• Easter 2020 - The Lodge & Fowlmere reserves remain closed

    With #Easter approaching, we would like to remind everyone that in line with clear instructions from the Government for us all to remain at home (apart from a limited number of allowed activities), the reserve remains closed to visitors until further notice and our events are postponed.

    It is with great sadness that we ask people to continue to refrain from visiting us, but we must play our part to help restrict the…

    • 9 Apr 2020
  • A prickly pea!

    Although the Lodge is closed now, at this time of year we would expect to see lots of gorse in flower on the reserve. It's a great plant, and if you were to look closely at the flowers you might realise that this very pricky plant is actually a member of the pea family! Anybody want to hazard a guess as to what the flowers smell of? - it's quite surprising, unless you know!

    Here’s a photo from earlier in the year…

    • 30 Mar 2020
  • Reserves closed, but plenty of old pictures to share!

    Although The Lodge and Fowlmere nature reserves are closed to visitors at the moment, we’ve got a stash of inspiring images of wildlife and views taken previously.
    What would you like to see us share? We would love you to send those you have taken on past visits too.

     
    For now, here is a spring scene taken shortly before The Lodge was closed (c) Peter Bradley, Senior Site Manager.

    • 30 Mar 2020
  • The Lodge reserve: a reminder of better weather ahead...

    However grey the skies (and they are grey today) there will be more beautiful days at The Lodge ahead - bluebells around 20 April, Hobbies circling the pink-blossomed heath in August, toadstools poking through the dead leaves on crisp Autumn days. 
    Here's a photo by Ray Piercy to remind you of what the woods will look in just 8 weeks time...

    • 28 Feb 2020
  • Galley Hill, The Lodge reserve - a magnet for birds of prey

    Thanks to Rob Gilmour for this excellent image of a barn owl quartering the new heath on Tuesday 25 Feb 2020.


    Yesterday was a great day for birds of prey on the 'new heath' and Galley Hill.
    As well this beautiful barn owl, there were red kite, kestrel, sparrow hawk and a 'kettle' of five buzzards ( 'kettle' being the term for when birds of prey circle overhead).
    Galley Hill, the ancient hillfort…

    • 26 Feb 2020
  • The Lodge reserve will be closed from 1pm Saturday 15 and Sunday 16 February 2020 due to forecast 50-60mph winds

    Following quickly in the footsteps of storm Ciara which blew over several trees on the reserve, we now have a forecast of more high winds as storm Dennis menaces us over this weekend too. The reserve and shop will close at 1pm Saturday 15 Feb and stay closed until the end of Sunday.

    The Lodge has a lot of woodland, and deadwood and veteran trees support a host of wildlife, so wherever it is safe to do so we keep them…

    • 14 Feb 2020
  • RSPB The Lodge is removing feeders and bird baths until 1 March 2020

    Sadly we have had reports of birds with signs of Avian Pox at the Lodge.

    Avian pox is a viral skin infection that produces warty growths all over the body of birds. These can grow quite big but affected birds can still feed and move around. They only die if the pox 'warts' grow over their eyes and mouths making it harder to survive. Most birds continue to fare well despite the growths. It is impossible to treat wild birds…

    • 6 Feb 2020
  • Signs of Spring at RSPB The Lodge, 5 February 2020

    Today Spring arrived - there are hazel catkins, flowering broom, and drifts of snowdrops.
    Lots of birds seem to be pairing (raven, red kite); song thrush, dunnock, coal / blue / great tit and robin all singing.

     

    Snowdrops and dunnock: Peter Bradley, RSPB

    • 5 Feb 2020
  • RSPB Race for Wildlife, The Lodge reserve, 2 Feb 2020

    A great day, some great people running - well done everyone!
    We look forward to seeing you again next year...

    Images: Shannon Shaw

    • 4 Feb 2020
  • Race for Wildlife - 02/02/2020 at RSPB The Lodge

    On Sunday 02/02/2020 we held our third ‘Race for Wildlife’ event at RSPB The Lodge. It’s an exciting 10km (twice around a 5km figure of eight) run around the Buzzard and Woodpecker trails. It was a great day, with lots of very happy (albeit tired) runners. Thanks especially to Biggleswade Athletic Club and our own RSPB staff and volunteers for the wonderful marshalling and organisation of the race.

    • 4 Feb 2020
  • Race for wildlife at The Lodge, Sunday 2 February 2020 from 9 am to approx. 12 noon

    The Lodge Reserve’s 3rd ‘Race for Wildlife’ is taking place throughout Sunday morning (02/02/2020!!), and runners will be using all car parks at the HQ end of the reserve. Visitors to the reserve will still be able to park at the Gatehouse as usual, but vehicle access along the drive will not be possible at the time the runners congregate and start, from 9:45 to 10:00, and we will have marshals at junctions along…

    • 31 Jan 2020
  • Early blooms at The Lodge garden

    Spring is unfolding in the gardens at The Lodge.   

    • 30 Jan 2020
  • Woodland make-over at The Lodge

    The woodland work for this winter (2019/20) is almost over, after only two weeks of felling.  For those of us managing the reserve this is a very exciting change; as I've posted previously it will greatly improve our woodlands for spotted flycatchers, lesser-spotted woodpeckers and other species.

