Introduction & access: Located in the south of the county around 3.5 miles north north-west of Tewkesbury, the site lies on the east side of the River Severn just south of the M50 motorway. To access the site from the village of Uckinghall, take Ferry Lane and continue on to a rough track for 200 yards and park in the fishermen’s car park on the left. From here walk along the gravel track and through the kissing gate on the left. This leads to the River Severn where the public footpath follows the east bank of the river south towards the M50 motorway bridge. Continue under the bridge and beyond the conveyer to view the large pit on the left.
Birds: Although this is a fairly new site with relatively little observer coverage, an impressive number of species have already been noted. Being located immediately adjacent to the River Severn the gravel pits are in prime position to attract passing migrants, particularly in spring and autumn. Careful scrutiny of the shoreline and the large island at the south end will often reveal something of interest. Regular passage waders include Dunlin and Ringed Plover, sometimes well in to double figures, along with Green Sandpipers and Common Sandpipers, while scarcer species have included Sanderling, Turnstone, Bar-tailed Godwit, Whimbrel, Wood Sandpiper and Ruff. 4 Common Cranes were noted briefly in April 2012 while more coastal species have included Arctic Skua, Little Gull and Rock Pipit.
April and May often provide the best chance of seeing Wheatear, Whinchat, White Wagtail and Yellow Wagtail with a reasonable chance of Blue-headed Wagtail amongst the latter species.
The site also attracts good number of wildfowl during the winter months, including Wigeon, Teal, Shoveler and Pintail while the local flock of Greylag Geese were briefly accompanied by a Tundra Bean Goose. Small numbers of wintering waders are often present including Snipe, Jack Snipe and Green Sandpiper.
For a location map of Ripple Gravel Pits: click here