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Although very small it has a lot of flora and fauna on show and in the height of the summer the butterfly and moth species can number well into double figures.

Milton Lock Nature Reserve

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 Small Tortoiseshells are quite common here in the spring where they find a mate and lay their eggs on the abundant Nettle plants on the reserve.

The Kestrel is quite often seen hovering over the reserve, in fact there is a pair nesting on the Allotments nearby. Here is the female after trying to fish out some prey.

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The Small Copper is quite common on the site and is one of my favourite butterflies. There are several males normally battling for territories and females looking for suitable egg laying sites.

Location

Car park adjacent to the Thatched House pub. Further parking is available opposite The Old Oyster house pub.

SZ 6765 9975 Reference

Size

1 hectare

 

Flat, unsurfaced path but fairly smooth, quite narrow

A small but perfectly formed pocket of wildness, Milton Locks nature reserve is a coastal oasis on the border of Portsmouth’s urban sprawl. It’s the last natural section of coastline on this on this side of Langstone Harbour and is packed full of different habitats and wildlife.

 

The small wood provides much needed shelter to birds such as starlings and house sparrows, and the nectar-rich flowers that grow in the dappled sunlight provide food for painted lady and small copper butterflies. The path snakes through tall grass, which buzzes with an orchestra of grasshoppers and crickets, before opening out to the shoreline. 

 

Depending on the tide, you might be lucky enough to spot tiny fish in the shallows, crabs scuttling between clumps of seaweed, or oystercatchers foraging on the mudflats. And don’t forget to look out saltmarsh specialist plants, like sea purslane, sea aster and common saltmarsh-grass.

 

 

 

 

Mating Marbled Whites Milton Lock Foresh
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The Marbled  White Butterfly can quite common in the grasses in some years, here they are mating, and the female will drop her eggs on the grasses as she flies over the grass. 

The common Green Grasshopper can be found in the grass in the height of the summer months. It is is food for the Kestrels which hover over head

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Closeby the reserve are two large lakes, just along the Milton Foreshore where the Cormorant can be seen along with a host of other birds 

Many waders can be seen like Redshanks, Oystercatchers and Common White Egrets close to the Milton Nature Reserve

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It may not look much on the outside but the site although not very large holds a lot of interesting flora and fauna

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The board telling you what you can see on the site is very informative

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Oystercatchers on the wing going past Milton Lock screaming their heads off just gives them away, but always a delight to see.

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 Sunrise over Milton Allotments next to the Milton Lock reserve.