For­mer quarry is grad­u­ally be­com­ing a bird­ing hotspot

Bird Watching (UK) - - Go Birding - ABI­GAIL HAMIL­TON-THOMP­SON

PANSHANGER PARK IS a new coun­try park and na­ture re­serve which opened to the pub­lic in March 2014. Owned by build­ing ma­te­ri­als com­pany Tar­mac, the site was, in for­mer years, par­tially quar­ried for sand and gravel, but was re­cently re­stored to its cur­rent con­di­tion, with only a small sec­tion still in use to­day by the ag­gre­gate in­dus­try. Orig­i­nally a his­toric Grade II park and gar­den that was cre­ated by Humphrey Rep­ton in the 18th Cen­tury, the park in­cludes many vet­eran oak trees. Tar­mac re­ceived awards for its restora­tion and na­ture

con­ser­va­tion of the wet­land and agri­cul­tural mead­ows. The park is grad­u­ally be­ing opened to the pub­lic in phases, with the Oak Trail be­ing the most re­cent. No mat­ter what the time of year, there is plenty to see around Panshanger Park. In the sum­mer, look in the reedbeds for a va­ri­ety of war­blers such as Sedge and Reed, and in the win­ter, scout around for wa­ter-lov­ing birds, in­clud­ing wild­fowl such as Wi­geon. A glance in the air will re­ward watch­ers with birds of prey such as the thriv­ing Red Kite and Buz­zards soar­ing above the Mim­ram val­ley.

Spot­ted Fly­catcher

The Oak Trail is a 2km way­marked route

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