Swindon Local, Business News and What on Wiltshire

Take a peek at hidden Swindon

2nd September 2011 by Roger Ogle

Wiltshire Wildlife Trust and Thames Water have been working together to open a normally hidden and inaccessible area of Swindon for nature lovers to enjoy.
 
Swindon Lagoons, an area of lagoons along the River Ray Parkway between Mannington Recreation Ground and Shaw Forest Park is owned by Thames Water and has been closed to the public until now.
 
Open to the public for the first time since becoming part of Thames Water’s Barnfield Sewage Works, this site of 15 lagoons is teeming with wildlife, particularly birds.  Being undisturbed for many years has made it a suitable site for a heronry.  Waders, green sandpipers, snipes and other wildfowl and migratory birds such as teal, shoveller, gadwall and wigeon have also made this their home.  For the first time this August a winchat was recorded at the site.
 
“With a substantial grant from Thames Water and the hard work of Trust volunteers we have been able to make it possible for members of the public to experience this hidden part of Swindon and the wildlife it sustains”, said Neil Pullen, from the Wiltshire Wildlife Trust.
 
Starting in September, the Wiltshire Wildlife Trust is organising guided walks at Swindon Lagoons.  These are free until December after which there will be a charge.  To reduce the impact on the area the walks are in small groups therefore booking is essential.
 
Walkers may see species such as great crested newts, kingfisher, water vole, grass snakes and slow worms.
 
The dates and times of the walks:
 
6pm on Saturday September 10th
6pm on Thursday September 22nd
8.30am on Saturday September 24th
8.30am on Saturday October 8th
8.30am on Saturday November 12th
8.30am on Saturday December 10th
 
For more information or to book please contact Neil Pullen, pictured above at the lagoons, on (01793) 814768 or email neilp@wiltshirewildlife.org

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