Image Credit: Josh Swales

It’s been, for want of a better phrase, an interesting week at Saltholme. Beautiful sunsets and frosty mornings have been interspersed with howling gales, snow, and everything in between! Storm Arwen even shut the reserve on Saturday. But we battled on through, and here’s what we’ve been up to…

News from the Estate:

Image Credit: Ed Pritchard

This week, the team were meant to be clearing vegetation from the front of the Wildlife Watchpoint hide. But, storm Arwen happened. Unfortunately, there was quite a lot of clearing up to do over the weekend; a large tree needed clearing from the one-way system leading away from the car park, fences needed repairing and various hides needed minor repairs too.

The estates team have been working absolutely flat-out to get the reserve back up and running. So, next time you visit and see them out and about, give them a round of applause!

What’s On:

Our Eco and Artisan Christmas Fair was a success despite the weather trying its best to disrupt the event. 

Despite all odds, our eco fair went ahead on 27 and 28 November. Seven stallholders battled their way through the wind and rain/sleet/hail/snow (yes, we had all four in the space of about 2 hours) to make the event one to remember. Visitors to the centre enjoyed the wide range of products as well as the chance to browse our own shop and café.

Our Christmas wreath was created by Nicola, who is part of our staff team. 

With the beginning of advent, we decided 1 December was the ideal opportunity to announce the name of our Saltholme Deer (part of our Christmas wreath). Meet Deerdre!

Names were suggested by members of the general public, via our Facebook page. The name with the most ‘likes’ (again contributed by the public) was considered the most popular, and therefore the ideal name. We had so many great name suggestions; Salty, Little Theo, Oh, Noel, and so many more! We’re really grateful for everyone who got involved.

And the fun doesn’t stop there! We are currently preparing the reserve for the arrival of a very special guest; Santa visits Saltholme tomorrow! He must have heard that the optics event is also happening this weekend, so the adults as well as the children will have the opportunity to pass on their Christmas lists.

Sightings:

Our ability to spot interesting birds has also been affected by the weather this week. Turns out birds don’t really like flying in 80-90 mile per hour winds…

But, the fieldfare are definitely here to stay for the festive season. They’ve been making the most of the berries on the bushes surrounding the main lake. Stonechat have also been seen along the central meadow. On Thursday, a lesser redpoll was spotted amongst the greenfinches and goldfinches on one of our feeders! 

If you would like a more complete round-up of recent sightings, one of our volunteers- Ian Robinson- has filmed and edited a short video that you can watch here.  If you fancy a ‘slow TV’ moment, he has also recorded the most amazing video of the moon rising, which you can watch here

So, all in all, it's been a busy but rewarding week at Saltholme for staff, volunteers and visitors. Hopefully the high winds will stay away for the time being! 

Anonymous