Paxton Pits Nature Reserve is a rich mosaic of wildlife habitats covering 78 hectares of lakes, riverside, meadow, reedbed, scrub and woodland. Before the nature reserve was opened in the 1980s, and since the 1930s, the site was a working gravel quarry. As the work finished, the open pits were flooded to create the wonderful lakes you’ll see today. Indeed, part of the site is still an active quarry run by Aggregate Industries, and one of the guided walks takes you up past the working quarry.

Paxton Pits is famous for its nightingales and cormorants, but is also host to a wide variety of other birds, insects, mammals and flora. These include a fantastic array of dragonflies and damselflies, otters, kingfishers, deer and a wide range of flowers and plants. You can find out more about what wildlife you’re likely to see here.

It is run by the Friends of Paxton Pits and Huntingdonshire District Council, who work  together to preserve and develop the habitats for wildlife and for visitors. They rely on you, Paxton Pits’ visitors and enthusiasts, for raising funds to continue their work.

The Reserve is also home to the Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire’s thriving Environmental Education Centre. The Trust runs events for children and families, including drop-in sessions over the school holidays, giving everyone the chance to get involved with wildlife whatever their age.