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Dogsthorpe Star Pit

Old clay pits, now a wildlife haven

The site was once used as a brick pit; when the clay ran out the site developed naturally into a wildlife haven. This prevented the site from being used for landfill and is now a recognised Site of Specific Scientific Interest and a local nature reserve. Dogsthorpe Star Pit is a great place to visit all year round, with a variety of habitats.

The main wildlife interest is the 63 species of water beetle found in the shallow pools. Damselflies and dragonflies can be seen emerging in spring and summer to fly along the edge of the water. Kingfishers and herons hunt fish in the pools whilst snipe, shoveler and teal can be seen feeding at the water’s edge. The reedbeds provide important habitat for birds; bittern have been known to nest here.

The grassland banks provide areas for many flowering plants including bee orchids and pyramidal orchids, this attracting many insects such as the white letter hairstreak butterfly. Sparrowhawks, marsh harriers, tawny owls and kestrels have been seen hunting here for mice and voles living in the grassland.The trees and shrubs provide an area for a variety of birds including woodpeckers, long-tailed tits and greenfinches.

Little Wood is an area of ancient woodland across the road from Dogsthorpe Star Pit on the east of the reserve; this is great to visit in spring to see the bluebells!


The map below is for indication purposes only and does not show the Wildlife Trusts definitive land boundary.

Nearby nature reserves

Stanground Wash
3 miles - Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire
Woodston Ponds
4 miles - Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire
Deeping Lakes
4 miles - Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust

Nature reserve map

Contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database right 2012. For indicative purposes does not show exact boundaries.

Reserve information

Hodney Road 3 miles from town centre
Map reference
TF 213 025
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Opening Times
Open at all times
37.20 hectares
Living Landscape schemes
Nene Valley
Walking information
Dogsthorpe - brick chippings, undulating, some steep sections. No swimming; the water is extremely deep and cold. Beware: the clay in the pit is soft and may behave like quicksand.
Along Hodney Road off White Post Road next to Little Wood
Dogs must be on lead
Grazing animals
Reserve manager
Tel: 01733 687515