OS: 131 GR: TF 344336 Map ref: 99
36.40 hectares (90.00acres) Freehold 1979
Habitat type: Coastland
Location and Access
The reserve is situated on the south bank of the River Welland below Fosdyke Bridge on the A17. Turn east off the A17 south of Fosdyke Bridge and at the end of this road turn towards the river bank. Follow the roadway to the reserve car park. From the car park, go past the gate with the reserve sign and follow the track to the observation hide overlooking the reserve where a good overall view of the lagoons can been seen. There is a choice of either returning through the woodland or continuing on the path as shown on the map. The reserve can be viewed from the public footpath on top of the sea bank. Dogs are not permitted on the reserve.
Description and Management
The long narrow stretch of the reserve is entirely man-made, mostly as a result of soil extraction when the sea bank was raised in 1981. The woodland adjacent to the car park used to be a refuse tip, this was planted with a variety of broadleaf trees over a 10 year period. This area covers 6 hectares (15 acres). Upstream (west) of this area are two large lagoons with islands, and adjacent to the river are shallow tidal scrapes. Beyond this is an area of saltmarsh and creeks, followed by another lagoon which is now a reedbed. This whole area totals 14 hectares (35 acres). Beyond that are some 16 hectares (40 acres) of saltmarsh.
The maturing woodland now holds a good population of tits and finches, while the scrub areas are habitat for whitethroats and buntings. The lagoons are an important wintering area for up to 14 little grebe and water rail in winter. Redshank and little egret are regularly seen on the scrapes.
The flood protection bank alongside the reserve has a variety of wildflowers, including pyramidal orchid, and attracts butterflies and other insects. Strawberry clover and sea-milkwort occur on the reserve.
The water levels in the lagoons and scrapes are controlled by a valve and pipe system. These saline lagoons are a scarce habitat despite having only a few species which are nationally rare. The lagoons can only be viewed from the flood protection bank for safety reasons.