If you have visited the reserve recently or are planning to in the coming week, you may notice some heavy machinery out on the reserve and be curious as to what is going on. Fear not, this is all for the good of the wildlife!!
Much of our work here at Lochwinnoch is carried out to try and provide good habitat for water birds, whilst simultaneously trying to encourage as many different other birds and animals as possible. The key to trying to maximise the number of different types of birds and animals on the reserve, is a mixture of different types of habitats, resulting in a “habitat mosaic”. In very simple terms, at RSPB Lochwinnoch this often means a mixture of longer and shorter vegetation, with pools and channels in the dryer ground, or islands in the water. Artscape Gardens Ltd. Are currently carrying out work on our Aird Meadow wetlands to provide more “edge habitat” (aka. mud) and more water, although with the recent rainfall this has had to be paused as we have a tad too much water for the machinery to carry out the work. This will benefit various animals, but especially wading birds and ducks.
Our plan is to be moving some soil to lower the banks around the existing channels in order to create gentler slopes. This will create more available wet edges, opening up access to soft, nutrient rich soil for foraging waders such as lapwing, snipe or curlew. It will also open up edges and shallow water suitable for dabbling ducks such as teal, wigeon or mallard.
We have chosen to carry out this work now, in order to minimise the disturbance we may cause any wildlife. With the breeding season now behind us, this work should be completed before the worst of the winter weather sets in and hopefully with enough time to be of use to the winter arrivals.
The work has been part funded through the National Lottery Heritage Funded Garnock Connections Project among others, however, without the support of our members, we could never have put in the time to apply for these funds or generate the designs & consent applications. So, if you are a member, Thank You for your support!
We look forward to seeing the finished results and, once given time for the wildlife to settle in and the plants to re-establish, a richer, more diverse landscape to appear, providing a safe, secure habitat for generations of species to come.