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, 10am-4.30pm.

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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1 week ago

Paxton Pits Nature Reserve

This unsightly tangle of tendrils is in fact a parasitic creeper called great dodder. It has no green parts and therefore cannot photo-synthesise. Instead it draws its nutrients from the stems of nettles. This is not a common plant, though you could easily miss it, and anyway, what would you be doing wandering about in a dense bed of nettles? We normally find it near the River Viewpoint where we have a lot of nettles that draw sustenance from silt dropped by annual floods. this week, during a survey of sites to improve for nightingales, we stumbled on this patch, well away from the original one. Probably the seeds have been spread by badgers or muntjac.

There is another kind of dodder that you may see on gorse bushes or creeping low over chalk grassland. The nearest location that I know is at Barnack Hills and Holes Reserve near Stamford where it forms extensive mats of fine red threads across the short turf.
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A great day for butterflies at Paxton Pits yesterday. Silver washed fritillary and then, in the wildlife garden, a marbled white. Lots of other butterflies about too, including gatekeepers. (The photos were all taken this week at different locations.) ... See MoreSee Less

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