OS: 121 GR: SK 957713 Map ref: 81
19.10 hectares (47.30acres) Freehold 1988
Habitat type: Marsh/Wetland
Gift from British Rail Property Board
Location and Access
Access is from Tritton Way in Lincoln. Cars are best left at one of the car parks off Tritton Way. Follow the track alongside the drain, crossing the railway at a gated crossing. After about half a mile, there is a crossing point at a sluice over the drain that leads to the south-western bank of the reserve. Take care not to disturb wildfowl when climbing the bank.
Description and Management
Known formerly as Skewbridge Ballast Pit, the reserve lies within the City of Lincoln but, because it is bounded by the railway and Pyewipe Main Drain, it is a comparatively quiet and secluded sanctuary. As its old name suggests, it was excavated as a source of ballast for the construction of the railway. It has since matured into a most attractive lake with beds of reed and sedge, and emergent vegetation. There are mature trees and shrubs, mainly willow and sallow, flanking the railway. A hide overlooks the mere to the west of the reserve.
Covering over 47 acres, the reserve attracts many wintering wildfowl, including teal, shoveler, goosander and goldeneye. There are also many breeding birds, including up to 20 pairs of both reed and sedge warblers, two pairs of great crested grebes and three pairs of little grebes. Kingfisher and common tern also breed on the reserve. The reserve provides one of only two regular sites in Lincolnshire for wintering bittern. In recent years, scarce birds recorded include Savi's warbler, marsh warbler, purple heron, goshawk, Mediterranean gull, little gull, hobby and osprey. The reserve and adjoining drain are rich in dragonflies and damselflies with 12 species regularly recorded. Many butterflies may be seen in summer, including orange-tip, ringlet, large skipper, meadow brown and wall brown. Flowering plants of interest include lesser water-plantain and water-violet, both of which are "red data species" featured in the Trust's publication Nature in Lincolnshire: Towards a Biodiversity Strategy.
Supported by the
Heritage Lottery Fund