Waters' Edge Country Park


The site of Waters' Edge nature reserve has been used by industry for over a hundred years.  Clay extraction resulted in clay pits (or brick pits as they are also known) being created, and then filled with waste materials.  Next came the fertiliser manufacturers who also filled the pits with waste material, some of it quite bad.  This material has been removed and the country park has been created.  There were 220,000 tons of contaminated soil removed and 250,000 tons of clay from Far Ings used as landfill, creating new wetlands and ponds there.  There have been reed beds created, hedgerows, scrub and about 10,000 trees planted, water bodies created and associated ditch drainage systems installed and a large car park next to Barton Haven at the bottom of Maltkiln Road.  Some of the wildlife include Bittern, Bearded Tit, Reed Warblers, and Water Voles in the specially built ditches.  As the park matures more varied wildlife should be encouraged.


The Waters' Edge Country Park is an 86 acre park, comprising two Sites of Special Scientific Interest.  It now boasts a new Visitors Centre which is open seven days a week with free admission.  The Ground floor comprises a reception area, a series of interactive displays and the Wildlife Surveillance Network.  The Wildlife Surveillance Network is a series of cameras installed across the site designed to give an insight into the wildlife rarely seen normally.  The visitors centre is one of the most environmentally friendly buildings in the UK and also hosts a cafe with views out onto one of the lakes.  There is a shop where many local and recycled items can be bought and there is an area for education and there are conference and meeting facilities.  The first floor of the building is let out to local businesses.

The Waters' Edge Visitor Centre The reception area
The Wildlife Surveillance Network

The entrance to the site is at the bottom (northern end) of Maltkiln Road for vehicles. There is a large car park on the left (looking north) and beyond that the walkway along the side of the mouth of Barton Haven and the newly built bridge linking the site to the Claypits Country Park. For pedestrians there is an entrance on Waterside Road, via the Haven Bridge, Maltkiln Road and at the northern end of Pasture Road North.  At the mouth of the Haven is the visitors centre (described above).  From the visitors centre are walkways into the main park area.  Here there are many ponds, reed beds, meadows and a Victorian folly to rest at.  Due to vandalism and anti-social behaviour there are now no bird hides along the way for any bird spotters but other methods of hiding are being looked into.  As the years go by the area is becoming more mature and is attracting many visitors and wildlife.

The new bridge linking both sides of the Haven View out from Barton Haven
The bridge over the Haven The Haven walkway.
The entrance to the park along Pasture Road North. The Victorian folly
The entrance to the park along Pasture Road North. The Victorian Folly
One of the platforms created to view the ducks and other animals. A goose.
One of the platforms created to view the ducks and other animals.  I think this one has got the wrong idea though. You may come to the park to view the wildlife, but don't think it is only a one way thing.
Goose crossing path.
There is no need for a zebra crossing at the park, but what about a goose crossing?


What Birds And Other Animals You May See, And When You May See Them

The following, split into four sections, have all been seen or heard around the Waters' Edge site in the past.  It is by no means a complete list but only a guide.

