Ten-year National Grid partnership for Cambridgeshire wildlife site announced

A new ten-year management plan has been agreed between National Grid Electricity Transmission and conservational group the Langdyke Countryside Trust to look after the future of the Bainton Heath reserve.

The agreement means that the twenty-acre site near Peterborough will be maintained until 2032 and contributes to National Grid’s target of delivering environmental value as part of its commitment to Ofgem across non-operational estate.

Bainton Heath lies within the area of the John Clare Countryside; the setting for an ambitious nature recovery project that was launched by the Langdyke Countryside Trust in 2019.

The site was a former tip for waste ash from power stations, but has since been colonised by a variety of flowers, mosses, lichens, butterflies and birds. It also hosts strong breeding populations of summer migrants, including reed and grasshopper warblers.

Some of the first projects that Langdyke will tackle following the agreement will include installing areas of fencing to stop deer from eating the lower branches of trees - something that has resulted in a drop in the number of Nightingales at the site. It is hoped they will soon return once the work has been done.

Surveys are also underway looking at the scrub areas with a plan to create better management of these areas.

We are really pleased to be able to announce this new partnership for a unique ecological site.

National Grid’s Land Sustainability Strategy Manager Helene Parpworth said: “We are really pleased to be able to announce this new partnership for a unique ecological site. We initially leased the site to the Trust for a three-year period but the new agreement will see National Grid sponsoring the site, which will enable conservation measures go above and beyond current levels.

“Our enhanced habitat management plan will include increasing the number of guided walks, educational and volunteering days and greater involvement with local communities.”

Langdyke Chairman Richard Astle added: “The announcement is excellent news for the site, its wildlife and local communities. There is plenty of work that we are looking forward to undertaking at Bainton; at present parts of the site are very overgrown and without active management areas will be lost to larger more dominant vegetation, putting at risk the future of many of the sites flowers, lichens and insects.”

Although not open to the public, visits are occasionally arranged by the Trust.

For further information please see Langdyke Countryside Trust.



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