The Langdyke Community Nature Reserve

The Langdyke Community Nature Reserve

26 April 2021

As this is National Gardening Week (26 April – 2 May), we’re continuing to focus on the partners that have been working with us on developing the MindSpace Wellbeing Garden.

National Gardening Week encourages us to get out in the garden or into the community and to get gardening. David Alvey of the Langdyke Countryside Trust (and member of the steering committee for the MindSpace Wellbeing Garden) is encouraging us to do just that and their website offers some great suggestions of some projects for us all to take on at home including how we can get involved in their latest project, the Langdyke Community Nature Reserve – details below.

Langdyke Countryside Trust is a local volunteer-led charity that was founded in 1999 to face up to the catalogue of natural loss and decline in so many local species. Iconic rural birds such as the cuckoo and the turtle dove have disappeared from many areas, hedgehogs too are increasingly rarely seen and the list goes on with brown hares, swifts and most butterfly species in decline. The trust was formed to stop simply worrying about what this means for our countryside and to get on and do something about it.

The trust now manages seven established nature reserves across the area between Stamford and Peterborough, which, due to its connections with the poetry of John Clare, has been designated John Clare Countryside. At the 20th anniversary Langdyke launched its vision for this countryside and formed a partnership with many national and local wildlife organisations, local authorities and major landowners with the specific intention of reversing decades of habitat and species loss and to celebrate and conserve our natural world and in time, through changes to land management and, with greater public awareness, seek to reverse those declines.

David says “We have long-since recognised the benefits that being actively engaged with the natural world and the benefits nature brings to our volunteers and the wider community in terms of physical and mental wellbeing.

The opportunity to combine our objectives and help MindSpace establish the community garden on the edge of Stamford was a very simple decision. Our latest initiative takes this even further with the launch of our eighth nature reserve, the Langdyke Community Nature Reserve. This is  made up from a whole range of established and newly created wildlife gardening plots  – including a large part of the MindSpace Wellbeing Garden.  The aim is to bring people together across the local community to promote wildlife-friendly gardening, to give nature a chance to recover and to make it easy for everyone to get involved. It’s not difficult – it could be as simple as letting the grass grow in one area, putting up a bird box, planting some nature friendly plants or leaving a pile of wood for hedgehogs and other wildlife to live in. It doesn’t even have to be a garden – you could install  a window box or put up a bird table. Visit our website to find out more about these ideas and make a simple pledge that will contribute to our next target of a reserve the size of Queensgate spread across gardens in the area.

In addition to all this activity we have started to work with Burghley Estate and the Welland Rivers Trust on an area of young woodland between the River Welland and the Torpel Way, just a 15-minute walk from Morrisons. This area has been opened up for public access and now provides a pleasant circular walk along the banks of a meandering section of the river with many bird, trees and wildflowers to see and identify. All in a peaceful and relaxing environment”.