Bradlaugh Fields

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Bradlaugh Fields
Hills and Holes 1.jpg
Hills and Holes Local Nature Reserve
Bradlaugh Fields
TypeNature reserve
LocationNorthampton
OS grid SP 765 639
Area17.5 hectares
Managed byWildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire

Bradlaugh Fields is a 60-hectare (150-acre) open space in Northampton. [1] The site is a former golf course. In 1987 it was proposed to build housing on the site, but after a campaign by local residents it was acquired by Northampton Borough Council and opened as a wildlife park in 1998. It was named after Charles Bradlaugh, a leading nineteenth century radical and atheist who was MP for Northampton. [2] Three fields with a total area of 17.5 hectares are managed by the Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire as a nature reserve also called Bradlaugh Fields. [3] Hills and Holes is at the southern end and two adjoining meadows, Scrub Field and Quarry Field, are at the northern end. [4] Hills and Holes is an 8.3 hectare Local Nature Reserve (LNR) [5] [6] and Scrub Field is a 5.1-hectare (13-acre) LNR. [7] [8]

Bradlaugh Fields nature reserve has ancient hedgerows and unimproved grassland. Birds include blue tits, chiffchaffs, great spotted woodpeckers, sparrowhawks, redwings and fieldfares. [3] Hill and Holes is an ancient disused quarry which has grassed ridges and hollows, some of them steeply sloping. There are a variety of habitats including limestone grassland. [5] Scrub Field has a diverse selection of wild flowers, including Knautia arvensis and knapweed in higher areas, and bird's-foot trefoil and yellow rattle lower down. [7]

Views across the fields from the north Bradlaugh Fields.jpg
Views across the fields from the north

There is access to Hills and Holes from Kettering Road, and other access points include a footpath from Aintree Road which passes between Scrub Field and Quarry Field.

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References

  1. "Bradlaugh Fields". Northampton Borough Council. Retrieved 1 May 2017.
  2. "History of your local wildlife park". Bradlaugh Fields and Barn, Northampton. Retrieved 1 May 2017.[ permanent dead link ]
  3. 1 2 "Bradlaugh Fields". Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire. Archived from the original on 23 December 2016. Retrieved 1 May 2017.
  4. Notice on the site
  5. 1 2 "Hills and Holes (also known as Hills & Hollows)". Local Nature Reserves. Natural England. Archived from the original on 21 December 2016. Retrieved 1 May 2017.
  6. "Map of Hills and Holes". Local Nature Reserves. Natural England. Retrieved 1 May 2017.
  7. 1 2 "Scrub Field". Local Nature Reserves. Natural England. 25 March 2013. Archived from the original on 22 December 2016. Retrieved 1 May 2017.
  8. "Map of Scrub Field". Local Nature Reserves. Natural England. Retrieved 1 May 2017.

Coordinates: 52°16′05″N0°52′48″W / 52.268°N 0.88°W / 52.268; -0.88