I hope you are all managing okay during Lockdown 3.0 and even if you can’t visit us you are still able to connect with nature in some way. If you need a sense of normality, the Big Garden Birdwatch is fast approaching (29 - 31 January) and the best bit, you don’t even need a garden to participate.

To find out more about how to take part, and to register, please visit: https://www.rspb.org.uk/get-involved/activities/birdwatch

What have the wardening team been up to over the past week?

Scrub Clearance

Ryan and I have been clearing willow scrub in the reedbed. The focus was to clear some willow scrub that was encroaching along one of the tracks within the reedbed that will inhibit machine access as part of the Freshwater Habitats Project. Whilst we had the chainsaws out, we took the opportunity to push back some encroaching willow on the fen meadow to ensure this area remains open to the sunlight to maintain the floral diversity within this part of the reserve.

Willow Faggots

In amongst our reserve structural checks we had noticed that erosion was occurring to the western bank of the Volunteer Marsh, where the footpath is, caused by wave erosion as the tide comes in. We have been monitoring the erosion for several years and whilst the erosion rate is slow, we don’t want it to get any worse and risk damage to the path. Therefore, with the brash that we had produced from the scrub clearance we set about creating and installing willow faggots to form a more natural approach to reducing erosion. When erosion does occur, the material is trapped within the faggots and this build up stabilises the banks.

Property Maintenance

The team are responsible for a cottage in the village of Titchwell where our residential volunteers live. On Wednesday we spent some time there clearing gutters, drains, moss removal from a roof and removing vegetation from around the building. However, one of the drains was blocked and so we ended up having to call in the professionals to clear them out.

Working from home

With torrential rain all day Thursday we opted for a working from home day. This gave Ryan an opportunity to do some self-learning to build up his knowledge on reserve management as he looks to progress his career. Whilst I spent the day working on the tendering process for the freshwater habitats project and catching up with various admin tasks that I needed to complete.

Odd jobs

In amongst the above work we have been tinkering with water levels, checking the reserve camera traps that we have scattered about the reserve at the moment, removing tree guards, machinery maintenance and counting pink-footed geese.

Thanks for reading