Cassop Vale

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Cassop Vale
Site of Special Scientific Interest
Cassop Vale National Nature Reserve.jpg
Cassop Vale
Country England
Region North East
District Durham City
Location NZ335387
 - coordinates 54°44′33.4″N 1°28′49.4″W / 54.742611°N 1.480389°W / 54.742611; -1.480389Coordinates: 54°44′33.4″N 1°28′49.4″W / 54.742611°N 1.480389°W / 54.742611; -1.480389
Area 40.9 ha (101.1 acres)
Notification 1958
Management Natural England
Area of Search County Durham
Interest Biological
Map of England and Wales with a red dot representing the location of the Cassop Vale SSSI, Co Durham
Location of Cassop Vale SSSI, Co Durham
Website: Map of site

Cassop Vale is a Site of Special Scientific Interest in the Durham City district of County Durham, England. It lies between the villages of Bowburn and Cassop, 7 km south-east of the centre of Durham..

The site is important as one of the larger areas of grassland developed on magnesium limestone. This rock has a restricted distribution in England and grassland associated with it is confined almost entirely to south-east Tyneside and County Durham, usually in small, scattered patches that are threatened by quarrying and modern agricultural practices.[1]

Habitats at Cassop Vale include grassland, scrub, woodland and wetland, the last fed by spring-lines. The area also includes recolonised open quarries and mine spoil-heaps, which add to the floral diversity. Several rare and local species are present, including globeflower, Trollius europaeus, birds's-eye primrose, Primula farinosa, lesser club-moss, Selaginella selaginoides, and moonwort, Botrychium lunaria. The area also supports a diverse invertebrate fauna that includes populations of the Durham Argus butterfly, Aricia artaxerxes salmacis.[1]


  1. ^ a b "Cassop Vale" (PDF). English Nature. 1985. Retrieved 18 July 2010.