer. Drumburgh Moss and Glasson Moss are lowland raised bogs which have many specialised species including a range of sphagnum species, hare's-tail cotton grass, bog rosemary, cranberry, and cross-leaved heath. All three native sundew species are present.
Gooseanders on River Eden, taken by Stephen Lloyd-Smart
The Solway Estuary is well known as a haven for bird life, particularly in the winter months, when huge flocks of thousands of migrating  geese (barnacle, white-fronted, brent and pink-footed) and other waders congregate to provide a fantastic sight. Bowness-on-Solway/Campfield Marsh (9 miles),  Geltsdale (16 miles),  Mereshead, Dumfries (45 miles) RSPB reserves are all within range.
Caerlaverock WWT, Dumfries is 30 miles away and Bellymack Kite Feeding Station (55 miles) makes a spectacular day out.
At Bowness-on-Solway, there is the annual spectacle of the spring Pomarine Skua passage.


All the photographs on these pages are of local wildlife. Further photographs can be seen on our gallery pages. If you would like to include a photograph to the website please contact us, we welcome all new contributions.
Photograph of Robin outside The Croft, Kirkandrews on Eden, taken by Stephen Lloyd-Smart

The Solway Red Squirrel Group

Do you have squirrels visiting your garden? Do you see squirrels when out walking or driving in your car? Do you own woodland which may contain squirrels? If you see any squirrels GREY OR RED please contact us on 01228 711520/562263 or email solwayredsquirrels@hotmail.co.uk. Red squirrels have declined or disappeared from many areas and this is directly attributable to grey squirrels, introduced from America in 1876. The bigger greys are more aggressive and outcomplete the reds for food and territory but more critically, a large number carry the highly infectious Squirrel Pox Virus Disease to which they seem immune but is fatal to reds. For more details of what is being done for red squirrels in Cumbria visit the Northern Red Squirrel website.

Further afield

Beaumont Parish is close to Watchtree Nature Reserve near Wiggonby. Watchtree has bird hides, ponds, wetland areas and woodlands. In addition to wildlife, Watchtree offers outdoor activities for the family such as bike hire, trail walks, specialised guided walks. Go the Watchtree website for more details.
Beaumont Parish is also an ideal base for those who would like to explore the Scottish Borders, the Lake District, Northumberland’s National Park and is close to the Solway Firth. The whole area abounds with native plants and animals from otters and orchids, to dragonflies and deer.