Swanholme Lakes 16
Grid Ref: SK944683

Status:     Site of Special Scientific Interest (English Nature); Statutory Local Nature Reserve (Lincoln City Council)

Swanholme Lakes are formed from flooded sand and gravel pits, and have remained unpolluted and largely undisturbed for over 50 years. Wet and dry heath has developed on the sand deposits alongside the fen, wetland and woodland habitats present, and the whole site covers 63ha. Swanholme Lakes has been designated as a Critical Natural Asset for the following reasons.

1) The site supports heathland and wetland habitat types At approx. 25ha, the site is the largest area of wetland habitat within the city, and accounts for approx. 31% of the Lincoln's wetland resource. Swanholme Lakes also supports 18ha of dry heath and is the largest remaining area of heathland in Lincoln, accounting for 58% of heathland in the city. It is one of only three sites possessing heathland (as opposed to scattered heath communities under woodland, for example), and the only site to possess wet heath communities in Lincoln. The site itself represents approx. 0.3% of the county's heathland resource. The wetland habitat is described by English Nature as the only site in the East Midlands with lime rich and nutrient-poor elements combined. The aquatic flora is defined by English Nature as being "nationally important."

2) It supports the following rare and endangered species.

Maiden pink  Dianthus deltoides   
Swanholme Lakes contains the only Lincolnshire population of this nationally scarce heath and acid grassland plant.

Sheep's-bit         Jasione montana
This heathland plant species is limited to three localities in Lincolnshire, having been lost from three others since 1985.

Many-stalked spike-rush    Eleocharis multicaulis
A wet heath species declining severely due to habitat loss, this plant is found in only one other Lincolnshire locality.

Whorled water-milfoil     Myriophyllum verticillatum
A nationally scarce and declining aquatic plant species now recorded at only two other county localities. Five other sites have been lost since 1985.

Pillwort    Pilularia globulifera
A nationally scarce wetland species only occurring at three other county localities.

KingfisherAlcedo atthis
A scarce breeding species in Lincolnshire with no more than eight confirmed annual breeding records between 1991 and 1994.

Red-eyed damselfly Erythromma najas
A nationally localised species confined to southern and midland counties.  It is known from only 6 Lincolnshire localities, including Swanholme Lakes.

Landscape Value
Visually attractive mixture of woodland and open water features with public access for informal recreation.
Forms part of a complex of open spaces - i.e. Hartsholme Park and the planned 'swath' across Skewbridge, which contributes to the Local Plan's green wedge strategy. Important in relation to railway approach to the City.
The whole of the site is included in the Hartsholme Wood Doddington Road No.1 Tree Preservation Order 1973.