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Stanground Wash

A wetland reserve with its own distinctive habitat.

Separated from the rest of the Nene Washes by a railway line to the north and bounded by the river to the south, this reserve is a distinct part of the Nene Washes habitat. The grassland floods each winter, providing a shallow water winter refuge for waterfowl and nesting space for waders. In the summer, it is grazed by cattle to keep the vegetation low and create a sward of varied height that is favoured by nesting waders and insects. 

The raised embankment is very free draining and with its patchwork of scrub and dry acidic grassland, dominated in places by lichen, is a rare habitat in Cambridgeshire. The network of water-filled shallow ditches host rare beetles. Along the Back River (a tributary of the River Nene) the ditches contain nationally scarce plants such as fringed waterlily, grass-wrack pondweed, and spined- loach, a rare European fish. 

The site is very good for birds, so visitors may sit with binoculars and be lucky enough to see snipe, redshank and sandpiper, or catch a glimpse of a peregrine as it stirs alarmed waders into flight. 

We mow and graze the meadows to encourage wildflowers, and control invasive thistles. We clear the ditches on a rotational basis and have recently modified some of them to create better wildfowl habitat by digging shallow pools and installing water control structures. To maintain the grassland area on the railway embankment, we occasionally clear the scrub there. 

Nearby Stanground Newt Ponds is thought to be one of the best breeding sites for newts in Peterborough.  


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

Nearby nature reserves

Stanground Newt Ponds
1 miles - Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire
Woodston Ponds
2 miles - Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire
Thorpe Wood
3 miles - Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire

Nature reserve map

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

Reserve information

North Street
Map reference
TL 208 975
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Opening Times
Open at all times
26.00 hectares
Living Landscape schemes
Nene Valley
Walking information
Access to bridge and embankment only. Some paths not well used and quite faint. Do not stray onto the railway line.
Small car park on North Street, off Wessex Close
Dogs must be on lead
Grazing animals
Grazed with cattle and sheep
Reserve manager
Tel: 01733 687515