The Langdyke Countryside Trust is a community organisation dedicated to the preservation and conservation of the natural and built heritage around Peterborough and Stamford.
Its objectives are:
- To manage, to acquire or assist in the acquisition of local sites in order to enhance the flora, fauna and landscape.
- To provide educational and recreational opportunities for members of the public by allowing appropriate access to sites and in particular to provide interpretive displays, guided tours or otherwise disseminate information about the area and its plants and animals.
- To acknowledge and promote the natural history and literary references made about the area by John Clare and the naturalist Charles Rothschild
The Trust owns or manages various nature reserves:
Swaddywell Pit, near Helpston – an old quarry and former land fill site that is the subject of two poems by John Clare;
Torpel Manor Field, the site of a medieval manor house and county wildlife site;
Bainton Heath – home to one of the highest concentrations of nightingales in the country;
Etton Maxey Pits, on the road out of Etton, which it manages in partnership with Tarmac – a fabulous mosaic of reed, open water and wet woodland.
Etton High Meadow, an eight-acre series of paddocks with a barn, a community orchards and allotments.
Vergette Wood Meadow – a parcel of land and water opposite High Meadow which is a haven for wild flowers.
Both Swaddywell and Torpel are open for visitors at any time, but a permit is required for the reserve at Etton Road, Maxey Pits.
There is no public access to Bainton Heath, but the Trust does organised guided walks there for its members.
It is a membership organisation run by volunteers. All money raised through membership is spent on maintaining the reserves.
The Trust also runs regular nature walks and working parties at the reserves. Members of the public are welcome to join these events. A small contribution to Trust funds is requested for non-members of the Trust.