Winning with plenty in reserve: Whittlesey’s King’s Dyke wins top nature award

CRESTED newts, water voles and marsh harriers can all be found at King’s Dyke nature reserve - and now it has won a top award for its biodiversity.

The former clay quarry adjacent to Hanson brick works, in Whittlesey, has been developed into a community nature reserve over the last 17 years.

And Hanson were left celebrating when the reserve took top honours in the biodiversity category at the 2012 sustain’ magazine awards.

The accolade was collected by Martin Crow, the company’s head of sustainability, and Philip Parker, who manages the site on their behalf.

Mr Crow said: “We are delighted that King’s Dyke has been recognised. It is a haven for wildlife and an important educational and recreational facility.

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“Its success demonstrates the significant role the quarrying industry can play in re-shaping the landscape to enhance biological diversity both during and after mineral extraction.”

The nature reserve boasts more than 140 species of birds, including bitterns and marsh harriers. There are butterflies, dragonflies and various mammals, including water voles and otters.

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More than 2,500 species of invertebrates have been recorded at King’s Dyke, one of which is thought to be new to the UK.

The ponds support more than 5,000 great crested newts, while common lizards, grass snakes and slow worms are also found.

Steve Oxley, editor of sustain’ magazine, said: “Year on year we have seen the quality of entries to the awards increase.

“I would like to congratulate Hanson on its success.”

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