Take a detour from the footpath that leads from White Mills Marina Earls Barton to the village of Grendon and within seconds you will become completely immersed in the tranquility of one of Northamptonshire's largest reedbeds.
Quarry Walk, at Pastures Farm consists of 27 acres of stunning reeds, lake and wetland which together have fast become a haven for a wide variety of birds, from the very common through to the very unusual. Whether its during the Spring or in the depth of Winter, Quarry Walk is an ever changing sanctuary.
There have been mineral workings in the area between Earls Barton and Little Irchester for some 60 years. The original aggregate and concrete depot was started way back in 1935. Quarry Walk at Pastures Farm, Grendon is exactly what it says it is, and has evolved thanks to the extraction of sand and gravel.
Reedbeds are an important part of the wetland landscape mosaic. They provide a valuable habitat for plants, insects and birds, including the rare and secretive bittern.The reedbeds at Quarry Walk are no exception, and have become especially important for the range of wintering birds they attract. The reedbeds form part of the larger Upper Nene Valley Gravel Pits Site of Special Scientific interest (SSSi) and have also been put forward as a potential Special Protection Area (SPA), recognising the Valley’s importance at a European scale for wintering birds.
In Autumn 2008, in order to protect and preserve this unique site, Natural England gave the go ahead and funded a complete overhaul of what is now known as Quarry Walk, which principally involved clearing away hundreds of self set willow trees. The project which took nearly two months to complete soon revealed acre upon acre of uninterrupted reeds, which many had not even realised existed!