A nature reserve established on the site of a former brick quarry in Cambridgeshire has been named the most biodiverse site out of 50 nature sites in the UK following Bioblitz, an independent wildlife audit led by celebrity naturalist Chris Packham.
The BBC Springwatch presenter and his team spent 10 days visiting the nature sites to investigate the extent to which the nation’s wildlife species are under threat, and to raise funds for local conservation projects.
Kings Dyke Brickworks in Whittlesey is owned by building products manufacturer Forterra and is the home of the iconic London Brick. Volunteers at Kings Dyke Nature Reserve recorded 1,139 different species of wildlife during the survey, making it the most diverse of all 50 wildlife sites.
The second most diverse site to be surveyed as part of Bioblitz was another former quarry – Nosterfield Nature Reserve in North Yorkshire, where 1,111 different species were recorded. Kings Dyke and Nosterfield were the only nature reserves built on former quarry sites to feature in Bioblitz.
Philip Parker, who runs Kings Dyke Nature Reserve on behalf of Forterra, said: “We were delighted with the results of Bioblitz and we are proud of the biodiversity of our nature reserve. We hope that the research team’s findings will help us to educate and inspire future visitors to the site and we would like to thank Chris Packham, his team and all the volunteers who visited us to take part in Bioblitz.”
Chris said: “We’ve been overwhelmed by the hard work put into Bioblitz by teams at sites up and down the country, the results of which are proving to be fascinating. In particular, the data that suggests that former brownfield sites – quarries in this instance – offer the most diverse spread of species is interesting and deserves further investigation.”
The UK Bioblitz team includes hundreds of experts, species specialists, young conservationists and filmmakers all working together to highlight the state of Britain’s wildlife and call for urgent centralised action to ensure wildlife is maintained everywhere, as nature reserves and wildlife sites are not enough.
The campaign was privately funded and included a crowdfunding element, with all monies raised being distributed back into grassroots front-line conservation projects visited throughout the campaign, as well as to the National Autistic Society.
To find out more about the nature reserve, visit www.kingsdykenaturereserve.com.