Category Archives: Image of the month

October in pictures

Brown Hares have become a familiar sight to visitors of the Etton Maxey nature reserve.

They are often seen darting around in the undergrowth. But it’s not everyday that someone captures a photo of them.  So we have selected this shot – captured by Steve Zealand – as our image of the month for October.

Each month we select photographs taken by our members. They might not be technically perfect – but they sum up the events of that month. Here are some other images from October.

A pair of Ospreys have also been sighted on the reserve and along the Maxey Cut.  This image was taken by Martin Browne.

An Osprey, seen on Maxey Cut, Photo: Martin Browne

Martin also took this shot of a Stonechat at Etton Maxey.

Stonechat, Etton Maxey reserve. Photo: Martin Browne

The fungal foray around Castor Hanglands and led by David Cowcill proved a popular event and walkers saw a wide variety of specimens.  This was one of the many finds, photographed by Brian Lawrence.

One of the many finds during the fungal foray at Castor Hanglands Photo: Brian Lawrence

As usual it’s been a busy month for the volunteers working on the various reserves.  Without them the Langdyke Countryside Trust would not be able to maintain the landscape it cares for in tip top condition.

The volunteers carry out a wide variety of tasks including clearing undergrowth, controlling trees, maintaining fences and keeping an eye on the trust’s flock of sheep.  Most of the work parties, working out of bases at Etton, Swaddywell and Castor,  are advertised via facebook, but if anyone is interested in taking part they can contact the trust through the website emailing:

The work suits all age groups, shapes and sizes and can be carried out at your own pace and to your own capabilities.  It usually ends with a cup of tea or coffee, cakes and a good chat.

One of the tasks at Etton Maxey has been removing hawthorn bushes from one of the areas so that the sheep don’t get too tangled up in them when they graze the area in the spring.  Keren Thompson took this picture.

Removing hawthorn bushes from a sheep grazing area in North Wood at Etton Maxey Photo: Keren Thompson

More volunteers, including some from a group of ex-Perkins employees,  can be seen hard at work as Swaddywell in this image take by Chris Gray.

A busy day at Swaddywell. Photo: Chris Gray

A group of Langdyke volunteers from the southern group were among those who answered a call for help to clear the old stationmasters garden at Ailsworth.  Mike Horne captured the action.

Langdyke members were among the volunteers busy at work tidying up the stationmaster’s garden in Ailsworth Photo: Mike Horne


September in pictures

Here is a lovely summer sight to savour as autumn colours take over in the countryside we all enjoy.

This photograph of a Common Blue butterfly was captured at Swaddywell Pit Nature Reserve by Langdyke member Brian Lawrence. We have chosen it as our image of the month for September.

Each month we select photographs taken by our members. They might not be technically perfect – but they sum up the events of that month. Here are some other images from September.

During his walk around Swaddywell, Brian also took this photograph of blackberries on a bush at the reserve.

Blackberries at Swaddywell. Photo: Brian Lawrence

During September there  has been a relatively rare find growing near the water’s edge  at Vergette Wood Meadow, Etton.

Trifid Bur-marigold Bidens tridentata at Vergette Wood Meadow. Photo: Sarah Lambert


This is Trifid Bur-marigold – also known as Bidens tridentata – found on the edge of the lake , the first record of this species locally since 1976, when Terry Wells recorded it at Upton.

Sarah Lambert, who took this photograph, says it is a late flowering annual species that favours nutrient-rich mud at the edges of rivers, ponds and lakes, and is very uncommon away from the Nene valley.

Sarah wrote on Facebook: “It is a declining species, specially in south-east England, so a good one to have in a Langdyke Trust reserve.”

The turtle doves at Etton Maxey have again been regularly seen during August ahead of their expected migration.

A turtle dove at Etton Maxey. Photo: Martin Browne

This image of just one of a small, but healthy, number was captured by Martin Browne.

Other bird life at the reserve included this Partridge family.

The Partridge Family! Breakfast time at Etton Maxey. Photo: John Parsonage


The picture was taken by John Parsonage.

