Looking to your left, try to imagine a long straight road crossing the path in front of you. A Roman road connecting Lowick and Irchester passed through this section of the reserve and a large number of artefacts, dating back to the 1st and 2nd centuries, have been found in the area. Local archaeologists suspect that there may be the remains of a Roman temple nearby and there are plans to investigate this further in the future. Some of the artefacts that have been found nearby can be seen at neighbouring Stanwick Lakes.
This path also follows the route of the ‘railway spur’, a narrow gauge section of track that connected the ironstone mine to the main railway line.
Habitats and Species
Some interesting plants can be found along this section of the path. The purple flowers of thistle and teasles tower above you, providing nectar for insects in summer and seeds for birds, such as goldfinches, in autumn and winter. Lower down, you may notice a star shaped yellow flower with very fluffy seed heads. This is known as meadow goats beard or jack-go-to-bed-at-noon, so called because the flowers only open in the morning. Lower still, look out for pineapple weed which gets its name from the fact that it’s small flowers look and smell like pineapples!
The hedgerows alongside the path are home to many birds, including blackcap, chaffinch, goldfinch, blue tit, great tit and robin. Listen for the loud trill of the tiny wren or the explosive song of the Cetti’s warbler as you walk along.