Far Ings National Nature Reserve is run by The Lincolnshire Trust which
is a voluntary charitable organisation. It acquired the reserve
Ings is an old English word for wet pasture. Before the Humber banks were built it was all part of the Humber flood plain. Romans used to make bricks from the clay, and people have been making them, and tiles, almost ever since. The old clay pits (or brick pits as they are also known) filled with water and were colonised by reed and willow. This became a haven for birds, insects and wildflowers.
There are now more than 250 species of moths, 230 species of wildflower, at least 19 species of butterflies, a few dragonflies and 50 nesting birds.
The nature reserve is dedicated to Sam Van Den Bos who was the Chairman of the Trust's Barton Area Group. It was his vision which led the reserve down the path it is on today.
The reserve has toilet facilities next to Far Ings Farm where the Visitors' Centre used to be. The new Visitor's Centre is situated on the site of the old Outdoor Pursuit Centre, using the actual building for its new shop and displays. There are Eight hides situated around the reserve. Two hides overlook the Ness lake and the Scrapes, three hides overlook the Target lake, one hide overlooks Westfield Lakes, one hide overlooks the Pursuit Pit and one hide overlooks the river Humber just opposite the new Visitors' Centre.
There are many different areas to the reserve which comprise of :-
The River Humber
This is one of Britain's largest estuaries. Wildfowl appear in great numbers and the mud on the foreshore attracts wading birds. There are areas of common reed which attract Kingfishers and Finches.
Created by scraping the top soil off part of the reserve which had formerly been cultivated. The resulting shallow water and islands attract wading birds on migration. There are two hides here (one with wheelchair facilities).
Open water is important for wildlife. The water at the reserve is full of microscopic life. This provides food for many invertabrates, which then provides food for fish. (Including Eel, Roach, Perch and Rudd.) Kingfishers, Herons and Grebes feed on the fish. Many ducks nest on the islands. Many more species of bird nest and feed here.
Meadow and Scrub
Old meadows and scrub around the flooded pits provide the ideal environment for many butterflies. It also provides an ideal place for wildflowers to flourish. The Hawthorne scrub is an excellent area for nesting birds.
Many of the clay pit areas in Barton have extensive reed beds and Far Ings is no exception. The common reed grows to form dense strands which are important to wildlife. After recent management work to improve the reed bed habitat Bitterns have began breeding again on the reserve. Far Ings is also one of the most important British reserves for nesting Warblers.
Five new lakes have were excavated near the Blow Wells in 2001 and 2002, and planted with reeds, to increase the size of Far Ings Nature Reserve. These have now matured and attract more wildlife to the area. There is a footpath through here.
What Can You Expect to See (or Hear)
In spring bitterns, warblers and Marsh Harriers can all be seen (or heard). I summer there are kingfishers, water rail, common tern, many different kinds of duck, swallows and sand martins. In autumn and winter there are wigeon, teal, gadwall and goldeneye, redshank, black-tailed godwit and pink-footed geese. There are also many other birds, animals and insects around during the year.
Related Links (inbarton is not responsible for the content of external Internet websites)
Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust - www.lincstrust.org.uk
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