As usual, our working parties have been busy carrying out tasks at our reserves.

Clearing the pond at Etton High Meadow. Photo: Keren Thompson

This image shows work underway to clear the pond at Etton High Meadow of rotting and damaging plant life.  As well as cleaning up the water, branches were removed from surrounding trees to let light in and undergrowth trimmed away. The photo was taken by Keren Thomson.

It’s not all work and no play as this party image of the Western reserves work team shows.

Party time at Swaddywell. Working party members enjoy lunch after another hard working session Photo: Sue Welch

Sue Welch took this picture of the team enjoying their well deserved annual barbecue.

August in pictures

What a month … there are some fabulous photos illustrating the wildlife across Langdyke reserves during August – including this great picture of a Scarlet Pimpernel.

It was taken by Langdyke treasurer and trustee Brian Lawrence during a sunny afternoon at Swaddywell Pit and is our image of the month.

Each month we select photographs taken by our members. They might not be technically perfect – but they sum up the events of that month. Here are some other images from August.

Turtle Doves breeding around the Etton Maxey reserve have been one of the highlights of the month as these great images show. This group was caught on camera by John Parsonage.

Turtle Doves at Etton Maxey. Photo: John Parsonage

The Turtle Doves have been encouraged by Langdyke volunteers who have put special food out for them three times a week.  In recent days special netting has been put up to capture some of the birds so they can be ringed by experts.

One of the volunteers Martin Parsons took this photo of one of the birds being tagged before being released.

A Turtle Dove captured and successfully ringed. Photo: Martin Parsons


Other work undertaken by Trust volunteers has included a small mammal survey, run by Steve and Liz Lonsdale, at the Etton Vergette Wood Meadow site. One of the finds included this little creature photographed by Keren Thomson just before it was released back into the wild.

One of the finds at the small mammal survey at Etton’s Vergette Wood Meadow Photo: Keren Thomson

The work of Trust volunteers is really appreciated and the organisation could not operate without the volunteers who turn out to help keep the reserves in tip top condition.

Volunteers at the Monday work party at Etton are seen here clearing weeds from the community orchard at Etton High Meadow. The photo was taken by Keren Thomson..

Work party volunteers clearing weeds from the community orchard at Etton High Meadow Photo: Keren Thomson

This work party picture, taken by Sue Welch, shows preparations being made to keep the sheep safe at Swaddywell Pit.

The Swaddywell work party preparing ground to keep the sheep safe Photo: Sue Welch

The month saw a number of sheep movements after the annual shearing to make sure they are safe and in the right grazing place for the months ahead.

These young Hebridean male lambs were born at Torpel Manor field and now have a new home grazing the paddock at Etton’s Vergette Wood Meadow. The picture was taken by Kathryn Parsons shortly after their arrival.

Some of the new born Hebridean sheep get to know their nw home at Etton’s Vergette Wood Meadow Photo: Kathryn Parsons

Swaddywell Pit has proved yet again to be a great location for photographing flowers, fauna and insects as these shots by Liam Boyle,  Brian Lawrence and Duncan Kirkwood  all prove.

The joy of Swaddywell Photo: Liam Boyle
Autumn Lady’s Tresses at Swaddywell Photo: Brian Lawrence
Mating common blue damselflies at Swaddywell. Photo: Duncan Kirkwood

July in pictures

It’s been a battle of the Emperors to find the best photographs taken by members and uploaded to our Facebook site during  July … to be precise the emperor dragonfly species.

We have two great shots of the dragonfly – or blue emperor as it is known – taken near the pond at Swaddywell Pit nature reserve.

The first was taken by Steve Zealand.

Emperor Dragonfly at Swaddywell Photo: Steve Zealand




Days later Duncan Kirkwood captured this image at virtually the same spot.

An Emperor Dragonfly at Swaddywell Pit. Photo by Duncan Kirkwood

Our image of the month for July (top) is of a juvenile Grasshopper perched on a Crested cow-wheat at Castor Hanglands.  It was taken by Sarah Lambert.

