Stretching over 30 hectares, Locks Common is one of Bridgend County Borough Council’s dedicated Local Nature Reserve (LNR) sites. These sites are conservation areas set aside for people to enjoy nature and learn about wildlife and the landscape. Locks Common is a large area of grassland, heath and limestone pavement situated immediately to the west of the seaside town of Porthcawl.
Locks Common begins at the end-point of the original Porthcawl promenade, which was built in 1887 to celebrate Queen Victoria’s Jubilee year. The varied infrastructure of this reserve supports a huge variety of birds, butterflies and wildflowers. The rugged, though reasonably flat area stretches through to Rest Bay beach on the west. It’s a popular family beach and also a great favourite with surfers. If you’re looking for walks with superb panoramic views of Rest Bay and the Bristol Channel, then Locks Common is the perfect place! You can follow a number of footpaths across the reserve, and a newly constructed pedestrian and cycle path runs parallel to the common if you want an alternative way to reach Rest Bay. If you’re a keen photographer, don’t forget your camera! On a clear day you can see the Devon Coastline and Swansea Bay in the distance - the landscape photography opportunities are fantastic.
What will I find? Locks Common comprises a very varied landscape, and as you explore you’ll find different types of species depending on the path you choose to take. The area of limestone that forms part of the reserve is scattered over 2 hectares. Whilst this may seem an unusual feature for a nature reserve, it provides a habitat for species you’re unlikely to see in many of our more rural reserves around Bridgend county. These include Salad Burnet, Eyebright and Squinancywort. This important limestone feature has resulted in Locks Common being designated as a Regionally Important Geological Site as well as a Local Nature Reserve. If you venture across the pathways beyond the limestone area, look out for the beautiful blue flower of Spring Squill. You’ll probably also come across our resident Stonechats. These small birds flicker their wings while perched and are oftenseen on the tops of low bushes. As the name suggests, they utter a sharp loud call that sound like two stones tapping together.
Locks Common Trails Path: Large areas of flat limestone pavement suitable for wheelchairs and pushchairs. Footpaths over the natural areas may be muddy and uneven in parts.
Look out for… I grow here.. Rock Samphire, Bird’s Foot Trefoil, Heather, Spring Squill, Salad Burnet, Eyebright, Squinancywort
I live here.. Lesser Black Backed Gull, Blue Tit, Kestrel, Rock Pipit, Robin, Skylark, Stonechat, Harbour Porpoise, Fox
If you’re exploring Locks Common and you spot these or other species, please take a photograph or let us know.
Add a bit of history Locks Common has a long history of sheep and cattle grazing, but has also seen other uses. Before the first world war it was used as a golf course and it has even seen use as a military training area! To find out more about the history of the area surrounding Locks Common, please visit: www.bridgendbites.com
Where is Locks Common? Locks Common is situated to the west of Porthcawl town centre. If you are using Sat Nav to find Locks Common, please use postcode: CF36 3UP. Access Access to Locks Common is from the end of the promenade in Porthcawl town or from Rest Bay to the west of the town. Please see the map for details and for car-parking options. Parking Public car parks are available in Porthcawl Town Centre and parking is available around Rest Bay. Please see map for details.
Where next? To find out more about Bridgend’s beautiful Local Nature Reserves, please look for the following links on this website: * Frog Pond Wood * Craig y parcau * Tremains Wood * Kenfig National Nature Reserve
26 May 2018:01:18 - 26 May 2018:01:18
Upcoming Event Breeding Birds of Locks Common Saturday 9th May 2015