The cattle are back - 38 juvenille deliquents to be exact! This year we have worked with our neighbouring cattle farmers, The Bathers, to return cattle to IMF2. We are hoping to work closely with them and encourage the farming of more native breeds in the future. At the moment you will notice they are all continental breeds - but they are certainly doing the job for us by munching willow and rush and opening up the vegetation ready for lapwing next spring. They may not be as tough as the longhorns but by grazing at higher densities in summer and autumn the same result will be obtained within the habitat. We are also hoping that by working closely with our nighbours this will encourage good will and spread the word about conservation :-)
You will also see men in white suits about over the next couple of months- fear not! They are going to be spraying rush and vegetation below Burton Point and around the border pool and pool 2. The rush is being controlled as previously mentioned and the spraying should open the habitat for breeding birdss, and open up the pool edges creating more mud for feeding waders.
There are also plans to start (and finish) the creation of a sandmartin bank at Burton Mere so there will be some diggers and sandstone wallers on site creating that. Can't wait for next spring as there will be a camera to watch (hopefully) a nest!
I am off on holiday tomorrow so I hope you enjoy the new reserve once opened, see you in three weeks