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Research

As well as being an important recreational area for local residents and attraction for local and visiting naturalists, Paxton Pits is also an outdoor laboratory for students. Local primary and secondary schools visit the Nature Reserve each year as part of geography and biology studies.
To see the results of last season's bird ringing research click here.

In 2008, we hosted an MSc student from Norwich. Katherine looked at fidelity (to sites and mates) in nightingales by radio tagging some males and following them around. At least one bird was discovered to be having an affair with a neighbour's mate.

Divya Panicker and Hannah Woodhouse studied aquatic invertebrates to see how their abundance relates to fish densities and fishing activities. Irena Tomankova looked at dunnocks, scrub and browsing by deer and rabbits.

In addition, Paxton Pits was a BTO Constant Effort Site in 2001-02, when hundreds of birds were ringed.

Every year there is a considerable amount of biological survey work undertaken, much of which is summarised in The Birds and Wildlife of Paxton Pits, on sale in the Visitors' Centre.
In 2005, the reserve hosted five graduates undertaking fieldwork for their MSc. 
Research topics included:
  • The benefits of beetle banks to Carabidae beetles – Gemma French
  • Availability of invertebrate prey to Nightingales - Mary Beth Charles
  • Aquatic Invertebrates in the Paxton Pits SSSI – Nina Lyman
  • Density and Habitat Preferences of Small Mammals – Ruth Hanniffy