There is always plenty to see at RSPB Ham Wall and this time of year is no exception with the breeding season well under way and this new life starting to thrive. Unfortunately, it has come to our attention that a small number of visitors have been causing disturbance across the site, to both the wildlife and other visitors, through their behaviour.

 You can help by:

  • Keeping to the paths. Please don’t go rummaging through the undergrown, crawling through the reedbeds or walking through areas reserved for wildlife to get closer to the wildlife spectacles. In all of these areas are wildlife making their home here at Ham Wall and some of them could be busy raising families. A pair of binoculars or using the zoom on a camera will allow you to get a closer look without needing to leave the path or viewing areas.
  • Keeping dogs on a short lead and sticking to the permitted paths. Dogs are permitted on the Ham Wall loop (the paths either side of the canal). The wildlife that makes it home here see dogs are predators and as dogs are naturally inquisitive can accidently disturb wild animals and instinctively give chase to the wildlife they disturb. This can be particularly damaging at this time of year during the breeding season if the bird is on a nest, possibly with eggs or with nestlings and can cause them to abandon the nest or alert other predators to the nest location. By keeping dogs on a short lead, it means that dogs are always under close control and cannot give chase, it allows the wildlife to hunker down and allow the dog to pass. Nature reserves are places for nature to find a safe haven and make their home in.

 The Royal Photographic Society has produced a useful 'Nature Photographers' code of conduct' which gives guidance around photographing nature and highlights the laws which apply while doing so. This is a useful resource for not only beginner and experienced photographers, but for anyone who enjoys watching wildlife. The link to the code can be found here: https://bit.ly/2Rv76Ry. 

 Thank you all for your continued support – we can’t wait to see you out on the reserve. Whether you’re visiting to listen for the boom of the bitterns or watch fishing great white egrets or spot hobbies soaring overhead catching dragonflies, be sure to say hello to our friendly staff and volunteers on site.

If you have not already, please do consider joining or donating to help fund the work of the RSPB, so we can continue to improve our habitats and reserves for both people and wildlife at this difficult time. For the latest from RSPB Ham Wall, you can follow our Facebook and Twitter pages. 

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