Bainton Heath – Please note there is no public access to this site
The Langdyke Countryside Trust and the National Grid are working together near the village of Bainton to manage a twenty acre site owned by National Grid, to the west but not part of Bainton Fisheries, is managed by the Trust for the benefit of wildlife.
The site was a former tip for waste fly ash from power stations in the north of England, but has since been colonised by a fascinating variety of flowers, mosses, lichens, insects and birds and is now one of the best sites in the region of hear the song of the nightingale. It also hosts strong breeding populations of summer migrants, including chiffchaff, whitethroat, lesser whitethroat, and willow, sedge, reed and grasshopper warblers. Cuckoos call from the trees and hobbies hunt overhead.
Bainton Heath also has a strong and varied population of dragonflies, butterflies, beetles and other insects, including several locally and nationally scarce species.
Because of the unique nature of the site, many species of moss and lichen are in fact not natural to Cambridgeshire at all – but are more northerly species! The area also contains a small wood and a large pond.
National Grid has initially leased the site to the Trust for a three year period. At present parts of the site are very overgrown and without active management areas of scrub and grassland will be lost to larger more dominant vegetation, putting at risk the future of many of the sites flowers, lichens and insects. The Trust intends to clear some of this encroaching vegetation. Access will be limited to organised visits.
Richard Keymer, chair of the Langdyke Countryside Trust, said ‘We are delighted to be able to work with National Grid on this fascinating and strangely beautiful site. We will be running work parties and guided walks for the local community, including plans for poetry and bird song evenings next spring, when local people will have the chance to come to hear the sound of the nightingales and listen to John Clare’s poems about this wonderful bird. We see this announcement as further evidence of Peterborough’s environment capital credentials as we work with partners to enhance biodiversity and access to nature around the city.’