• Building for the future:

    Almost three months to the day since the storm surge that wracked the East coast and Havergate specifically the repairs to the seawall are complete.

    The two major breaches and umpteen slippages were repaired in an operation lasting a little more than a month. At times the weather was simply awful but despite all this what we wanted to achieve, by and large, we did.

    One of the striking things about the repair work done…

    • 3 Mar 2014
  • The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

    Kieren, the island's warden, has done an incredible job over the past weeks to re-instate the protection of the island while literally fighting the elements in all weathers. He has been supported by a very hardworking digger driver and different groups of volunteers and the riverbank and the banks between the lagoons look like they are mostly back into working shape by now.

    The December flood leaves visible changes…

    • 26 Feb 2014
  • Situation update

    After the Christmas period and more than a month since the Storm surge, it is worth updating people about the situation on Havergate.

    The worst of the flooding on the island has passed with long meadow now all but drained of water, main/gullery/north are still holding a lot of water but at least some of the higher islands are starting to emerge.

    Long meadow almost back to normal

    Main still holding a lot of wat…

    • 2 Jan 2014
  • After the Storm:

    5 days have passed since the storm surge on the evening of Thursday 5 December. Conditions were too difficult to land on Havergate immediately after the surge on the Friday. However, a slow sail round the island on Friday morning revealed at least two breaches in the wall and two of the hides at been floated out of position (main and Gullery). However, despite this it was considered that the island had not fared too badly…

    • 11 Dec 2013
  • Great Memories of a fantastic Summer

    Havergate will never look the same after storm Xaver, the flood it caused and the resulting damage to the infrastructure and hides on the island, which makes all the memories of this year's summer even more precious.

    Lesley Ribbens and her family have been amongst the fortunate ones who had the time of their lives on the island this summer, and you might have read the guest post written by her 8 year-old son Jacob

    • 10 Dec 2013
  • Blogging for the Island

    The events season in 2013 has been very busy on Havergate Island with a handful of fantastic 'first ever' events with brilliant response by our participants. I have written about the Days of Discovery and the Big Wild Sleepout in other posts already, but there is at least one more story to tell:

    This year's success would not have been possible without the extremely motivated and enthusiastic volunteer team including…

    • 4 Dec 2013
  • A perk of the job

    Last week I took the opportunity to stay out on the island for six days, despite having accommodation out on the island this is something I rarely if ever get the chance to do. So, despite the presence of the diggers down at Hollesley I took the chance to get out on the island with one of the residential volunteers.

    The main purpose was to have a big push and really try and make a difference to the rat control programme;…

    • 23 Oct 2013
  • A time to look back and look forward

    As summer rolls into autumn and the first wintering duck begin to return to the island it is time to look back at the breeding season on Havergate.

    Starting with the large gulls, Herring gulls clocked in at 503 AON’s up by 17 from 2012. The lesser black backs had a massive increase, the reasons for this seems unclear but the almost complete collapse colonies on the nearby Orfordness are no doubts a contributory reason…

    • 1 Oct 2013
  • Our Hare made it onto VisitEngland's '101 Things to Do' List

    The busy season on Havergate Island is over for this year and it seems to be a good time to tidy up all the interesting news that has gathered on my desk in the past few months.

    Havergate Island, once the RSPB's best kept secret - as some said - has become well known this year. Of course, you remember: there was the feature in the Suffolk Episode on BBC Countryfile on 14 April.

    Indeed, that feature really made a…

    • 1 Oct 2013
  • Jacob's Adventure on Havergate Island

    The following is a guest post written by Jacob Ribbens, 8 years old, for the Tonbridge Local Group's Autumn newsletter originally. He was so kind to agree to a second publication, therefore, please enjoy reading his report about our greatest adventure on Havergate Island this summer:

    "This year the RSPB have launched the Big Wild Sleepout at lots of their reserves. We as a family went to the Havergate Island…

    • 17 Sep 2013
  • Big Wild Sleepout: the comments

    Four families headed out with the RSPB boat 'October Storm' to Suffolk's only island on the afternoon of the 10 August 2013 for a true adventure.


    Photo by Kevin Sawford, www.kevinsawford.com

    Here is what they thought about their exclusive experience on Havergate Island's first ever Big Wild Family Sleepout:

    “This was an epic experience and I think everyone should do it. I can’t wait to go back to Havergate…

    • 14 Aug 2013
  • Big Wild Sleepout: the facts

    The Big Wild Sleepout on Havergate Island was truely an amazing adventure for everyone involved - visitors and volunteers alike!

    Here are the real numbers behind the event of a lifetime:

    1 hare trail with 16 white hares, many strange clues and 15 correct facts had been set up on

    1 remote and fragile RSPB nature reserve for

    4 lucky families, which headed out to Suffolk's 1 and only island

    • 14 Aug 2013
  • Not just about birds...

    Sadly, this title is a bit misleading, as rather inevitably this blog will involve birds at some point but hey, not till the end.

    It’s been a productive time for moth trapping recently but the stand out highlight has to be the privet hawkmoth found in the trap last week.

