Kingston and Bourn Old Railway Local Nature Reserve Nature Reserve
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Grassland, woodland and seasonal wetland.
- Local Nature Reserve
- County Wildlife Site
This small (1.97 hectares) site lies on part of the old Bedford to Cambridge railway line. The reserve is situated adjacent to the B1046 Bourn - Toft road, approximately 1 mile west of Toft.
The grassland provides a good habitat for butterflies and this small site also contains woodland, scrub and wetland, providing a valuable resource for a wide variety of insects, birds and mammals. Various events are also held on site.
Open access along grass paths all year round. The main access to the reserve is via a kissing gate at the western end, and there is also access via a kissing gate and footbridge opposite the Kingston road and by a kissing gate at the eastern end.
All the access points are situated adjacent to the B1046, so care must be taken when entering/exiting the site.
Mesotrophic un-improved grassland is situated at the western end of the reserve, which has developed on the site of an old railway bridge removed in the mid-1970's.
The sides of the railway bank are largely wooded with trees and shrubs and the bank top is composed of moderately species-rich grassland. Ash is the dominant species of tree on the bank sides with some Field Maple and Oak running along the shoulders of the embankment.
At the eastern end of the site the bank disappears and the area has been planted with a native broad-leaved plantation. Between the railway bank and the road there is a wet area that contains a number of large pollarded willows and other wetland species.
Kingston and Bourn Old Railway receives a Countryside Stewardship grant from Natural England. The grant will be used to maintain and improve the habitats on the reserve, improve public access and visitor information.