Summer Leys

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Summer Leys
Summer Leys Nature Reserve - geograph.org.uk - 1352762.jpg
Summer Leys
Type Local nature reserve
Location Wollaston, Northamptonshire
Nearest city Wellingborough
Coordinates 52°15′49″N0°42′10″W / 52.2635°N 0.7029°W / 52.2635; -0.7029 Coordinates: 52°15′49″N0°42′10″W / 52.2635°N 0.7029°W / 52.2635; -0.7029
Area50 hectares (120 acres)
Operated by Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire
Status

Summer Leys is a local nature reserve at Wollaston in the Upper Nene Valley, in Northamptonshire, England. It is owned by the Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire. [1] [2]

Contents

Topography

The reserve, created from former gravel pits, covers just under 50 hectares (120 acres) and is primarily wetland, with some grassland and woodland habitats, and hedges. [2] The grassland is managed by the use of grazing cattle and rare-breed sheep, supported by a grant from the SITA Trust. [3]

The northern perimeter of the reserve is delineated [2] by the trackbed of the former Northampton and Peterborough Railway, closed in 1972. [4]

The reserve has four bird hides and a viewing screen. One of the hides overlooks a feeding station. [2] A car park is available off Hardwater Road. [5]

Designation

The reserve and neighbouring gravel pits, collectively the Upper Nene Valley Gravel Pits, are designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), a Special Protection Area (SPA) and a Ramsar wetland of international importance due to their importance for wintering wildfowl. [5] [6]

The Northern Lagoon Northern lagoon, Summer Leys Reserve - geograph.org.uk - 1183650.jpg
The Northern Lagoon

History

Until the 1980s, the area covered by the reserve was divided into two fields, the use of which was agricultural. [5] They were then quarried for gravel by Hanson Aggregates. After gravel extraction ended, the quarry was landscaped. [5]

Fauna

Several species of wading birds breed on the reserve, including oystercatcher, redshank, ringed plover, and little ringed plover. [2] Significant numbers of golden plovers overwinter there. [2] Ducks present in winter include significant numbers of pochard, shoveller, teal, tufted duck and wigeon. [2]

The reserve is frequented by otters. [5]

Rare insect species found at Summer Leys include the hairy dragonfly, brown argus butterfly, [2] and the water beetle Hydaticus transversalis , which was found there in 2008. [7]

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Higham Ferrers Pits

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Wilsons Pits

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Kinewell Lake

Kinewell Lake is a 35.4 hectare Local Nature Reserve west of Ringstead in Northamptonshire, England. It is owned by Ringstead Parish Council and managed by Kinewell Lake Trust. The site is part of the Upper Nene Valley Gravel Pits Site of Special Scientific Interest, Ramsar wetland site of international importance, and Special Protection Area under the European Communities Birds Directive.

References

  1. "Special Sites". Natural England . Retrieved 18 December 2013.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 "Summer Leys". Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire . Retrieved 18 December 2013.
  3. "Grazing Amazing Grasslands". SITA Trust. 23 November 2011. Archived from the original on 19 December 2013. Retrieved 18 December 2013.
  4. Butler, P., (2007) A History of the Railways of Northamptonshire,' Great Addington: Silver Link Publishing
  5. 1 2 3 4 5 "Summer Leys" (PDF). Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire . Retrieved 18 December 2013.
  6. "Ramsar Convention - 2012". 15 March 2012. Retrieved 18 December 2013.
  7. "Rare water beetle found in Northamptonshire". Northants Evening Telegraph. 29 January 2008. Archived from the original on 10 June 2014.