• Snowed under in summer

    Summer season is snowed under at Fairhaven

    With an underlying uncertainty shrouding the beginning of the year we were never wholly certain as to what the uptake of school visits back to Fairhaven would be like. Having been in a position to offer a funded subsidy we knew that the uptake at Leighton Moss had been substantial and with us having had a delay to the water supply to the new centre we weren't sure what to expect…

    • 18 May 2022
  • Cracking on with spring

    Well it's been a fabulously busy couple of weeks all around for the Ribble Reserves team.

    Over at Marshside a brand new outdoor viewing screen has been installed.  The old one, worn and rotting was taken down with surprising ease.  With help from our wonderful volunteers putting the new one up was made lighter work.  The coot nesting nearby showed remarkable resilience and patience.  Whilst not directly impacted by the…

    • 6 May 2022
  • Never the twain shall meet

    The Arctic meets the Mediterranean at Marshside this week

    The last time a black winged stilt was seen on the land at Marshside was when some of us were still in short pants, but not all of us (not to mention any names).  The bird in question was seen on Polly's Creek on 28 April 1984.  Not a million dates away from this years sighting on 18 April.  Stilts are members of the wader and avocet family and are more widely…

    • 21 Apr 2022
  • Tis the season to be jolly.

    Spring Arrivals

    Earlier in March we had a little blast of spring air.  Chiffchaffs arrived, buds started to show and we had a blast of warmer air.  We all started to get excited about the change of season, the arrival of wheatear and hirundines, such as sand and house martins.  Visiting schools were especially thrilled, they appeared to have brought the sunshine with them.

    And then it all changed, the clouds and rain came…

    • 4 Apr 2022
  • Spring cleaning is in the air

    Midwinter maintenance at Marshside

    Now is the best time to cut back your woody vegetation and our volunteers have been hard at it in the last few weeks.  Regular ‘coppicing’ is a vital part of our successful habitat management.  It promotes healthy re-growth and flowering and benefits insect life.  This in turn benefits the ecosystem in an overall holistic way.  

    We have a don’t have much time before the spring…

    • 24 Feb 2022
  • Nuts about nestboxes

    February half term is National Nestbox Week

    Putting up a nestbox is a fabulous way to watch wildlife in your garden or local park, from noticing that the nestbox is being checked out by prospective tenants to watching the parents frantically to and fro with never ending supplies of food, to finally seeing the long awaited fledglings appear all wobbly and tentative at first, taking their first short flights.  It can be…

    • 16 Feb 2022
  • saltmarsh, sand dunes and sea air


    The Ribble Estuary is one of the most important places for birds in Europe and so has been designated as a National Nature Reserve (NNR) and a Special Protection Area (SPA) offering high levels of protection. The Ribble Estuary NNR, which includes our Marshside and Hesketh Out Marsh reserves, is England’s third largest NNR and is one of the Top Ten most important wetlands in the UK for the numbers of water birds that live…

    • 11 Feb 2022
  • A Marshside mix - guest writer and Marshside regular Martin Campbell

    Marshside observations from a Marshside regular
    At this time of year, there are thousands of birds, pretty much everywhere at Marshside, alternately picked out by the low winter sun and disappearing in the overcast gloom.  There has been days of perfect light as well as some dark, gloomy days, some of those fortuitously relenting to the winter sunshine eventually.
    There's a wide variety of ducks on the pools, including…
    • 7 Feb 2022
  • Advance notice of resurfacing works for Marine Drive

    Marine Drive (Marshside) to close for 3 months

     Sefton Council are planning to resurface much of the Marine Drive coast road at Marshside, with the road set to close from Monday 24th January for up to 3 months. The aim is to improve the surface and remove the worst of the bumps that have been increasing in recent years.  It follows similar works in the spring of 2021 when the western section of the road that passes through…

    • 13 Jan 2022
  • The best of 2021

    Well, it was slow start to the year with the easing of Covid restrictions.  But the wildlife was ever present, no matter who was watching, or waiting, the cycle of life continued.  These are some of the wildlife highlights from this year. 

    Firstly though we must mention the re-opening of our brand new Fairhaven Lake Visitor Centre.  We are proud once again to be serving the people of the Northwest and from further afield. 

    • 13 Dec 2021
  • It's a real mixed bag

    It's a real mixed bag

    So after recently posting about the delay in the influx of winter thrushes, the weather really changed.  The icy snap of the last few days and the decrease in temperatures prior to that has

     now sent them heading our way.  So keep your eyes out for redwing and fieldfare in the area.

    We were very lucky with the weather just before storm Arwen, fabulously calm and serene high tides, with just the…

    • 1 Dec 2021
  • Let's get hands on

    School Visits at Fairhaven Lake

    Did you know that here at Fairhaven Lake we deliver hands on outdoor education on the estuary, lakes and garden to nearly 2000 children from the Northwest every year?

    The £1.46 million Heritage Lottery Funded project in conjunction with Fylde Borough Council has provided a whole new suite of fantastic facilities. Where we once ran our school visits from the rather small combined retail…

    • 12 Nov 2021
  • Robin Robin

     We’re delighted to be partnering with Netflix and Aardman on Robin Robin, a half-hour, stop-motion, festive story for the whole family, about a young robin trying to fit in. It’s debuting on Netflix on 24 November – get the date in your diary! 

