By Anonymous Writer

Natural Places to Visit This Summer – Swaddywell Pit, Helpston

  • 29 April 2018
  • 22
  • 0
  • 0

There can be no doubt of how special a place Swordy Well pit was to John Clare.

I’ve loved thee Swordy Well and love thee still
Long was I with thee tending sheep and cow
In boyhood ramping up each steepy hill
To play at ‘roly poly’ down – and now
A man I trifle o’er thee cares to kill
Haunting thy mossy steeps to botanize
And hunt the orchis tribes where nature’s skill
Doth like my thoughts run into phantasys

And he also used Swordy Well as a symbol of all that had gone wrong in the countryside writing in The Lament of Swordy Well

I’m Swordy Well a piece of land
That’s fell upon the town
Who worked me till I couldn’t stand
And crush me now I’m down

The silver springs grown naked dykes
Scarce own a bunch of rushes
When grain got high the tasteless tykes
Grubbed up trees, banks, and bushes
And me, they turned me inside out
For sand and grit and stones
And turned my old green hills about
And pickt my very bones

 

 

But Swordy Well’s troubled story didn’t end there.  Long after John Clare’s death, it became one of the very first nature reserves in the country, leased by Lord Charles Rothschild and featuring as one of the key sites for nature in the country in Rothschild’s famous 1912 list and managed by the National Trust between 1915 and 1924. After that brief interlude of natural peace, it reverted to agriculture and disappeared beneath the plough and the quarry face before emerging in the 1980s as a rubbish tip, filled up with years of Peterborough’s household waste!  And that wasn’t all, in 1997 Clare’s former “roly-poly” ups and downs became a national VW racetrack and paint-ball centre, hosting thousands on a warm August bank holiday, with camper vans, fireworks and drag-racing.

/

But now Swaddywell, as it is called, is a well-established and flourishing nature reserve and a place that any lover of John Clare must visit if they are coming to Helpston.  Located just 2 miles up the road from the Cottage, the reserve is owned and managed by the Langdyke Countryside Trust since 2005 when the VW racetrack came to an end.

And it is well worth the visit – a testament to the recuperative powers of nature!  In June and July the top field is covered in bee and pyramidal orchids while the pit itself is home to over 1200 species of invertebrate, including several nationally scare species, such as the beautiful grizzled skipper butterfly.  Species that Clare would have known such as the red kite, skylark and weasel can be seen or heard throughout the year, while other recent arrivals such as collared dove, Roesel’s bush cricket and muntjac deer would surprise him greatly!

Comments (0)


Related Posts

Local Roadworks

  • 2016-07-26 15:52:00
Read More

Glinton Litter Pick

  • 2017-04-07 10:59:00
Read More

Fundraising made easy

  • 2017-03-24 10:36:00
Read More

Village litter pick

  • 2016-03-14 08:10:00
Read More

Maxey Drive-by shooting

  • 2016-07-25 16:55:00
Read More

Here to Entertain You

  • 2016-02-01 07:04:00
Read More

New WI for Tribland

  • 2015-09-23 14:06:00
Read More

Barnack Housing protest

  • 2015-12-21 16:00:00
Read More

Team George cash boost

  • 2016-03-06 12:51:00
Read More

Maxey Classic Car Show

  • 2015-09-24 11:53:00
Read More

Helpston Gardens 2016

  • 2016-07-06 08:52:00
Read More

Annual Winter Supper

  • 2017-03-24 10:53:00
Read More

Team Glinton clean-up

  • 2015-09-24 12:21:00
Read More

Royce Wood 'dismay'

  • 2016-05-05 19:27:00
Read More

HELPSTON HELCATS

  • 2017-12-19 10:43:00
Read More

Maxey Christmas Fayre

  • 2015-12-14 11:15:00
Read More

Tractor Road Run

  • 2015-09-23 12:58:00
Read More

Plastic Soup?

  • 2017-10-06 16:06:00
Read More

Here to entertain you!

  • 2015-11-11 19:49:00
Read More

Tribune - next deadline

  • 2015-11-16 09:03:00
Read More

Helpston Gala is back!!

