Whilst out with our contractors on Aveley Marsh this week, some early morning and low sunshine has been lighting up the yellow meadow ant anthills rather nicely.


They make for a striking and unusual landscape. These ants tend to favour very old grasslands that have not been disturbed, so their presence in such great abundance here is testimony to how good these marshes are.

As well as working on our scrapes and ditches, we also use the time that our contractors are on site to create bee banks - small sandy cliffs on a south facing bank. Many insects such as solitary wasps, ivy bees and others, like exposed sand for burrowing into as part of their breeding cycle. Creating these areas only takes a few minutes with a digger in the hands of an experienced driver, and they make ideal burrowing places for our insects.

Many thanks to Ian the digger driver, and Pearls for undertaking all this work on the reserve again this year.

And keep an eye on Autumnwatch at the moment for some amazing wildlife spectacles, including some from the RSPBs' Old Moor reserve - @BBCSpringwatch and #Autumnwatch