Conservation at Whisby Nature Park & Natural World Centre
The heathland that was dominant before the 1850’s in the Whisby Moor area is now only represented by a tiny fragment in the north-east corner of Grebe Lake called Little Heath.
Little Heath represents a useful glimpse back into the historic landscape and the common lizard, a typical heathland native, is quite often seen here.
Without management even unimproved grasslands first become coarser as the photosynthesized energy of many years is recycled back into the soil in the absence of grazing animals, then they may be overtaken by invasive scrub such as blackthorn to the detriment of flowering plants. This process has been arrested by grazing at the Pylon Enclosure, where active anthills are now reappearing in the increasingly fine turf. This feature provides feeding for green woodpeckers which can often be seen there.
A total of twenty eight species of butterfly have been recorded on the Nature Park over recent years, of which twenty two occur annually.
The reserve boasts the largest inland Lincolnshire population (10,000+) of Southern Marsh Orchids (late May/June). 90% of these can be seen growing at high density in the Orchid Glade, as well as the largest concentration of singing Nightingales (usually c.12) in Lincolnshire (late April/May). These birds draw admirers from many neighbouring counties. In addition, the reserve features:
- Largest concentration of singing Nightingales (usually c.12) in Lincolnshire (late April/May). These birds draw admirers from many neighbouring counties.
- 21 species of Dragonfly/Damselfly have been identified over the years (Spring/Summer). The list has included rare species. There are tens of thousands of damselflies flying in high summer.
- Highly successful artificial Sand Martin colony (c. 40 pairs). The birds nest in the horizontal pipes. This installation was an instant hit with the birds and is overlooked by the Thorpe Lake hide.
- Largest inland colony (c. 500 pairs) of Black-headed Gulls in Lincolnshire. Spread over three islands and two lakes, these birds provide endless spectacles for visitors during the breeding season.
More information can be found on the Lincs Trust website.