If you're lucky to get a space in the now downsized car park, this Nature reserve is well worth a visit. When not used as a pick up point for downhill bikers - (who've created a huge downhill course on the north facing mountain side) - it's quite a peaceful site, rich in flora and fauna. The Common Lizards were showing really well in the closed section of the Car Park in the walls, but you do have to be slow approaching and patient, for they always see you before you see them. Further up the valley the Migrant, Southern and Common Hawkers were putting on a decent show, with lots of newly emerged Palmate Newts exploring their surroundings, possible eyeing up any winter hibernation spots as the colder weather is approaches.
Despite the breeze, Butterflies were showing well also with Common Blue, Essex Skipper and about 30 Small Coppers (The most I've ever seen). So many that they were squabbling over available flowers.
Something I wasn't so impressed with was the worrying amounts of Himalayan Balsam. An invasive plant that is spreading like wild fire through our countryside and isn't very easy to get rid of. Our native bees pollenate them rapidly which sounds good but this actually is a bad thing because it detracts the bees from pollenating our native flowers. Between that and the incredible seed dispersing mechanism that the plants have, I can see us having real issues in the future if this isn't dealt with soon.