Cooler temperatures have seen dwindling numbers of dragonflies with just the odd common darter still visible around the lakes and red admirals still about on the sunnier days. Lots of species of waders have continued to rise in number with dunlin, avocet and grey plover slowly building and developing their full winter plumage.
Country Stewardship Update
The work of grinding the stumps of felled trees was followed by the scraping of the thatch layer from the surface alongside the lakes and up to the gravel pit. This work will mean that areas dominated by bracken and rhododendron will now be more suitable for heathland restoration. Heather will be able to establish and we will seed some areas with heather cuttings to help it along. Whilst it does look rather bare at the moment, it will mean that over 6.6 hectares of heathland on the reserve will be created and protected for years to come.
Our work parties have been concentrating on gorse and scrub removal this month as well as re-laying paths, working on the Villa garden, making repairs to infrastructure and clearing leaves from the boardwalk. Volunteers also helped with birch thinning on St Andrew’s Hill which is being harvested and used to build fencing around the lake hide. The thinning work will provide more light for desirable species of tree such as rowan, oak, sweet chestnut and scots pine which in turn, will establish more squirrel food sources.