1 Longshore

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Longshore is the local name given to the salt marsh that extends from the western edge of Pill village towards the mouth of the River Avon. The area, which borders the tidal river and is flooded at very high tides, is contained on the landward side by a bund or seawall. Longshore has a distinct ecology based on the salt tolerant plants that grow there.

Beyond the M5 bridge the area is also bounded by the import/export car parking lots of the port complex. But other wildlife corridors within the port area link with Longshore which is itself a SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest).

The length of Longshore can be accessed by public footpath. The footpath on the river mouth side of the M5 bridge runs along the top of the sea wall.

At the end of the footpath (foreshortened by the enclosure of port lands) is a seat and interpretation board.

longshore5

The view features the monumental buildings of the docks on both sides of the river but the hills of Wales can also be seen across the Bristol Channel.

Wildlife

The saltmarsh is a distinct habitat with its own flora and fauna and protected by SSSI status – complemented by tidal mudbanks, freshwater and brackish ponds and ditches.

Beyond the motorway bridge the path along the sea wall is in places hedged by blackthorn bushes – there is also a brackish rhyne running parallel to it as well as areas of reed bed. Small birds such as warblers but also finches nest or come to feed in these areas. Small fish, Sticklebacks, live in the rhyne.

The exposed mud of the river at low tide is also a feeding ground for waders and there is a resident small colony of Redshanks but Curlew, Oystercatcher and Shelduck can also be seen and heard depending on the season.

 Recreation

Closer to the village the small copses and ditches are often used for play. People walk the footpaths. The area under the motorway bridge is used for small motorbikes.

History

Just beyond this point is the site of a World War I shipbuilding yard,­­ though the war finished before it could become productive.

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