Explore a unique 750 acre nature reserve which is widely considered to be one of the region's most imaginative outdoor activity destinations. It offers extensive play areas for families and includes acres of wide open spaces and paths for nature lovers, walkers and cyclists.
Many of the lakes within the Nene Valley form part of the Upper Nene Valley Gravel Pits Special Protection Area; a protected wildlife site of European importance for its over - wintering birds.
Local Nature Reserves
Irthlingborough Lakes and Meadows Nature Reserve is a wonderful stretch of rare grazing marsh and flooded gravel pits, now a hugely valuable wetland for birds and other wildlife. The site lies in the heart of the Nene Valley, one of the most important wetlands in England and an internationally important stop-over for thousands of wildfowl and waders.
Although the site of a Roman settlement, Higham Ferrers derives its name from the Anglo-Saxon term ‘Hecham’ (Heck - high, on a hill – Ham – important enclosure). The name ‘Ferrers’ was added during the 13th century, when the Lord of the Manor, William De Ferrers, granted the first of many important charters to the town.
Over the next two hundred years, Higham Ferrers became a wealthy and important town in the area and this is reflected in some of its fine architecture, not least of which, the magnificent Church of St Mary the Virgin. Today, Higham Ferrers is a thriving market town, with a variety of good quality shops, bars and restaurants to suit all tastes.