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Dragon Finder

River Nene

Castor Hanglands

Castor Hanglands is a National Nature Reserve and Special Site of Scientific Interest managed by Natural England. In an area less than 90 hectares, Castor Hanglands contains a remarkable variety of plant and animal life. The reserve has four distinct habitats – woodland, grassland, wetland and scrub, each of which has its own special wildlife.

The site also has a number of ponds and ditches. These provide additional habitat diversity and support a varied aquatic fauna, including populations of all 3 native newt species, Common Frogs and Common Toads. The site is also home to populations of Grass Snake and Common Lizard.

A number of the ponds at Castor Hanglands had been gradually succeeding and as a result had lost their areas of open water to plant encroachment. In order to maintain the ponds in a favourable state for biodiversity it is important that areas of open water remain. These areas of open water offer a different habitat within the pond and are vital to ensure diverse faunal communities are present. For example, areas of open water are important for courtship displays of the three British newt species and many species of aquatic invertebrate navigate to the ponds using the light reflected from open water areas. The pond restoration works at Castor Hanglands aimed to maintain areas of open water within 6 ponds through the removal of encroaching vegetation and/or scrub.


See below for a video outlining the works undertaken.