Kings Dyke Nature Reserve
Philip Parker Associates were instrumental in establishing the national-award winning Kings Dyke Nature Reserve for Hanson Building Products (now Forterra) back in 1995.
Initially the site was developed as a 25ha reserve in a disused part of the brick pits, for the benefit of local schools and the community. Due its success, the reserve has been greatly expanded and now covers over 50ha.
The reserve is accessed by free permit and now has over 1500 permit holders. Philip Parker Associates are responsible for the day to day running of the reserve, habitat management, membership administration and all monitoring. In addition, Philip Parker also gives regular talks about the reserve to interested user groups.
A diverse range of wildlife has been recorded on the nature reserve;
- 157 bird species (including a wide range of scarce breeding and wintering species);
- 24 mammal species (including otter, water vole and harvest mouse);
- 3 reptile species (grass snake, common lizard and slow worm);
- 4 amphibian species (including one of the largest populations of great crested newts in the UK);
- 19 dragonfly species (including scarce chaser and variable damselfly);
- 26 butterfly species (including wall brown, brown argus and green hairstreak);
- 252 moth species (including goat moth and a range of hawkmoth species);
- 2,000 + other invertebrate species (including Chrysomela saliceti – a beetle new to Britain);
- 263 plant species (including 10 species of stonewort for which the site is nationally important);
In addition, the reserve also supports a number of unusual plant communities (including salt marsh and Breckland type heath) plus county important plant populations.
Over 500 school children visit the reserve each year, primarily from Key Stage 2. A range of activities are run by Philip Parker Associates Ltd on behalf of Hanson, which are all linked in to the Key Stage 2 curriculum. Visits from older students, including A-Level groups, are also welcome and can be taken on tours of the brickworks in addition to visiting the reserve.
Organised visits are provided free of charge by Philip Parker Associates, as part of Forterra’s (formerly Hanson) community work.
The diversity of the site’s wildlife has resulted in 5 national awards to date;
- BTO Conservation Award 2008 and 2010;
- UEPG Sustainable Development Award 2013 (International);
- MPA/NE Biodiversity awards runners up 2011
For more information, including latest news, please visit the Kings Dyke Nature Reserve website. From there you can also download a membership application form, to obtain a free permit and gain access to the reserve all year round.
Alternatively if you have any questions, particularly about organising a school visit or arranging an educational talk, please contact us on 01553 630842.