Weather: Warm evening
Park: On Coppull Moor Lane opposite The Nature Reserve entrance
Leader: Graham Thomas/John Wilson
Party Number: 22
This is a quote from one of the Information Boards on the site:
Hic Bibi Local Nature Reserve is an eight-hectare site developed on a former clay quarry and brickworks. Although the site was created by the activities of man, the process of natural vegetation colonisation, combined with virtually no human intervention for nearly 50 years, has led to the development of a diverse and valuable ecology. The site is a place of special interest that needs protecting. If left, the processes of natural succession will eventually lead to the ponds drying out and the species rich grasslandsconverting to woodland. In managing the site, the habitat and wildlife variety is maintained.
The name Hic Bibi is derived from Latin and means, “here drink I”.
Hic Bibi was given to the well along this track by Oliver Cromwell. Seeing that the land surrounding the well was Monastic land it is most likely that the Latin name was given by the monks during the seventeenth century.
Natural History Since clay extraction and brick making ended at Hic Bibi, the surrounding landscape has changed significantly. The adjoining railway line has developed into an important wildlife corridor, which has helped Hic Bibi develop into a vital oasis for flora and fauna. The variable topography and hydrology across the site has enabled a wide range of habitats to develop including ponds, dry and damp grassland and scrub. The presence of a substantial amount of clay and close proximity to the water table ensures that much of the site remains almost permanently waterlogged. This combined with the sheltered nature of much of the site creates a warm humid microclimate. This has been an important factor in the development of the special features of the site. The key features of most importance are the areas of improved/marshy grassland, the amphibian population, in particular the Great Crested Newt, the breeding bird population and the ponds.
The party set off down the Track through an old Nursery to the Reserve and observed a large depression formed by the extraction of Clay. We walked into the overgrown centre to look at the many reedy pools that attracted lots of Dragonflies and Butterflies.
We continued west to a track that led to His Bibi Lane which is an old Roman Road. At the bottom was the site of Hic Bibi Well.
We followed the River east to an earth bridge then walked up through a Corn Field and retraced our steps.
This is an ideal site that is overlooked and has potential for a future visit. 12 of the party retired to The Alison Arms for a well-deserved drink.
Click Read More for a list of what we saw...