Eye Green Nature Reserve is a picturesque lake, fringed by reeds and bushes. Originally the site was part of the Northam Brickworks and was declared a nature reserve in 1996. Fed by natural springs the lake was formed when the pit filled with water after it became disused. It’s now an excellent habitat for a wide range of wildlife.
Froglife have now taken over management of the site and are looking forward to working with local groups and Peterborough City Council to keep the area looking it’s best.
Quarrying in the area that makes up Eye Nature Reserve dates back to the late 19th century. The lake was created by the excavation clay, sand and gravel. The clay was used to make bricks in the adjacent Northam Brickworks. Brick making continued on the site until 1990 when the works closed. The site where the works were located is now a housing estate but the lake and surrounding woodland remain in public ownership. Locally the lake has also been known as the ‘knothole’.
The layer of clay found at the brickworks was laid down over 150 million years ago in the Jurassic era and is known for its rich fossil record of fish and invertebrates. Fossils of small ichthyosaurus and part of a plesiosaurus were discovered in the Northam pit in Eye.
During both world wars, the kilns were used for the storage of ammunition and on at least one occasion the yard was attacked by a German aircraft. An unexploded World War II bomb was reportedly found when the bypass was being built. During the war, the home guard used the local pits for training.
For further information on the history of the site click here.
- Scrub clearance
- Creating egg-laying sites for grass snakes
- Pond management
- Creating hibernacula
- Species surveying (birds, butterflies and water voles, as well as amphibians and reptiles)
For information on Froglife’s other managed reserves, click here.