Paxton Pits Nature Reserve is a rich mosaic of wildlife habitats, with beautiful lakes, riverside, meadow, reedbed, scrub and woodland. It is open for visitors all year round, and has a Visitor Centre for refreshments, books and friendly expertise open most days – in usual times – 10am-4.30pm.

In these unprecedented times, however, the Nature Reserve paths are open, but for the health and safety of our visitors, volunteers and Huntingdonshire District Council staff, the Visitor Centre and toilets are closed until further notice. All events and work parties have been cancelled.

Famous for its nightingales and cormorants – and host to a wide variety of other birds, insects, mammals and flora – you’re sure to have a great experience whatever time of year you visit.

Paxton Pits is situated in the Great Ouse valley in Little Paxton village, between St Neots and Huntingdon, and just off the A1. The nature reserve is managed by Huntingdonshire District Council in partnership with the Friends of Paxton Pits. It relies on you, its visitors and enthusiasts, for raising funds to improve the facilities and habitats for wildlife.

The Reserve is also home to the Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire’s Environmental Education Centre. The Trust runs events for children and families, giving everyone the chance to get involved with wildlife whatever their age.

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On warmer days you may be lucky enough to see a grass snake on the reserve. Contrary to its name, grass snakes actually like swimming as well as being in land! This young one was photographed taking a dip this morning.

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Yesterday was international biodiversity day. The Reserve is flourishing this year, possibly due to the lovely spring weather we've had, but also due to the decreased footfall we've seen in our visitors since lockdown began.

High pressure on certain parts of the site can have a detrimental effect on nesting birds and other species. We've seen a decrease in nightingale populations over the last few years. This is a national trend and other reserves across the country have seen similar declines. It will be interesting to see if this year provides them with a bit of a boost. Most of our population is now in the northern part of the Reserve, which is still part of the quarry. We think we have about 10 across the site this year; a slight improvement on last year.

If you are visiting the Reserve this Bank Holiday weekend please remember to maintain your social distancing of 2m wherever you are and be coerteous to others when approaching 'pinch points' such as gates or narrow paths. Our hides are still closed as we cannot currently meet distancing requirements in them, nor maintain their cleanliness. Please respect their closure and do not cross the barrier tapes.

Please park considerately in the car park and allow plenty of space for others to move around.
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We're a little bit late for National Hedgehog Awareness Week but I thought I'd share this picture I managed to get last night of this spiky little fella as he was creeping through our garden. We see him often, normally at around the same time, so I guess they have a routine pattern of behaviour every night. I've no idea where it comes from or where he goes!

#paxtonpitsnaturereserve #huntingdonshiredistrictcouncil #HedgehogAwarenessWeek #gardenwildlife #britishwildlife #dontgettooclose #embraceyourspace #lovehuntingdonshire
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