Swanholme Lakes Local Nature Reserve
Swanholme Lakes Local Nature Reserve is accessible through Hartsholme Country Park.
It is an important wildlife site for Lincoln and was designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) in 1985.
Formally a gravel quarry the 63-hectare site comprises dry heath,sphagnum bog and open water habitats.
Important species for the site include several pondweeds
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and water soldier.
The lakes also support many invertebrate species including 16 breeding species of dragonflies and damselflies, three species found:-
and Ruddy darter (are rare in Lincolnshire)
Many of the habitats and the species found within are important locally and nationally in terms of biodiversity and they feature in National and Local Biodiversity Action Plans (BAPS). You can find out more about this at our Visitor Centre.
NATURAL ENGLAND PRESS RELEASE
Species salvation at Swanholme Lakes
11 October 2010
Restoration works to heathland in Swanholme Lakes Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), Lincolnshire is set begin later this month, thanks to funding from Natural England.
Owned by the City of Lincoln Council, Swanholme Lakes SSSI is amongst the country’s best sites for wildlife and lies adjacent to Hartsholme Country Park, registered historic parkland. Its heathland is nationally important, supporting a wide range of species including two types of heather and is home to various butterflies and dragonflies.
Over the years, however, the heathland has suffered serious damage due to the growth of the invasive species, rhododendron (Rhododendron ponticum), which is not native to England. The growth of rhododendron has overtaken the growth of native plants, which has led to a substantial loss in the area’s biodiversity. The lakes are also at risk of potential damage with leaf litter from nearby trees gradually building up nutrients which, unless controlled, would damage the delicate balance of the lakes’ ecosystem.
Under its Higher Level Stewardship (HLS) scheme, Natural England is funding the removal of trees from the lake edges as well as the eradication of nearly four hectares of rhododendron. The work will be carried out later this month by Sheffield-based specialists, Legacy Habitat. Through removing rhododendron from the site and restoring its heathland, it is hoped that the area will once again become home to a wide range of native species.
Natural England’s SSSI Adviser, Dr Kate Fagan, said: “I am really excited to see what germinates when the rhododendron is removed. It is likely that seeds from the heathland plants are still present and viable and are just waiting for their chance to germinate under the blanket of rhododendron. It may take some patience, but within a few years the heath should be on its way to its former glory. We in Lincoln are very lucky to have such an important site so close to the centre of the city.”
Ruth Simons, Senior Ranger at Hartsholme Country Park, said: “We know the felling and coppicing works will be quite dramatic visually, but we want to reassure people that it is necessary to protect the heathland species that make Swanholme so special and nationally significant. Regular visitors to the lakes will notice the scenery changing quite a lot over this winter and next. We’re looking forward to seeing the heathland species thriving and gradually changing the lakes to a more natural state.”
Over ten years, the scheme will continue to provide funding to the council in order to maintain the lakes and heathland in the area. The scheme will also ensure that Swanholme’s historic views are preserved and its areas of woodland are conserved.
If you require a Map and Guide for
Hartsholme Country Park
Swanholme Lakes Local Nature Reserve