Long Eaton Gravel Pits/Trent Meadows

Where the Erewash meets the Trent are an area of Gravel Pits (an extension of Attenborough Gravel Pits), accessed from Meadow Lane in Long Eaton. Also in this area is Trent Meadows, an area of rough stubble and fields between the railway line and gravel workings.

There are 3 pits in the complex, some of which are popular with Windsurfers and Fishermen. The surrounding land is very popular with dog walkers.

The site has a good reputation for rarities with a Woodchat Shrike in May 2006 and a singing male Bluethroat in 1992 being the two most notable.

The area of rough pasture at the end of Meadow Lane is one of the best local sites for Corn Bunting, though the species has declined dramatically in recent years and records are few and far between. Wildfowl on the pit pools is the most important attraction in Winter and high counts of Widgeon (~300 birds recently), Pochard and Coot (~300 birds) are possible. Sawbills are also common, with 12 Smew being recorded in Jan 1997.

Trent Meadows also previously had over-wintering Short-eared owls (up to 5 ) but no reports this year so presumably the dog walkers provide too much disturbance. Barn Owls and Stonechat still frequent the area.

In spring Waders and Terns provide most of the bird-watching opportunity, with Black Terns and up to 100 Artic Terns in the right conditions. Yellow Wagtail, Hobbys and Water Pipit have also been recorded along with, more commonly, Wheatear and Meadow Pipit.

Again, in Autumn, Waders provide most of the excitement, with Greenshanks and Greensandpiper both possible; along with Curlew, Dunlin, Ringed Plover and Black-tailed Godwit being recorded in past years.

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