January-March April-June July-September October-December
Avocet Avocet Avocet Bar-tailed Godwit
Barn Owl Azure Blue Damselfly Bittern Blackbird
Blackbird Barn Owl Black Tern Black-headed Gull
Blackcap Bittern Blackcap Carrion Crow
Black-headed Gull Black Tern Black-tailed Godwit Chaffinch
Blue Tit Black-tailed Skimmer Dragonfly Black-tailed Skimmer Dragonfly Chiffchaff
Bullfinch Blue-tailed Damselfly Brown Hawker Dragonfly Common Gull
Canada Geese Broad-bodied Chaser Dragonfly Brown Long-eared Bat Cormorant
Chaffinch Canada Geese Canada Geese Curlew
Chiffchaff Common Blue Butterfly Chiffchaff Dunlin
Coal Tit Common Crossbill Comma Butterfly Fieldfare
Common Gull Common Sandpiper Common Blue Butterfly Gadwall
Coot Common Tern Common Darter Dragonfly Goldcrest
Dunlin Coot Common Pipistrelle Bat Goldeneye
Dunnock Cuckoo Common Sandpiper Goldfinch
Fieldfare Daubenton's Bat Common Tern Great Spotted Woodpecker
Gadwall Dunlin Coot Green Woodpecker
Goldeneye Four-spotted Chased Dragonfly Cormorant Greenfinch
Goldfinch Gadwall Cuckoo Grey Wagtail
Great Crested Grebe Garden Warbler Daubenton's Bat Kestrel
Great Spotted Woodpecker Gatekeeper Butterfly Emperor Dragonfly Kingfisher
Great Tit Green-veined Butterfly Red Fox Knot
Grey Wagtail Grey Heron Garganey Lapwing
Greylag Geese Grey Wagtail Gatekeeper Butterfly Lesser Clack-headed Gull
Kingfisher Grey-headed Wagtail Green Sandpiper Lesser Redpoll
Knot Greylag Geese Greenfinches Little Grebe
Lapwing House Martin Green-veined Butterfly Meadow Pippit
Lesser Redpoll Kestrel Grey Heron Mute Swan
Little Grebe Large Skipper Butterfly Grey Wagtail Pink-footed Geese
Long-tailed Tit Large White Butterfly Greylag Geese Pipistrelle Bat
Mallard Lesser Whitethroat Hobby Redshank
Meadow Pipit Little Ringed Plover Holly Blue Butterfly Redwing
Mediterranean Gull Long-tailed Duck House Martin Ringed Plover
Mistle Thrush Mallard House Sparrow Rock Pippit
Moorhen Meadow Brown Butterfly Kestrel Ruddy Duck
Mute Swan Mute Swan Kingfisher Shoveler
Pipistrelle Bat Nocule Bat Lapwing Siskin
Pochard Northern Wheatear Large Skipper Butterfly Skylark
Redshank Orange-tip Butterfly Large White Butterfly Snow Bunting
Redwing Oystercatcher Linnet Sparrowhawk
Reed Bunting Painted Lady Butterfly Little Grebe Starling
Ringed Plover Peacock Butterfly Mallard Teal
Robin Pipistrelle Bat Marsh Harrier Thrush
Ruddy Duck Pochard Meadow Brown Butterfly Turnstone
Sand Martin Red Admiral Butterfly Painted Lady Butterfly Water Rail
Scaup Reed Warbler Peacock Butterfly Pheasant
Shoveler Ringed Plovers Peregrine Mallard
Siskin Ringlet Butterfly Pied Wagtail Coot
Skylark Sanderling Red Admiral Butterfly Greylag Goose
Snipe Scaup Redshank Great Crested Grebe
Song Thrush Sedge Warbler Reed Warbler Shelduck
Sparrowhawk Shelduck Ringed Plover Pochard
Stock Dove Small Copper Butterfly Ringlet Butterfly Tufted Duck
Teal Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly Ruddy Darter Dragonfly Stock Dove
Treecreaper Small White Butterfly Sand Martin Wood Pigeon
Tufted Duck Sparrowhawk Sandwich Tern Long Tailed Tit
Water Rail Speckled Wood Butterfly Sedge Warbler Willow Tit
Water Vole Stock Dove Small Copper Butterfly Collared Dove
Waxwing Swallow Small Skipper Butterfly Pied Wagtail
Willow Tit Swift Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly Dunnock
Woodcock Teal Small White Butterfly Robin
Woodpigeon Temminck's Stint Snipe Mistle Thrush
Wren Tree Pipit Soprano Pipistrelle Bat Blue Tit
Pheasant Tufted Duck Sparrowhawk Great Tit
Shelduck Turnstone Stock Dove Magpie
Collared Dove Turtle Dove Swallow Siberian Chiffchaff
Pied Wagtail Wall Brown Butterfly Wall Brown Butterfly  
Magpie Water Vole Water Vole  
Cormorant Whitethroat Whimbrel  
  Willow Warbler Whinchat  
  Yellow Wagtail Whitethroat  
  Pheasant Willow Warbler  
  Little Grebe Yellow Wagtail  
  Great Crested Grebe Pheasant  
  Mistle Thrush Barn Owl  
  Pied Wagtail Gadwall  
  Blackcap Mute Swan  
  Chiffchaff Great Crested Grebe  
  Magpie Teal  
  Little Egret Tufted Duck  
  Red Fox Pied Wagtail  
    Lesser Whitethroat  
    Willow Tit  
    Blue Tit  

There may be a certain amount of overlap and this is by no means a definitive list, just a guide.

Click here for the official Waters' Edge Country Park website.


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