The Wildlife Gallery Large Print Guide

The Wildlife Gallery

This guide covers the first floor Wildlife Gallery
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Panel 1
Natural Peterborough

From grasslands to gardens, wetlands to woodlands, Peterborough and its surroundings provide perfect homes for a rich diversity of plants and animals. Our city contains a surprising range of habitats and species, in the most urban of settings, as well as in the fields and fens.

Three of the most common habitats in Peterborough are the wetlands, the woodlands, and built-up areas with their patchwork of houses and gardens. In this gallery you can explore the species of plant and animal that thrive in each environment. Whether made by people or by nature, in recent times or through years of geological change, each habitat suits the species that live there –down to the ground.

Panel 2
Then and now

Changes to Peterborough’s landscape have been rapid and radical in the last two centuries.

Many common fields were divided up with new hedges and ditches under the Enclosure Act. Later, industrial quarrying extracted huge amounts of gravel and clay.

Today, many quarries are wildlife reserves, and are home to much of Peterborough’s wildlife.

Local species have altered as habitats changed.Some have disappeared, but new species like collared doves, little owls and muntjac deer, have moved in. Rare species, the great crested newt and the bearded stonewort, have made their home at the flooded Orton brick pits.

Unusual sightings are occasionally made too –like the flamingo and puffin spotted by a member of the Peterborough Natural History Society over a century ago.

Panel 3
Natural Peterborough

Boggy or dry, wooded or grassy, acid or lime-rich –Peterborough’s many habitats make ideal homes for an amazing abundance of wildlife and plant species. Along with England’s largest birch wood, and Europe’s biggest colony of great crested newts, there are glow worms and slow-worms, grebes and geese, emperor dragonflies and fly orchids, badgers, bats and beetles.

Peterborough’s geology strongly influences its wildlife, with limestone heathland to the west and the watery fens to the east. Over 300 kinds of wild plant thrive In the limestone grassland at Barnack Hills and Holes, along with rare butterflies like the chalkhill blue, brown argus and green hairstreak. Meanwhile at Woodwalton Fen, birds like the tree pipit, long-eared owl and reed bunting make their home, along with an incredible 900 species of moth.

Panel 4
Environment City

Peterborough is a rich environmental city, with lots to see and explore all year round.

Visit Thorpe Wood in the spring to enjoy spectacular displays of bluebells. In summer most wildlife sites are looking their best, with lovely fringed water lilies at Stanground Wash.

In the autumn look out for woodland fungi at Grimeshaw Wood or visit Ferry Meadows for wonderful winter walks.

You can even step back in time and see Bronze Age wildlife at Flag Fen.

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