Langford Lakes Nature Reserve, Salisbury

Langford Lakes is a former gravel pit that later became a trout farm, which was eventually taken over by Wiltshire Wildlife Trust. As former gravel pits, most of the lakes are deep despite softening around the edges and some reshaping by WWT. Breeding birds favour shallow transitions from wetland edges to water and plenty of them!

The Trust sought funding of £42,212 to create a much shallower scrape system, with edges not more than nine to ten inches deep. A feeder ditch was created with sluices to control the water from Great Meadow at the east end, connecting to East Clyffe Lake to the north. The Trust’s aim was to expand an area of nationally-important wetland habitat, creating a hectare of additional wetland habitat incorporating a shallow wet scrape feature, feeder ditch system and water control structures, and using the gravel and clay spoil to create a gravel bar and islands on a neighbouring lake.

“The new habitat attracts rare red list bird species and is being grazed by sheep to maintain the habitat. Soon after completion
of the works, flocks of lapwing and nine greenshank were spotted on the new wetland features, demonstrating that the scrape, islands and shallow shelf were immediately benefitting species of concern. Since the New Year a variety of species have been regularly observed, including common sand piper, green sand piper and yellow wagtail (a red list species).” - Dugald McNaughtan.

Wagtail image (C) Paul Green