    It may look messy for a while! The wardens and volunteers are now clearing up after the loggers, putting paths back in order…

    • 29 Jan 2020
  • Ravens at The Lodge, Jan 2020

    Our regular Tuesday walking group took a stroll around the woodpecker trail on Tuesday 28 Jan and saw a pair of ravens, calling and displaying where the pylon line runs down the slope. What with this and the lesser spotted woodpecker sighting the other week, this is a spot well worth checking out!
    It's about 5 years since ravens last bred at RSPB The Lodge, but this reserve played a key role in their re-establishment in…

    • 29 Jan 2020
  • Bare it all for bees and beetles!

    Every year we look to carry out some bare ground creation across our site and this year has been no different. Bare ground is an essential habitat for a host of invertebrates including beetles, spiders, solitary wasps and bees. These invertebrates often forage and make their homes by burrowing down into the exposed sandy soil, and these excavated burrows can be seen in abundance along the sandy trails across the reserve…

    • 29 Jan 2020
  • Its a three woodpecker day at The Lodge today... probably

    There were several woodpeckers calling and drumming along the aptly-named woodpecker trail (formerly the Sandy Ridge trail) at The Lodge this morning Friday 17 January. Green woodpecker 'yaffling', wrens, robins and coal tits singing, great spotted woodpeckers drumming, and... was it a lesser spotted woodpecker drumming too? 

    I was on the upper path near the woodpecker trail post No.2, above the group of oak and…

    • 17 Jan 2020
  • Carefully does it

    No-one likes to remove the top of an old tree. Wherever possible, and if safe to do so, we leave standing deadwood as it's a great place for wildlife.

    However, the very large Scot's pine on the path to the hide had just too many risk factors - too many rotten and broken bits to it - to leave it as it was.

    Following checks for bats by experts, the top sections were carefully removed by contractors today, above…

    • 13 Jan 2020
  • Sunny Friday lunchtime - 10 January 2010

    The new feeders at the visitor information have been great for close views of nuthatches.

    Today's reserve list included: red kite, woodcock, fieldfare and mistle thrush around the wind turbine field, green woodpecker, goldfinches.

    Over the last few days we have done a lot of bare ground works, including a new path loop by the natural play area (opening later in the year), and bare sandy patches scraped to provide homes…

    • 10 Jan 2020
  • Work to benefit woodland species, January 2020

    In the week commencing 13 January 2020 our woodland works start in earnest: This will improve the woods for spotted flycatchers, lesser-spotted woodpeckers and other species.

    Much of the work will be at the southern end of the reserve, below the HQ gardens, and from time to time it may be necessary to close parts of the trail network for safety. As well as the obvious risks from felling, there will be large vehicles taking…

    • 9 Jan 2020
  • Sightings at The Lodge 09/01/2020

    9 January 2020:

    Recently there have been lots of woodcock sightings, including a group of nine flying on the reserve at dusk.

    Ravens, red kite, buzzard have all been seen frequently.

    Over on the RSPB’s farmland north of the gatehouse three pairs of stonechat were seen Tuesday 7 January – this bodes well for them breeding on the new heath again in 2020.

    Feeders are now being put back up following an issue with…

    • 9 Jan 2020
  • Pony grazing coming to a heathland near you next spring!

    With Christmas quickly approaching it has been all go here at The Lodge and we just wanted to give you all an update on the ongoing work around the reserve. We will do this by uploading several blogs over the next few weeks each focused on an area of habitat management, with our first focusing on our plans for future grazing of the New heath.

    Grazing on the New Heath

    We are very excited at the prospect of welcoming 4…

    • 19 Dec 2019
  • Mark's last day

    Message from Mark at The Lodge

    Hi everyone,

    I've been writing the posts for The Lodge for many years, but this is my last one as I retire on Friday!

    Rebecca Shaw is the new Visitor Experience Manager at The Lodge, and Rebecca will be writing posts in the future to let you know all that's happenening and the latest news on the wildlife and birds that have been seen on the reserve.
    Welcome to Rebecca!

    I've really…

    • 30 Aug 2019
  • Emerald - green damselfly - first time at The Lodge

    A new species for The Lodge has been seen here today.

    Two pairs of willow emerald damselflies have been spotted on the pools beneath the hillfort, on the Buzzard trail by RSPB staff. Will George was one of the finders and he took this image at another site.

    It's quite difficult to add a new species to the long list of creatures already seen here over the last 50+ years, so a great find!

    • 23 Aug 2019
  • The Pantaloons on Sunday

    Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility    2pm and 7pm.

    The Pantaloons 2019 Outdoor theatre shows

    Sunday 25 August 2019 – Sense and Sensibility

    Two performances at 2.0 pm and 7.0 pm

    Elinor Dashwood has a lot of good Sense.

    Her sister Marianne Dashwood has an excess of Sensibility.

    Together they make a snappy title for Jane Austen’s classic novel of scandals, scoundrels and severely sprained ankles.

    This funny…

    • 20 Aug 2019
  • Monday reports

    As the new week starts and we head towards the end of August and the summer hols, at least three of the hobby family have been busy around the heath and the hillfort this morning, and the increasing sightings of raven continued with a pair also flying over the hillfort area.

    I'm still amazed at the amount of young blue tits around this year, the feeders are non-stop with them and I had a group of 20 in my garden over…

    • 19 Aug 2019