Britain's most biodiverse nature reserve Kings Dyke in Cambridgeshire celebrates its 20th anniversary

Kings Dyke Nature Reserve in Whittlesey is celebrating its 20th anniversary. Picture: Steve Baker / Kings Dyke

Kings Dyke Nature Reserve in Whittlesey is celebrating its 20th anniversary. Picture: Steve Baker / Kings Dyke

Steve Baker

A nature reserve in the Fens which was named Britain's most biodiverse is celebrating its 20th anniversary since opening in 1999.

Kings Dyke Nature Reserve in Whittlesey is celebrating its 20th anniversary. Picture: Steve Baker / Kings DykeKings Dyke Nature Reserve in Whittlesey is celebrating its 20th anniversary. Picture: Steve Baker / Kings Dyke

Kings Dyke Nature Reserve was named the country's most biodiverse by UK TV presenter Chris Packham as part of his 'BioBlitz' initiative in 2018.

A recent survey carried out last month has revealed a greater number of species are living on the site since they claimed the biodiversity title last year.

To celebrate the site's 20th birthday, onsite management and a team of volunteers recorded each species spotted on site over a two-day period.

The survey counted approximately 1250 wildlife species, ranging from birds and moths to moss and lichen, of which over 100 were new to the reserve and two were new to Cambridgeshire.

Kings Dyke Nature Reserve in Whittlesey is celebrating its 20th anniversary. Picture: Steve Baker / Kings DykeKings Dyke Nature Reserve in Whittlesey is celebrating its 20th anniversary. Picture: Steve Baker / Kings Dyke

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Opened in 1999 on the site of a former brick quarry, the reserve is owned by building products manufacturer Forterra.

Phil Parker, who runs Kings Dyke Nature Reserve on behalf of Forterra, said: "This year's species count is considerably higher than last summer's, which is great news as it suggests that both Kings Dyke Nature Reserve and the region as a whole are thriving ecologically.

"The result is a fantastic way to celebrate our 20th anniversary, and we hope to repeat the BioBlitz with equally positive results for many years to come."

Following last year's UK BioBlitz, Chris Packham said: "The data that suggests that former brownfield sites - quarries in this instance - offer the most diverse spread of species, deserves further investigation.

"Brownfield sites are particularly important for promoting biodiversity, invertebrates especially; and, if sympathetically managed, sites such as Kings Dyke Nature Reserve can flourish."

For more information, visit www.kingsdykenaturereserve.com

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