• badger-looking-slide.jpg
  • muntjac-portrait-slide.jpg
  • Slide2.jpg
  • Slide3.jpg
  • Slide4.jpg
  • Slide5.jpg

Photographs shown above:  © Nigel Sprowell

Breaking News!

Deja-vu – where has she been? A question we have been asking ourselves for the past few weeks.

Last year “our“ swan gave pleasure to many whilst nesting on the Island, on The Waits side, producing a family of 8 cygnets, all of which eventually reached adulthood being a remarkable achievement. Well, she was clearly hiding nearby – maybe in isolation -- and in the last few days (article written May 10th) she proudly presented another batch of 8 cygnets to her admirers at The Waits.

We wish them all well and let us hope they are as successful as last year, and learn to practice social distancing!!

Nigel Sprowell - Friend

swan and sygnets 2020

 sygnets 2020

Photographs © Nigel Sprowell


Children and staff from Westfield Junior School in St. Ives just happened to be visiting the Island at the same time as when ITV local news were visiting the Island to film and interview Paul Claydon our Countryside Ranger about the construction of our new boardwalk by our volunteers (watch the VIDEO here).



This year’s floods have caused considerable damage to the older boardwalk non-slip strips, and as a result they will need to be replaced before the Island can be safely opened to the public.

This work would normally be done by our Practical Volunteers under the direction of our Huntingdon District Council Ranger, but given the Government’s recent announcements HDC will not be using volunteer parties at this time. Our Ranger will carry on the work on his own when he can, but we do not know how long the repairs will take. Be assured, we will open as soon as it is safe to do so.

However, in the interests of our visitors’ and volunteers’ safety in the current crisis, when we do open we will not be opening our interpretive centre, the Holt. This is necessary to protect everyone as it is an enclosed space and very difficult to clean thoroughly.


Once the Island is safely opened again you are very welcome to book visits, and we will continue to open and close the Island for you. However, we will not be opening the Holt (for the reasons explained above) and will not be able to offer you volunteers to help. There are a lot of activity worksheets and our Education Pack available on the website to download, for use on the Island.


Due to the continuing COVID-19 pandemic the Family Fun Day 2020 has been cancelled until 2021.


Holt Island is an oasis of tranquillity in the centre of St Ives town. The Island provides a variety of habitats which attract a wide range of birds, mammals, plants and insects.

Holt Island BadgerFormerly used to grow willow for basket-making, the Island became overgrown when this ended. This changed its appearance and attracted many different types of wildlife. Today the island is home to mammals such as voles, shrews, deer, badgers, bats and foxes. Plants such as yellow flag iris, purple loosestrife and comfrey thrive. Tortoiseshell, red admiral and peacock butterflies can be seen along with dragonflies and damselflies. And a huge variety of birds including kingfishers, warblers, and blackcaps can be seen. For more information about what you could see CLICK HERE.  Photo © Nigel Sprowell.

The Island has a raised boardwalk, which makes the Reserve accessible to prams and wheelchairs, and there is plenty of seating, some with picnic tables. The Holt cabin, complete with bench seating, a nature table, books and children's activity sheets and displays is worth a visit. For more information to plan your visit CLICK HERE.

We have events and activities taking place throughout the season – see the links on our home page for more information.

We have an amazing video on YouTube which tells you all about Holt Island and shows it in its Autumn glory  CLICK HERE TO WATCH

For a downloadable information leaflet CLICK HERE.