Reserve Updates

Another month has flown by with lots of work still happening out on the reserve. The sea buckthorn removal has been completed and it is noticeable how well this work is going with much less regrowth than feared.

This has now been added into the big piles from last winters work to be got rid of in the spring/summer. This work will benefit rare plants such as Jersey cudweed and the Warne’s Thread Moss which has been recorded in the areas of sand. This work will continue into the coming years to help keep the buckthorn under control.

The New Excavations scrub clearance has also been completed. The plan was to reduce the amount of scrub present around the margins of the lake to benefit the rare plants found in the area, to reduce the spread of willow and bramble onto the vegetated shingle and to open out some great crested newt ponds which were completely encroached.

The team have been out coppicing gorse on the Discovery Trail to promote thick, fresh growth which forms a better shelter for many species of invertebrates and our rare breeding/overwintering Dartford Warbler. This work has also given light to a completely encroached holly tree, something of a rarity in these parts! Willow has been cut and cleared from various parts of the trails/tracks to open out new views and to reduce domination of the habitats and paths. Much of this willow has been left in situ and will be cleared during the spring and summer months with a focus on cutting the vegetation before the beginning of the breeding season.

The last piece of decking has been laid on the Willow Trail boardwalk and the viewing platform at the end of it. There is still a lot of work to do here to fence the platform, install a shelter and bench as well as fixing on the toe rails the whole length of the boardwalk (to prevent wheelchairs/pushchairs from just rolling off the edge of the boardwalk).

The footpath raising is just about complete with some tidying up to do near Hanson hide before we can install the new access ramp, but we still hoping to open late March, early April, with the plan to close the whole trail/hide on Thursdays to allow the boardwalk to be completed safely. The whole area has been transformed and we cant wait to see how this develops in the coming months.

There are lots of things coming up in March with the old hides being removed, the new Firth Lookout being installed, temporary screening installed where Makepeace Hide was, the modifications to Dennis’s Hide to improve the viewing from the hide and the viewpoint, the final bits of the habitat management programme, tractor training courses, track repair work, repairs to Hanson hide side screens (damaged in the storms), the recovery of the ARC raft to the shore for repair (also damaged in the storms), there are fences to be replaced as well as the beginning of the survey season. So, if you see Craig dashing about, you will know why!

For more regular updates you can follow our Facebook and Twitter pages here: 

And if you have any questions regarding the work on going on the reserve, please don't hesitate to get in touch or chat to a member of the team during your visit! We thank you for your continued support and can't wait to see you on the reserve!