  • 2015-12-14 13:42:00
Read More

VJ Day Commemorations

  • 2015-09-24 11:03:00
Read More

Educating Helpston

  • 2015-09-23 12:48:00
Read More

John Clare Festival

  • 2015-09-24 11:17:00
Read More

Maxey Fayre fun for all

  • 2015-09-23 14:23:00
Read More

Armed Forces Day

  • 2016-07-06 09:28:00
Read More

Glinton Friendship Club

  • 2017-04-07 10:24:00
Read More

Glinton Brownies

  • 2017-06-30 09:02:00
Read More

ETTON NEWS

  • 2017-12-19 09:48:00
Read More

Peakirk canine capers

  • 2015-09-23 14:18:00
Read More

Scotsman flys past

  • 2016-02-28 09:20:00
Read More

Glinton Roadworks

  • 2016-08-11 16:17:00
Read More

Glinton switch-on

  • 2015-10-27 17:34:00
Read More

Help in your village

  • 2017-03-09 13:18:00
Read More

Lolham 'death trap'

  • 2015-12-14 11:20:00
Read More

Langdyke Open Day

  • 2016-07-07 13:44:00
Read More

Have you seen Bella?

  • 2015-11-15 07:21:00
Read More

Read the latest issue

If you would like to receive the Village Tribune magazine but are out of the distribution area, you can still signup for a 12 month (6 issue) subscription.

Advertisement

Latest BBC News

News from BBC News

Weather Near You

Latest Traffic Updates

  • No Delay on A1(M)

    Location : The A1M southbound exit slip at junction J47 . Reason : Congestion. Status : Currently Active. Return To Normal : Normal traffic conditions are expected between 13:15 and 13:30 on 23 May 2018.

    • Wed, 23 May 2018 12:23:43 GMT
  • Minor Disruption - up to 15 minutes delay on A36

    Location : The A36 northbound between the A27 and the junction with the A338 . Reason : Congestion. Status : Currently Active. Return To Normal : Normal traffic conditions are expected between 13:15 and 13:30 on 23 May 2018. Delay : There are currently delays of 10 minutes against expected traffic.

    • Wed, 23 May 2018 12:21:46 GMT
  • No Delay on A36

    Location : The A36 southbound between the junctions with the A338 and the A27 . Reason : Congestion. Status : Currently Active. Return To Normal : Normal traffic conditions are expected between 13:15 and 13:30 on 23 May 2018.

    • Wed, 23 May 2018 12:21:34 GMT
  • Minor Disruption - up to 15 minutes delay on A38

    Location : The A38 westbound between the junctions with the A3064 and the A388 . Reason : Congestion. Status : Currently Active. Return To Normal : Normal traffic conditions are expected between 13:15 and 13:30 on 23 May 2018. Delay : There are currently delays of 10 minutes against expected traffic.

    • Wed, 23 May 2018 12:23:43 GMT
  • Minor Disruption - up to 15 minutes delay on A404

    Location : The A404 northbound at the junction with the M40 . Reason : Congestion. Status : Currently Active. Return To Normal : Normal traffic conditions are expected between 13:15 and 13:30 on 23 May 2018. Delay : There are currently delays of 10 minutes against expected traffic.

    • Wed, 23 May 2018 12:24:36 GMT
  • Minor Disruption - up to 15 minutes delay on A41

    Location : The A41 westbound at the junction with the A550 . Reason : Congestion. Status : Currently Active. Return To Normal : Normal traffic conditions are expected between 13:15 and 13:30 on 23 May 2018. Delay : There are currently delays of 10 minutes against expected traffic.

    • Wed, 23 May 2018 12:24:36 GMT
  • No Delay on A453

    Location : The A453 southbound between the junctions with the M1 and the A42 . Reason : Congestion. Status : Currently Active. Return To Normal : Normal traffic conditions are expected between 13:15 and 13:30 on 23 May 2018.

    • Wed, 23 May 2018 12:21:34 GMT
  • Minor Disruption - up to 15 minutes delay on A5

    Location : The A5 northbound between the M69 and the junction with the A47 Hinckley. Reason : Congestion. Status : Currently Active. Return To Normal : Normal traffic conditions are expected between 13:15 and 13:30 on 23 May 2018. Delay : There are currently delays of 10 minutes against expected traffic.