    To celebrate, we’re inviting you to join exclusive Robin Robin-themed adventure trails right here at Fairhaven Lake this Christmas season. 

    Over 30 RSPB nature reserves around…

    • 5 Nov 2021
  • Good weather for ducks, but has the tide turned?

    Autumn days ahead

    Warmer and wetter weather has been with us for some time recently, the ducks on the lake have had a whale of a time. 

    Is this all part of climate change?  It's two of the key things predicted to happen as climate change advances. 

    As World leaders meet at COP26 to sign up to climate change goals, we hope it's not too late.

    We have already noticed one or two changes.  Autumn is a time of great migration…

    • 4 Nov 2021
  • Observations of a wildlife watcher - guest blog by Sue Provost

    Fairhaven Lake guest blog

    Sue is one of our volunteers at the Fairhaven Lake Visitor Centre.  She has written us a guest blog this week about the comings and goings at Fairhaven Lake this summer: 

    There are different starts of the year. For me the year turns at the start of autumn. Most of the summer migrants have left and some of the winter visitors have started to arrive. Whether you use meteorological time or astronomical…

    • 27 Sep 2021
  • Autumn waders

    Autumn has arrived and that marks the return of the wading birds that spend the summer breeding in the Arctic Tundra, Greenland and Iceland.  Once the breeding season is over, and from September onwards they make their way over to our warmer climes. The mudflats of the Ribble estuary are a huge food resource, being jam packed with vast quantities of molluscs and crustaceans.  Each species of bird has their own specific…
    • 17 Sep 2021
  • Big Wild Summer time down at Fairhaven

    Summer Time at the Fairhaven Lake Visitor Centre

    Summer time and the living is easy....finally! After months of Covid restrictions we are finally seeing the finish line in sight.  We may still remain cautious and keep our distance, keep touch points cleaner than usual and maybe even wear face masks, but we are looking forward to our first summer at the lake under our new guise and with many of the long awaited renovations…

    • 15 Jul 2021
  • Muddy Days Ahead

    If there was ever a good time for all to be closed then this year was it.  We have undergone a huge regeneration, thanks to our partnership with Fylde Borough Council and the Heritage Lottery Fund.

    The £1.46 million project has provided a whole new suite of fantastic facilities.  Where we once ran our school visits from the rather small combined retail and education centre, we are now blessed with an entire space…

    • 30 Jun 2021
  • Ruff, but Ready - By Martin Campbell

    Marshside: an extraordinary place for an extraordinary bird

    Starting with a nice shot of an ordinary looking wader. What evidence is there in this photo for what this bird is likely to become? Which of the birds shown here is it likely to be? The answer is in your own hands…


    And how can Ruffs be separated from other waders, for example the Redshank or Black-tailed Godwit? Compare the back pattern on this Ruff…

    • 31 May 2021
  • The haven of Fairhaven

    The new Fairhaven Lake Visitor Centre

    Wow! what a busy time it's been.  The finishing touches were added to the shop merchandising and we finally opened our doors on Thursday 29 April, after closing in March 2020 it felt like a long time coming.  It was great to welcome back all of our visitor centre volunteers, don the uniform once again and open our brand new doors to the public for the first time.  

    Unfortunately the…

    • 7 May 2021
  • Welcome to RSPB Fairhaven Lake Visitor Centre

    Introducing RSPB Fairhaven Lake Visitor Centre 

    After months of moving walls, dismantling false ceilings, re-designing, painting, cleaning and sprucing, we’re super excited that the time has finally come to open the newly refurbished RSPB visitor centre here at Fairhaven Lake.

    This massive project has been made possible with thanks to our strong partnership with Fylde Council and the National Heritage Lottery Fund.…

    • 12 Apr 2021
  • Migration hotspots

    Spring hits the Ribble Estuary What a fantastically exciting time of year we are now at.   If I am able, on my arrival to work, I take the opportunity to wander out onto the sand dunes at the tip of Fairhaven Lake to a patch of land I have ...
    • 10 Apr 2021
  • Spring is most definitely in the air

    Spring is most definitely on its way.
    Walking around the lake is music to the ears,  the increase in birdsong recently is very apparent.
    This melodious of soundtracks most frequently begins with the robins, who are well known to sing under any lights, lamp posts in the evening have been known to set the robin off.  Blackbirds are not far behind.  The sweet song of the dunnock is truly beautiful and is in my opinion a very…
    • 20 Mar 2021
  • Spring Springing - by Martin Campbell

    Signs of new life at RSPB Marshside 

    In February, there are still many of the wintering birds (e.g. black-tailed Godwit, golden plover, lapwing, curlew and wigeon), visible in impressive numbers. However, this is the month when the first summer birds begin to appear and some residents begin to show changes to their plumage and behaviour in preparation for courtship and nesting.

    Right through February, there are still many…

    • 13 Mar 2021
  • Spring (ish) at Marshside


    It's the time of year when birds start to switch from wintering to breeding 'mode'. Some changes start to take effect before migration, some are obvious to us and some are not. Teal have been over wintering at Marshside for some months and completed their eclipse phase some time ago. Despite sporting summer plumage for some months, they seem to have developed a deeper iridescent quality in the recent…

    • 3 Mar 2021