New report on the birds and wildlife of Paxton Pits

Earlier this year, The Friends of Paxton Pits Nature Reserve produced the first annual comprehensive report on the numbers of birds and wildlife of Paxton Pits for ten years. Collating information gathered by a huge range of volunteers who conduct regular surveys, the report lists all the species sighted on and around the reserve in 2017, from scarce occasional visitors such as ring ouzels and ospreys, all the way through spiders and dragonflies to butterflies, fungi and, for the first time, mammals.

The report makes sobering reading in many ways, with dramatic reductions in such iconic species as swallows, house martins, spotted flycatchers and nightingales, as well as brown hares, hedgehogs and water voles. However, there is some counterbalance, with big increases in little egrets, red kites, various species of gulls and common buzzards, which is now the UK’s most common breeding raptor. There are also more badgers, muntjac deer and otters than there were ten years ago.

The reports will once again be an annual occurrence, helping everyone who is interested to keep tabs on their favourite species. It also goes to show how important your sightings are to us – please do report what you see in our book at the Visitors’ Centre when you visit, or by emailing sightings@paxton-pits.org.uk.

The report has been put together with help from a huge number of people including Grainne Farrington, Adrian Hyde, Roger Lloyd, Mike Thomas, Jim Stevenson and Neal Parking – among many others. The Friends are extremely grateful for everyone’s help.

Copies are available for anyone to buy from the Visitors’ Centre for just £5 each. 

May Day plant sale a huge success!

The first bank holiday weekend in May saw the Friends of Paxton Pits host a plant sale in partnership with the St Neots & District Gardening Club at the visitor centre. Over 1,000 people came through the Centre over the weekend, with many of the visitors never having been in before. A wide range of locally-grown plants were on sale, provided by members of the Gardening Club, and 95% of the stock was sold raising a significant sum for both organisations. A great selection of donated gardening books were also on sale.

Thank you to everyone who came along. We hope those plants are growing happily in your own gardens.