Stanton's Pit

Location and Access

The reserve is situated on the south side of the minor road between Little Bytham and Witham-on-the-Hill. Visitors are advised to use the entrance to Bullimores weigh-bridge and to park in the reserve car park (GR: TF 034172) to the left of the gated reserve entrance. The main access routes around the reserve will be suitable for wheelchair use once they have bedded down. There is no access along the margin near the road.

Description and Management

The area was formerly a sand pit and is a gift from the former owner for use as a nature reserve. The primary interest in its present form is ornithological. Recent records show that over 50 species of birds have visited the site, of which 19 species have bred. There is some evidence to suggest that the reserve lies on a migratory route from the Wash inland towards Rutland Water. Among breeding birds are little grebe, little ringed plover, sand martin, turtle dove and lesser whitethroat. In autumn migrant waders include little stint, ruff, spotted redshank, greenshank, and common, curlew, green and wood sandpipers.

In addition to open water there are extensive areas of grassland, including some of the original field. There are wet and poorly drained areas in the eastern section. For those visitors wishing to follow the track around to the plateau, extensive views from the top of the large mound can be had.

There are plans for major tree and shrub planting schemes to add habitat diversity and to provide cover to the hides. In time, marginal vegetation will develop around the lake and there may be scope for islands, tern rafts and shallow scrapes, although with two land drains entering the lake, water-level management may prove difficult.