The wealth of wildlife at Paxton Pits Nature Reserve is reflected in its status as a Local Nature Reserve and Site of Special Scientific Interest.
There is a huge diversity of wildlife at the reserve, but the area is particularly well known for its bird life. More than 200 species have been recorded, though the ‘star’ birds are cormorants, nightingales, migratory wildfowl in the winter months and hobbies.
The reserve is also home to a number of different types of insects. Keep your eyes open and you may see butterflies, dragonflies, moths, crickets, grasshoppers and spiders. Paxton Pits has now been recognised by the Dragonfly Society as a Dragonfly Hotspot. Mammals spotted at the reserve include otters, harvest mice, foxes, badgers as well as various voles, mice and shrews.
More information on the reserve’s wildlife, including the latest sightings, is available on the Paxton Pits website.
Huntingdonshire District Council’s Countryside Service is responsible for managing the reserve, supported by the Friends of Paxton Pits Nature Reserve. The management aim is to retain and develop the reserve’s variety of habitats, in particular the wetland, sand and gravel, and scrub and woody vegetation habitats, as these are of most significance for biodiversity, both on a local and national scale.
An essential part of management work is monitoring the wildlife that uses the reserve. We carry out surveys on breeding and wetland birds, along with other surveys on butterflies, moths, dragonflies, plants, fungi and mammals.