    Picture courtesy of Becky Butterly

    It’s a an absolute monster of a moth indeed its Britain’s largest moth and quite staggeringly it has…

    • 26 Jul 2013
  • Spiders, cold water and insects

    It's been a busy few weeks on Havergate with the survey season and monitoring season in full swing.

    Typically this brings mixed results and this year is no different but most excitingly was the discovery or more accurately the rediscovery of a very rare spider on the island.

    Arctosa fulvolineata or to give it its common name.  Yellow striped bear spider. 

    Arctosa fulvolineata male Courtesy of Peter Harvey

    Not a…

    • 7 Jun 2013
  • Flashing: prohibited on the island - for Photographers - but the Hare showed it all!

    On Sunday 19 May 2013, our third 'Photography: Day of Discovery', we enjoyed the most gorgeous warm and sunny spring weather one can imagine, after a worrying week of watching daily changes on the very unsettled and sometimes frightening weather forecasts.

    Everyone arrived in time for the early start with Kevin Sawford being the first. He had been so excited about tutoring with us for the first time that he didn…

    • 22 May 2013
  • Hare today

    It’s been a busy year for the Hares on Havergate, they’ve had a visit from the BBC, seen more people (in terms of visitors) than ever before but thankfully, this seems to have had no impact on the population on the island.

    It’s the traditional survey season opener on Havergate! The annual Hare transect. Our actual interaction with the Hares is relatively limited, we keep an eye on their health and wellbeing…

    • 11 May 2013
  • Blue Sky for the Photographers again

    28 April 2013: the second 'Photography: Day of Discovery' was blessed with good weather, co-operative hares and some rarer winged visitors on migration tour.

    Our very talented 'students' enjoyed discovering the island's wildlife on their own as well as learning more tricks of the trade from the four tutors of the day: Jon Evans for tele-photography, Celia Bartlett for macro photography, Jeremy Hennell…

    • 5 May 2013
  • 'Photography: Day of Discovery' - A Tutor's View

    As a change, this blog is a special guest piece, written and illustrated by Danny Porter from www.dannysdigiscoping.com. He is one of our invaluable Volunteer Photography Tutors.

    "After a meeting, many (long) emails and one cancelled trip [because of the cold weather in March], the very first 'Photography: Day of Discovery' on RSPB Havergate Island was ready to set sail.

    Driving down to Orford at 5.30am the…

    • 23 Apr 2013
  • Our first 'Photography: Day of Discovery'

    Spring arrived in full power, just in time for the first of our brand new full day events.

    We started at 6am at Orford Quay and the first photos were on the cameras before we had even left the quay, because the sunrise over the harbour was as breathtaking as it can only be in Suffolk.

    The Pagodas on Orford Ness appearing out of the Morning Mist; Photo by Tony Pick.

    Wafts of morning mist around the buildings on Orford…

    • 23 Apr 2013
  • "A wonderful event" – Visitor Comments on our first 'Photography: Day of Discovery'

    On 21 April 2013, Havergate Island with it's nearly tame hares, rare birds and unique landscapes welcomed the first visitors to a brand new event format.

    In this post, I will only list the comments of our visitors from the first event; in the next blog post, you will be able to read my own thoughts about the fantastic day.

    Here is what they wrote, after a long day full of opportunities, impressions and insights…

    • 22 Apr 2013
  • Healthy Hares

    The arrival of the first sunny spring days on the Suffolk Coast miraculously coincided with our first long event weekend in 2013.

    Our visitors on Saturday still felt some of the cold wind from the weeks of bitterly cold weather, which had made life so hard for wildlife in Britain and beyond, but on Sunday the sunshine finally won and everyone really enjoyed walking up and down the island in search for one of the most…

    • 17 Apr 2013
  • Countryfiled: Update

    Hi folks, 

    Just to let you know, Havergate island features this Sunday on Countryfile at 1900 hours. If you missed out on the Hares last weekend or if you went to see them again then be sure to watch it!

    Find more information here: www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01s1psf

    • 12 Apr 2013
  • Countryfiled

    It's been a couple of years since the BBC last visited the island therefore it was with some pleasure that we where lucky enough last Thursday to host the BBC's countryfile team. Despite the cold temperatures (almost -6 according to the thermometer on nearby Orfordness) a good day was had by all.

    The basic idea of the piece was to look at the history of the island, what managment is being done now on the island…

    • 2 Apr 2013
  • Making 'A World of Difference' for Havergate Island

    Some brilliant news, hot of the press:

    The South Suffolk Coast Reserves are one of only two lucky RSPB places to get a Vodafone World of Difference winner in Spring 2013.

     Hi, this is me actually: Monika,

    Events Officer for the South Suffolk reserves from March to June; fully funded by the Vodafone Foundation to work for the RSPB part-time for four months.
    Officially, I will start in my new post next week, but if I had…

    • 27 Feb 2013
  • Winter Development's: Pt 2

    Readers of the blog will have noticed that a few weeks ago I finished the last blog with a to be continued as I posed the question, if it is not prey availability that holds a potential spoonbill breeding attempts back then what is it?

    It is a reasonable assumption that predators in the shape of foxes and otters are present on the island, it may be only intermittent but this may be enough to put of any spoonbill’s attempting…

    • 25 Feb 2013