B The Batts – the bottom field below Old Durham Gardens

Topography
Flat field

Aspect
Open aspect sheltered by a bank to the east

General Description
Part of the flood plain of the River Wear, it has been under cultivation in the past but has now been taken over by coarse weeds and grasses. There is a plantation of trees (planted circa 1990) parallel with and close to the riverbank

Features
Old Durham Beck and the River Wear form the western boundary. It is bisected by a cycle track and there is a footpath loop along the riverbank leading to the Kingfisher Bridge over Old Durham Beck

Soil
Alluvial

Grasses
Cocksfoot (Dactylis glomerata)
Reed Canary Grass (Phalaris arundinacea)
Soft rush (Juncus effusus)

Ferns

Mosses
Present

Lichens

Fungi

Trees and Shrubs
•Oak (Quercus robur)
•Sycamore (Acer pseudoplatanus)
•Crack willow (Salix fragilis)
•Hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna)
•Elder (Sambucus nigra)
•Ash (Fraxinus excelsior)
•Holly (Ilex aquifolium)
•Ivy (Hedera helix)
•Bramble (Rubus fruticosus)
•Dog rose (Rosa canina)
•Alder (Alnus glutinosa)
•Hazel (Corylus avellana)
•Guelder rose (Viburnum opulus)

Plants
•Dog’s mercury (Mercurialis perennis)
•Creeping buttercup (Ranunculus repens)
•Stinging nettle (Urtica dioica)
•Creeping thistle (Cirsium arvense)
•Hogweed (Heracleum sphondylium)
•Broad-leaved dock (Rumex obtusifolius)
•Rosebay willowherb (Chamaerion angustifolium)
•Himalayan balsam (Impatiens glandulifera)
•Cow parsley (Anthriscus sylvestris)
•Dandelion (Taraxacum officianale)
•Mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris)
•Stickywich/goosegrass (Galium aparine)
•Knapweed (Centaurea nigra)
•Tansy (Tanacetum vulgare)
•Burdock (Arctium pubens)
•Sweet cicely (Myrrhis odorata)
•Blue sow thistle (Cicerbita macrophylla)

Invertebrates

Mammals
•Mole (Talpa europaea)

Birds
•Moorhen (Gallinula chloropus)
•Mallard (Ansas platyrhynchos)
•Kingfisher (Alcedo atthis)

How could the area be improved
More tree planting could be undertaken which would have effect of eventually suppressing the coarse weeds in their vicinity. In about 1988 the City Council had plans to form a lake and wetland on the opposite side of the field to the river. A wetland would be an asset for wildlife but whether it is feasible is highly questionable.