Operator: Hanson UK
Kings Dyke Nature Reserve at Hanson’s site has been created from 50 hectares of disused brick pits restored to a variety of wetland habitats.
The area includes extensive areas of high quality reedbeds linked to the wider Great Fen Project by linear wet grassland. These are inhabited by species like marsh harrier, reed warbler and willow warbler.
The site has been developed around original habitats such as scrub, wetland and dry open grassland. Trees and scrub have been planted and appropriate landforms created, including a variety of slopes and aspects, and 34 ponds.
Several of the ponds hold translocated populations of the rare bearded stonecrop. The wetlands and grasslands support vulnerable species including the great crested newt and water vole. In conjunction with the RSPB, the wet grassland has been managed to create suitable habitat for corncrake.
Large areas of open mosaic habitat has been created on previously developed land and is home to invertebrates – leading to the site’s recognition by Buglife as an example of best practice. Unusual lichen can be found in these areas as well.
The site has many visitors, including up to 500 school children each year, and is enhanced for the public with two bird hides, marked trails, view points, pond dipping and fossil hunting areas. Kings Dyke Nature Reserve has a Facebook page for members, provides regular newsletters and is also included on the BBC Breathing Spaces website.
Priority BAP species to be found at this site include the great crested newt, water vole, European turtle dove, bearded stonewort, wall brown and grass snake.