| With the help of EEDA's (East of England development Agency) Regional Infrastructure programme, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) is transforming former gravel workings in Cambridgeshire into a major new nature reserve.|
The reserve is already being enjoyed by both local people and wildlife enthusiasts from around the country.
This complex of lakes and traditional riverside meadows next to the River Great Ouse used to be gravel workings. It is a fantastic place to explore and watch birds with huge numbers of ducks, swans and geese on the lakes in winter. In summer, terns, hobbies and a variety of dragonflies are regularly seen. Otters also live here, but are rarely seen.
Several public rights-of-way and trails cross the reserve. Disabled access is possible to one of the viewing screens.Seasonal highlights include Hobby and common tern in spring / summer along with great crested grebe and other breeding wildfowl.In winter, Gadwall occurs here in nationally-important numbers.
Since the extraction of gravel began in 1953, at least 213 species have been recorded in the area with some 65 species being regular breeders. Recent highlights include great white egret, purple heron (below) , glossy ibis, common crane, red-footed falcon, honey buzzard and whiskered tern. Bitterns are now a regular sight, with Holywell Lake and Elney Lake being the favoured sites.
Andy Cotton (Cambridgeshire bird club)