Since our last update RSPB Ouse Fen has continued to grow and our key species are thriving.

Prior to the Covid-19 lockdown, early spring survey work recorded promising numbers of bittern had begun to voice their distinctive ‘boom’ from the reedbeds in the early dawn.  This included bittern spreading north into the most recently established reedbeds.  Elsewhere on the site a pair of cranes again showed interest in the reserve, with a thrilled member of the public filming their mating routine – a very rare sight indeed.

The RSPB continue to work closely with Hanson to create what will be a new car park and visitor entrance at the former Lockspits Farm Entrance off the B1050 between Earith and Willingham.  With planning permission in place and a contractor lined up, we hope to carry the work out in time for an opening in spring 2021, subject to the impact of the Covid-19 crisis.

Reserve staff are busy preparing the new cells for visitors and following on from the sowing of a grass-wildflower mix around the reedbed path routes, we have planted over 450 bare root trees.  Species included hawthorn, blackthorn, spindle, dog rose, guelder rose, alder buckthorn, goat willow, crab apple, bird cherry and hazel. We also planted an island with small trees in the hope that we might in future attract egrets to nest.