A year in brief

25 Oct


The last year has gone fast and has been a very successful for the reserve. The dry weather earlier in the year delayed the new seeds and plug plants on the Peelers Way side of the site, but all have grown fine with a little rain. All the usual plants flowered well, plants like the cuckoo flower, ragged robin, cowslips, knapweed, birds foot trefoil, fleabane, fringed water lily, toadflax and flowering rush. Although we still have many areas across the reserve that we’d like to develop and over the next month or two we will be improving one of our hedgerows, these we work on rota. We’ll cut and infill any spaces and underplant, making it stronger and a move varied habitat.

The black headed gulls that nest on tern island have not done as well this year with around 30 pairs compared with 60 plus in previous years, we’re unsure as to why but will monitor next year. Other birds on site and visitors include heron, little egret, great egret, green and great spotted woodpecker and kingfisher. Some other visitors to join us include the goosanda, teal, shovellor and a fleeting visit from 7 Egyptian geese.

Small mammals (voles, shrews, mice) have been in abundance this has helped with the barn owls and feeding their chicks. We also had tawny owls, kestrels and sparrowhawk.

Butterflies have been slightly down but dragonflies have been good with 9 species counted on the bioblitz day.

One thing the bioblitz highlighted was that the ponds we introduced plants to to increase the verity held much more pond life, so next year we’ll be planting up the other ponds in the hope that they will develop the same.

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We have an amazing bees nest in a wooded area, on a windy day the rotten tree the nest is inside fell apart exposing the nest. We’re concerned about the nest now winter is approaching and unsure of how to help, we are making a box site very close to the nest so if they decide to move they might take up residence in this, its worth a try. Any ideas welcomed.

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In the coming year we’ll be continuing with all our projects hopefully improving our reserve for our lovely wildlife with the ever growing Tameside volunteers who should be very proud of their achievements.

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