Tag Archives: Featured

Stroll into the New Year

Make a resolution to join our annual New Year’s Day walk – a gentle three-hour stroll through Langdyke countryside giving you the chance to shake off the old and get set for the new.

This year the walk will set off from the Hills and Holes car park, off Wittering Road, Barnack, at 1pm prompt.

The route has been planned by Langdyke member David Alvey who will also be one of the leaders and who knows the area well.

He says: “I’ve mapped out a route which I know well from multiple dog walks and will recce it a few days before to check for any specific issues, in particular muddy stretches.”

That said, it will be important to make sure that if you are taking part you wear the appropriate clothing and footwear.  

The route takes in several interesting nature sites across grazed grassland, typical arable fields (with two distinctly different forms of cultivation), some spinneys, hedgerows and even a spring fed pond and related stream/ditch. 

It provides a good overview of the Langdyke countryside.

Dependent upon the weather it is possible you could see  Red Kites, Buzzards, Yellowhammers, Skylarks and possibly Redwings and Fieldfares. 

Independent of weather it is likely you will spot corvids and, of course,  wood pigeons

The proposed route

Walk across Hills and Holes from the car park and out at the South-west corner along the public footpath that runs alongside Walcott Hall grounds.

Join the old Ermine Street route across the Western boundary of Walcott, past Southorpe Roughs SSSI and straight on to the southern end of Southorpe. Then back along the road through Southorpe  (a little narrow and with no footpath in places but is now a 20mph limit). 

We pass the Wildlife Trust reserve (SSSI), Southorpe Meadow and then continue out of the village towards Barnack picking up the public footpath along the old disused railway (through ‘Ufford Bridge Station’ which is potentially the only really muddy bit of the route). 

Turning left back into Barnack to enter near the cricket club and back across the road into the Hills and Holes. This takes about 1:30 hours walking the dog but that is at a brisk pace.

Short cut

There is a short cut across to the north end of Southorpe for those wanting a shorter walk (or weather is bad) and an extended route to take in a fourth SSSI (Southorpe Paddock) further to the south of Southorpe. This means a walk along a narrow unrestricted road and over a blind bridge so whilst New Years Day should be quiet on the roads I think it does present a more significant risk to participants.

  • Suitable walking footware is only really required if we have particularly heavy rain (or snow) or the local hunt or agricultural machinery has churned up sections of the path. The going underfoot is fairly dry and stable even in mid-winter.

Image of the Month

Each month we are selecting a photograph taken by one of our members.

November

Here is the image for November.  It is a spectacular view of the murmuration over one of the bird hides at the Etton Maxey reserve.  It was taken by Bob Titman.

click to enlarge

October:
This is the October image – just one of the finds at a small mammal survey carried our at the Vergette Wood-Meadow at Etton.  It was taken by Martin Parsons. Continue reading Image of the Month

Happy Birthday – to us!

Pic: Pond Dipping at Swaddywell Pit NR

It is going to be a big year for the Langdyke Countryside Trust in 2019 with special events to celebrate our 20th birthday.

The celebration programme includes a series of events designed to appeal to anyone who has an interest in the countryside around where they live.

And many of the happenings are aimed directly at giving the whole family a chance to enjoy time together in the countryside.

The highlight of the programme is a 20th anniversary weekend of events in June next year.

Over the weekend of June 29-30 we will be celebrating twenty years of positive local action for nature and heritage across all of our reserves.

More details will be announced in the New Year, so keep watching this site.

Some observers have commented that Langdyke is an organisation just for bird watchers.  Not so.

The reserves it maintains and events it promotes for members – and non-members – gives everyone the chance to engage with nature in whatever form they want.

Whether it’s a family walk in the countryside, a summer picnic with wildlife, a chance to explore nature close up or the opportunity to burn off some of those calories by joining a countryside working party – there is something on offer for everyone.

Founded in 1999, Langdyke now manages six nature reserves – a total of 180 acres of land – has more than 300 household members and even its own flock of sheep.

It is a purely voluntary organisation committed to making a difference to the countryside around us all.

Trust chairman Richard Astle, who lives in Helpston, wrote in the recent annual report: “We want to live in 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.”

Although the organisation’s membership is thriving there is always room for more.  Anyone interested in joining can make contact through this website or the Langdyke Facebook page.

There is also the chance to get your hands dirty and make direct contact with nature by joining one of the working parties which meet weekly at Swaddywell and fortnightly at the Etton/Maxey reserves. They involve helping with a variety of tasks (the work isn’t back-breaking), making new friends and having a chat over a cuppa with like-minded people. There are also working events at Castor Hanglands and Barnack Hills and Holes.

You can usually find details of forthcoming working parties on the Langdyke Countryside Trust Facebook page.

Full details of all of our 2019 events can be found on the website here: