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Aldwicle church northamptonshireHarpers Brook northamptonshirefootpaths in Northamptonshire
The lakes between Thrapston and Aldwincle can be accessed from a number of places. The Nature reserve car park on the edge of Aldwincle village is a short walk from the Nature Reserve, across fields with a view of All Saints Church.Access to the nature reserve and lakeside walks is across this bridge over Harpers Brook - a stream which runs through several towns and villages in the North of the County. The lakes were formed as a result of gravel extraction in the area dating back to 1926.There's no need to worry about getting lost! All the paths and walks are well signposted. The only problem is deciding which way to go!!
Nene Way footpath at Titchmarsh nature reservebutterfly at Titchmarsh nature reserve in NorthamptonshireElinor Lake and Trout Fishery
Turning left over the bridge takes you along the Nene way and the western edge of the Nature Reserve. The reserve is managed by the Wildlife Trust and was officially opened in 1987. It covers around 178 acres and part is now designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest.The Reserve contains a number of different habitats and wildlife is plentiful and diverse. Over 120 species of birds and 20 species of butterfly have been noted. Large numbers of dragonflies can also be seen around the lakes - although none cared to pose for the camera!Next to the Reserve is Elinor Lake which is now operated by a trout fishery.
scrubland and vegitationclose up of teasle growing at titchmarsh northantsthe River Nene and Views of Islip Church northamptonshire
The lakeside vegetation and scrubland provides breeding sites for some birds. You might see skylarks, reed and sedge warblers and redshank.The Reserve has a diverse plant life which is still developing after the gravel extraction was completed.If you stay on the Nene Way footpath, you'll cross a bridge at the Southern end of the Reserve and begin walking along the Eastern bank of the River Nene with views of St. Nicholas Church and the village of Islip.
Narrow boats on the River Nenebridge over RIver Nene Thrapstonboat entering lock on the River Nene
In the Summer months you're likely to see the occasional narrow boat on the river or find a few moored here next to Thrapston Lake.This section of the River Nene has a few quiet, relatively secluded spots, where it's nice to take a break. But you're also likely to find a few fishermen on the banks as well.At this point on the River, boats need to work their way through this lock to cope with a fall in the level of the water from this point where the Nene heads towards Northampton. At this point, if you want to end up back where you started it's necessary to leave the Nene Way.
sailing boats on Thrapston Lake at Thrapston Sailing CLubentry sign to Thrapston Town WalkFootpath which used to be the Northampton to Peterborough railway line
A left turn will take you around the shores of Thrapston Lake, home of Thrapston Sailing Club, where there was certainly plenty of activity on the day we were there.The footpath on this side of the lake follows what used to be the Northampton to Peterborough railway line before it was dismantled.The wide verges left by the dismantled railway make walking easy. They also provide a haven for a wide variety of insects and species of dragonfly and butterfly.
blackberries growing in the hedgerownorthamptonshire countryside viewRiver Nene
At this time of year, as Autumn takes over from Summer, the hedges are beginning to fill up with berries. The blackberries made for a tasty snack. 'Blackberrying' seems a dying art, as we spoke to some young people recently who were amazed that they were edible!At the end of the path, a left turn takes you back into the Nature Reserve, and offers some fine views of the Northamptonshire countryside.Another bridge takes you back over the River Nene and although this wide section looks deserted.....
a swan on the River Nenelake at Titchmarsh reserveevening picture of geese on the Titchmarsh reserve lake Northamptonshire
...a look around the quieter backwaters will soon reveal some wildlife, like this swan, preening itself in the afternoon sunshine.One of the Northern Lakes which form part of the Reserve. The main woodland area, which contains an important Heronry, is on the site of an old duck decoy created by Lord Lilford in the 19th Century,The birds populating the lakes change through the seasons and in late Summer and Autumn migrating flocks can often be seen. A walk around the reserve and lakes can take 2hrs or more, depending on the route you take - and how often you stop.!

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