The Invasive Non Native Species (INNS) removal work has continued at the reserve over the last month. We’ve been focusing our efforts on the sections closest to the river, so as to reduce the spread once the river levels get high enough, which they undoubtedly will sooner or later. We’ve nearly finished our work on Himalayan Balsam, much to the delight of most of our volunteers!

On Saturday our monthly weekend volunteers did a great job at ragwort pulling on the haugh. This, like the Balsam, is a continual battle, and one that the team are winning, we think. I was talking to Wilburt our grazer and he reckons there is much less this year than last. It was sunny for the most part and all together a heck of a day.

The volunteers having a break from ragwort pulling amidst the grass. Photo by Mark Mitchell.


There’s been some great bird sightings throughout the last couple of weeks too with oystercatcher, little ringed plover, ringed plover, lapwing, dunlin, black-tailed godwit, curlew, redshank, green sandpiper and common sandpiper all making appearances on the haugh itself. There’s also been an abundance of mallard – my peak count being 395 birds on the haugh on 28 July. In addition to this, I personally have had a few otter sightings – most notably when my parents came to visit the reserve for the first time, when we also saw a kingfisher on the river. Perfect timing! Visitors have also been reporting sightings of these two species fairly frequently recently which is great.

The view south from the Phoenix hide into the channel which has turned up common and green sandpiper sightings this month. Photo by Mark Mitchell.


Our events programme has also been rolling along apace: we’ve been camouflaging, wildflower-ing, stream guddling, spider-ing and bat-tng, and we’ve had a blast. Our next event is on Tuesday 18th October, so we have a wee break in which we can catch breath before the focus will be on Getting Arty in Nature. You can book onto this event through the Baron’s Haugh events webpage as usual.


Intrepid explorers returning from a spider walk. Photo by Mark Mitchell.