Whisby Nature Park
Parish: Doddington and Whisby, Thorpe-on-the-Hill
OS: 121 GR: SK 911661 Map ref: 69
120.00 hectares (300.00acres) Part freehold, part management agreement, part leasehold 1985
Habitat type: Marsh/Wetland
Car Parking at Whisby Nature Park
The car park has been upgraded with spaces marked out and 50 new spaces provided. After considerable debate and discussion by all the partners involved in the site, a car parking fee of £1 has been introduced. The income from the parking charge will support the work across the site including the park and the Natural World Centre. The car park charges only apply between the hours of 10am and 4pm daily. Outside these hours parking is free and Disabled Badge Holders are exempt from the charge.
Please Note: Owing to the inclusion of a number of new lease-hold areas, the precise area is not currently available but is well in excess of 300 acres.
The Whisby Nature Park was opened in 1989 and consists of the access track from the visitor centre leased by North Kesteven District Council, land between the Pike Drain and the railway owned by the Trust, and Thorpe Lake and land north of the railway leased by the Trust.
The Nature Park is managed in partnership with Lincolnshire County Council and North Kesteven District Council. Whisby Pits Nature Reserve, established in 1985, is managed by the Trust by agreement with the owner.
Location and Access
Whisby Nature Park lies to the west of the Lincoln relief road (A46). From the roundabout at the southern end of the relief road (A46), take the first turning to the left, or from the north take the first turning to the right after passing over the railway bridge. This is Moor Lane and the entrance to the Nature Park will be found just beyond Little Thorpe Lane, on the right. The A46 approach is marked by brown tourist signs.
Description and Management
The Whisby Pits are the result of the excavation of sand and gravel, which were deposited in the valley of the River Witham by the retreating ice cap during the last glaciation. Some of the other pits have been developed for fishing, sailing and water skiing, but the major part of the complex of pits and former processing areas lying to the west of the Lincoln relief road have been set aside for wildlife and quiet public enjoyment.
There are two full-time wardens for the Nature Park. Management includes extensive work to maintain wetland, grassland and scrub habitats, and path mowing, monitoring and visitor services. A circular path has been created at the northern end of the Nature Park and extensive improvements to habitats are being undertaken here, including the creation of a sand martin cliff.
The Nature Park
Whisby Nature Park has been designed to allow as many visitors as possible to see and enjoy wildlife associated with a wide variety of habitats. An information centre with interpretive displays (Whisby Natural World) is located at the entrance on Moor Lane. Many attractive walks of varying lengths are described in the displays and are waymarked. The area is especially suitable for school groups for whom special information and tuition is available by arrangement.
From the car park follow the track which leads to a foot-bridge across the Pike Drain. From the bank good views over the lakes lying between the Pike Drain and the railway may be had. To the right of the bridge are three birdwatching hides. In winter many wildfowl are to be seen, including wigeon, teal, tufted duck, pochard and goldeneye. In summer great crested grebes, mallard and kingfisher nest, and common terns nest on rafts provided for them. Many wading birds stop off on migration. In the copses and scrub many other nesting birds may be seen, including reed and sedge warblers, whitethroat and lesser whitethroat, nightingale, green woodpecker and willow tit.
There is a foot-bridge over the railway that leads to another part of the Nature Park, leased by the Trust, consisting of small flooded pits, marsh, willow carr and scrub.
For more information see: "The Principal Reserves - Whisby Nature Park".
Supported by the
Heritage Lottery Fund