The aim of this blog is to explore the ecology and wildlife of Grantham, a little market town in Lincolnshire, known to most as a station which flies past on the east coast mainline or a little brown signpost off the A1.
I work as an ecologist which takes me all around the country (but mostly the midlands) surveying for protected species such as badgers, bats and great crested newts. Although I get to learn a lot about the ecology of these sites, this blog is to encourage me, as well as hopefully help others, to explore the wildlife closer to home. There are so many examples of interesting wildlife which you might just have to look a little closer to see. Or wildlife that you are used to seeing every day but have never considered from another angle.
I hope you will find this site interesting, find me on twitter (there’s a link at the side of this blog) if you would like to get in touch or if you have any interesting stories of Grantham wildlife to share.
For many years I have surveyed the flora of Grantham and South West Lincolnshire. I am very pleased to have found your blog exploring the ecology and wildlife of Grantham. It is surprising how many wild plants can be found within the built up area of the town. Look at walls within the town centre and you can find ferns such as Hart’s Tongue Fern, Male Fern, Maidenhair Spleenwort and Black Spleenwort. Unfortunately, a number of sites have been lost when walls have been repaired or demolished but new sites keep appearing.
Often people think of orchids as exotic tropical species but a number of different orchids can be found in and around Grantham. Before the new houses were built on Springfield Road, near the main east coast railway line, a solitary Bee Orchid grew on the mown lawn of the factory. Early Marsh and Common Spotted Orchids have been found in one of Grantham’s newer parks. Pyramidal Orchids grow within yards of lorries thundering along the A1 at Great Ponton. Southern Marsh Orchids used to grow on a factory site in the south of the town. [Unfortunately, I have not been able to check the site in recent years.]
I do hope that your blog will encourage people to take an interest in their local wildlife and to respect what makes our environment much more pleasing.
A most interesting and superbly written blog makes me think I am not as observant as I should be! In respect of your interest in the barn owls near Langar, our box Harby side of the airfield raised two young.
Vale of Belvoir Barn Owl Conservation
Many thanks Don – glad you find it interesting 🙂 that’s great news avout the airfield barn owls – are the owls doing well generally across VOB this year?
In the end we put lots of smaller bird and bat boxes up at JD so hopefully lots of other species will find a home, will go along in the winter to check for nests and see what the uptake was!
Totally surprised time and effort had gone into this detailed and informative blog, Well Done. I have lived in grantham all my life and enjoyed walking along the canal and the river witham. Im a keen wildlife photographer and enjoy filming wildlife both in town and else where, I would love to assist with images etc if required, Kind Regards Neil Hoe. ps look at the photos on my fb page https://www.facebook.com/Neil.Hoe.Photography
Hi Neil, glad you like the blog! Some nice shots on your FB page – will keep an eye out, keep up the good work 🙂
Glad I’ve found your blog – now I know where to come for wild flower identification. I have found your photos fascinating…I love the photo of the Fly Orchid.
Thank you – so glad to hear you enjoyed it! I was very pleased to find the fly orchid, this year is the first time I’ve seen one, beautiful little flowers!
I spend most of the summer on the canals (narrow boating). Last summer, spent a few days on the Basingstoke canal. This is a little-used canal for boaters as there is usually a lack of water, so like the Grantham canal, wildlife flourishes in the quiet landscape. A mid afternoon walk along this 200 metre wide green corridor through Deep Cut (home of the MOD), gave me glimpses of lots of wildlife …voles, mink (or stoats/martens – couldn’t decide, but they were in the water), frogs, and the usual flotilla of varied bird life. And I managed to eat so many sweet blackberries and wild raspberries along the way, I felt a smidgen greedy! It might be a good spot for you to find some rare flowers. The tiny bit of woodland is largely untouched because it is between a major railway line and the MOD ground. Only see a few soldiers jogging along the towpath and an occasional hardy walker. Just thought you might like to know.
I adore the breathtaking views on your side of the world. I can’t wait to visit next year.
Hi – I’m involved in a project at the Woodland Trust, based in Grantham, called ‘Street Trees’ which is a new urban focus for the Trust where our aim is to promote and protect the trees on our streets. We’re currently working in partnership with South Kesteven District Council to promote and protect the Belton Lane ‘Grantham Oak’ and would be grateful if you could email me as soon as possible about whether you could help us with a proposed interpretation panel about the tree. Also if we can use some of your wording from your blog about the importance of the tree?
I look forward to hearing from you.
Hi Denise – so sorry for the lack of reply – WordPress chose not to inform me of your post and I’ve only just seen it! I’ve spoken to Kit at WT a week or two ago about the tree and he has my phone/email details so can hopefully pass them on – do feel free to get in touch directly or let me know an email to contact you on!
Thanks for getting in touch. If you could email me direct on firstname.lastname@example.org that’d be great. We’d like to discuss the Grantham Oak on Belton Lane and the protection measures we’re planning with SKDC. Also a proposed interpretation panel.
Look forward to hearing from you!