Each month we select photographs taken by our members. They might not be technically perfect – but they sum up the events of that month. Here are some other images from July.

During a special visit to Marholm Field Bank – the latest reserve that Langdyke has ‘adopted’ for a bit of love and attention  Kathryn Parsons photographed this rare Green Hairstreak caterpillar.

A rare Green Hairstreak caterpillar found at Marholm Field Bank Photo: Kathryn Parsons


And July wouldn’t be July without signs of a glowworm. They can be found in a large number of places, but one of the spots to definitely see them is Barnack Hills and Holes.  This picture was taken by Michael Jarman.

A glowworm at Barnack Hills and Holes Photo: Michael Jarman

June in pictures

It’s been a fabulous month for nature across all of our reserves and this photo focus is a tribute to the skills of our members and Facebook friends.

Our image of the month for June hasn’t been taken by a member this time – it was snapped by Langdyke’s recently purchased trail camera.

It can be left positioned out to capture nature in all its glory.  And on this occasion  it was left near the pond at Swaddywell when this hare emerged after a refreshing dip.

The camera never stays in the same place for long.  So keep watching for more fabulous shots in future months. Thanks to Michael Jarman for the image.

Each month we select photographs taken by our members. They might not be technically perfect – but they sum up the events of that month. Here are some other images from June.

Steve Zealand was out at Etton-Maxey to capture the splendour of the summer solstice with this image.

Summer Solstice evening at Etton Maxey Photo: Steve Zealand



You can rely on Langdyke trustee and treasurer Brian Lawrence – a keen photographer – for some great images.  Here he has captured  a bee orchid and also just one of the hundreds – if not thousands – of pyramidal orchids at Etton-Maxey.

One of the hundreds – possibly thousands – of Pyramidal orchids at Etton-Maxey
A bee orchid at Etton-Maxey: Photo Brian Lawrence
















An early morning walk at Etton-Maxey resulted in Angela Trotter spotting boxing hares.  She didn’t manage to capture a photo – but this is one of the combatants.

Hare – Etton-Maxey: Photo: Angela Trotter



Here’s a wonderful picture of nature at work. Taken by Liam Boyle at Swaddywell

An amazing image from Swaddywell Photo: Liam Boyle









Summer means a haircut for the Langdyke flock of sheep.  This year it took place in early June after  the sheep had been rounded up from all the reserves and taken to Etton-Maxey. Most of them enjoyed the day – with the exception of a handful who refused to  play ball when Richard Astle, Mick Beeson and helpers tried to round them up.  They were sheared a few days later.

Sheep shearing time for the Langdyke flock Photo: Richard Astle
The sheep shearing team in action. Photo: Kathryn Parsons





And finally … come rain or shine the Langdyke teams of volunteers carry on the good work keeping the reserves in tip top condition.  Early June was noted for the rain.  Despite that the work carried on at Swaddywell as this photo by Sue Welch shows.
Ladies and gents – we salute you!

It’s wet – but the volunteers carry on with their work at Swaddywell regardless. Photo: Sue Welch

May in pictures

Well done to Langdyke member Nathan Stimpson for two top sightings at Etton Maxey reserve during May.  He was first to spot a rare purple heron and followed it up with this even rarer Four Spotted moth which we have chosen as our image of the month.

We have also decided to include this image of the purple heron, snatched by Mike Weedon as it flew over the reserve.  Two great photos marking a great month at the reserve.

Each month we select photographs taken by our members. They might not be technically perfect – but they sum up the events of that month. Here are some other images from May.

This is also an unusual picture taken by Langdyke stalwart David Cowcill at the Etton Maxey reserve.  It shows a bee swarm. Fortunately David was able to get in touch with a bee keeper and the swarm was saved to a hive located on one of our reserves.

Bee swarm at Etton Maxey: Photo by David Cowcill

And finally for this month.  Here’s a great shot of a bank vole creeping around in the undergrowth at Swaddywell Nature Reserve.

Bank vole, photographed at Swaddywell Nature Reserve by Duncan Kirkwood