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Arlington Reservoir, 2007

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Arlington Reservoir is a 100-hectare (247 acres) Local Nature Reserve and designated Site of Special Scientific Interest in Hailsham, East Sussex, owned by South East Water.[1][2] The reservoir is popular with autumn and spring migrating birds, with more than 173 species having been recorded. The site has also accommodated up to 10,000 over-wintering widgeon.[1][a]Widgeons are a type of subarctic duck.[3]

The reservoir was created relatively recently by damning the River Cuckmere, and as a result the fringing vegetation is not yet fully developed.[3] Habitats include wetland, deciduous woodland and grassland.[1]

Flora and fauna

Parts of the open water are fringed by alder Alnus glutinosa and willow Salix species, backed by a dense scrub of hawthorn Crataegus monogyna, guelder rose Viburnum opulus, blackthorn Prunus spinosa and gorse Ulex europaeus. The more open areas support grassland dominated by cocksfoot Dactylis glomerata, Yorkshire fog Holcus lanatus and creeping bent Agrostis stolonifera, alongside a range of herbs including false fox sedge Carex otrubae, horseshoe vetch Hippocrepis comosa, fleabane Pulicaria dysenterica and common spotted orchid Dactylorhiza fuchsii.[3]

As well as wigeons, other wintering birds include shoveler, tufted duck, teal, whitefronted geese and pintail.[3]


a Widgeons are a type of subarctic duck.[3]