    • Wed, 23 May 2018 12:23:42 GMT
  • No Delay on M25

    Location : The M25 anticlockwise between junctions J9 and J8 . Lane Closures : The hard shoulder and lane 1 are closed. Reason : Road Management. Status : Currently Active. Time To Clear : The event is expected to clear between 14:30 and 14:45 on 23 May 2018. Return To Normal : Normal traffic conditions are expected between 14:30 and 14:45 on 23 May 2018. Lanes Closed : There is one of four lanes closed.

    • Wed, 23 May 2018 12:17:05 GMT
  • Minor Disruption - up to 15 minutes delay on M25

    Location : The M25 anticlockwise between junctions J16 and J15 . Reason : Congestion. Status : Currently Active. Return To Normal : Normal traffic conditions are expected between 13:15 and 13:30 on 23 May 2018. Cause : Emergency resurfacing. Delay : There are currently delays of 10 minutes against expected traffic.

    • Wed, 23 May 2018 12:24:37 GMT
  • Minor Disruption - up to 15 minutes delay on M4

    Location : The M4 westbound between junctions J15 and J16 . Reason : Congestion. Status : Currently Active. Return To Normal : Normal traffic conditions are expected between 14:00 and 14:15 on 23 May 2018. Delay : There are currently delays of 15 minutes against expected traffic. Earlier Reason : Caused by an earlier accident.

    • Wed, 23 May 2018 12:24:51 GMT
  • No Delay on M4

    Location : The M4 westbound between junctions J15 and J16 . Reason : Road traffic collision. Status : Cleared.

    • Wed, 23 May 2018 12:14:05 GMT
  • No Delay on M40

    Location : The M40 southbound exit slip at junction J4 . Reason : Congestion. Status : Currently Active. Return To Normal : Normal traffic conditions are expected between 13:15 and 13:30 on 23 May 2018.

    • Wed, 23 May 2018 12:24:36 GMT
  • No Delay on M55

    Location : The M55 westbound exit slip at junction J1 . Reason : Congestion. Status : Currently Active. Return To Normal : Normal traffic conditions are expected between 13:15 and 13:30 on 23 May 2018.

    • Wed, 23 May 2018 12:23:42 GMT
  • No Delay on M6

    Location : The M6 southbound between junctions J7 and J6 . Lane Closures : The hard shoulder is closed. Reason : Broken down vehicle. Status : Currently Active. Time To Clear : The event is expected to clear between 13:45 and 14:00 on 23 May 2018. Return To Normal : Normal traffic conditions are expected between 13:45 and 14:00 on 23 May 2018.

    • Wed, 23 May 2018 12:15:06 GMT
  • Minor Disruption - up to 15 minutes delay on M62

    Location : The M62 eastbound exit slip at junction J29 . Reason : Congestion. Status : Currently Active. Return To Normal : Normal traffic conditions are expected between 13:15 and 13:30 on 23 May 2018. Delay : There are currently delays of 10 minutes against expected traffic.

    • Wed, 23 May 2018 12:23:30 GMT
  • Congestion on A5

    Location : The A5 northbound between the M69 and the junction with the A47 Hinckley. Reason : Congestion. Status : Currently Active. Return To Normal : Normal traffic conditions are expected between 13:15 and 13:30 on 23 May 2018. Delay : There are currently delays of 10 minutes against expected traffic.

    Congestion, Minor Disruption - up to 15 minutes delay

    • Wed, 23 May 2018 12:23:42 GMT
  • Congestion on A50

    Location : The A50 eastbound between the junctions with the M1 J24A and the M1 J24 . Reason : Congestion. Status : Currently Active. Return To Normal : Normal traffic conditions are expected between 13:30 and 13:45 on 23 May 2018.

    Congestion, No Delay

    • Wed, 23 May 2018 12:25:31 GMT
  • Congestion on A453

    Location : The A453 southbound between the junctions with the M1 and the A42 . Reason : Congestion. Status : Currently Active. Return To Normal : Normal traffic conditions are expected between 13:15 and 13:30 on 23 May 2018.

    Congestion, No Delay

    • Wed, 23 May 2018 12:21:34 GMT
Updates from Highways Agency

Local Jobs

Jobs from Indeed