What is a Heronry?
Not a word you come across everyday but one that should be easy enough to guess the meaning of.
The real question is - are there any in Lincolnshire?
There was once . . .
A Heronry is simply a colony of Herons, simply defined but not so simply found - it’s not often you see more than one or two Herons let alone a breeding colony.
For an example I turn to an interesting snippet from an early turn of the century edition of Lincolnshire Notes & Queries in which there’s mention of a book written by Thomas Pennant, published in 1771, about his tours of the country.
He mentions Cressey Hall in Lincolnshire and a remarkable Heronry
As well as many other interesting species of birds Pennant recorded:
|The greatest curiosity in these parts is the vast Heronry at Cressi-Hall, six miles from Spalding. The herons resort there in February to repair their nests, settle there in the spring to breed, and quit the place during- the winter. They are numerous as rooks, and their nests so crowded together, that myself and the company that was with me, counted not fewer than 80 in one tree. The family who owned this place was of the same name with these birds, which seems to be the principal inducement for preserving them.|
The hall burnt down in 1820 and was rebuilt, for the second time. Unfortunately so many of the trees were felled that the Herons left and went to Carwood Hall in Gosberton where they stayed for some 20 years before being disturbed and re-settling in Donnigton at Wikes Farm.
It’s only a snippet I know but something unusual in Lincolnshire and something that, I at least, found of interest.
I’d be keen to expand on it of course, should anybody know of anything
All the best