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.