Our plans move on

Richard Astle

Plans announced by the Langdyke Countryside Trust to develop an ambitious vision for nature across the area are moving on.  Here chair Richard Astle explains how things are moving forward …


Langdyke launched its vision for John Clare Countryside in September at St Kyneburgha’s Church, Castor to an audience of over 120 local residents.

That  vision seeks to create and protect a heritage landscape with 

  • Outstanding natural biodiversity through major habitat restoration connected through a mosaic of smaller wildlife havens and corridors 
  • An unspoilt landscape that is used by local people and the people of an expanding Peterborough, providing them with a large area of unspoilt countryside on their doorstep 
  • Well-kept heritage sites, accessible to all and working together to involve and attract visitors 
  • Cycle paths, footways and ‘quiet roads’ – a green transport infrastructure – where priority is given to walkers and riders 
  • Prosperous and successful farming, profiting from a combination of environmentally friendly farming practice, sustainable tourism and recreational activities

You can find the vision document on the website https://langdyke.org.uk/2019/09/11/vision-for-clare-country/

Since the launch, the Trust has been working with partners across the area such as Peterborough City Council, Nene Park Trust, PECT and Sacrewell Farm to develop plans to make this happen. 

We have spoken to almost all the parish councils in the area as well as landowners and businesses.  And so far, everyone we have talked to is keen to support the project!  We have also been talking to national and regional organisations such as Natural England and the Wildlife Trusts who are offering their support.

So, what happens now?  

We are applying for financial grants to help us with habitat creation for nature across the area. 

We will bring all our partners together in the spring to discuss a co-ordinated habitat creation programme possibly to include ideas for long avenues of trees across Clare Countryside, planting species rich hedgerows that create wildlife corridors; creating ponds and putting up bat and bird boxes.

We would particularly want to work with schools and parish councils and any private landowners who would be interested in joining us.

 And just think what our countryside could look like when we get this done!

An area where nature is at the heart of our lives. Where swifts and swallows are a central feature of our summer evenings, where otters continue to enthral people as they play in the Maxey Cut, where bees and other insects thrive, not decline, and where there are far more, not less, ponds, meadows, wild flowers, hedgerows and trees. And where people can walk or cycle out in safety and tranquillity across this thriving countryside, enjoying the sights and sounds and even the silence of the natural world; enjoying dark skies and cherishing the heritage – both natural and man-made- around them.

And we certainly need as many people as possible, not only to support the project, but to get actively involved!  So if you think you could help or just want to know more, please contact me on chair@langdyke.org.uk