We have an amazing team of volunteers here at Langford and Beckingham, performing a wide variety of roles from practical habitat management, estate maintenance and wildlife surveying to welcoming visitors onto site and volunteer wardening. In fact we have a team of over 60 and we couldn't operate without them!
So every year, we like to thank our volunteers with a variety of events and last week we had a sunset barbecue at the Beach Hut. Organised by our amazing Anna, we gathered at the Beach Hut for drinks and nibbles, before a guided walk around Phase 1 by our Site Manager, Joe. Gail and Chloe once again proved their BBQ'ing prowess by cooking the burgers and sausages perfectly and just in time for the groups return. Delicious food and a great atmosphere followed as the sun set over Langford.
And Anna couldn't have named the event more appropriately considering the beautiful evening we had - take a look below for the glorious sunset that we were treated to at the end of the evening!
Thanks again to all our volunteers - you guys are brilliant!
Langford is an amazing place! Photo - Anna Heathcote
What? I hear you ask....well it stands for North Midlands One Team Jamboree(!) and is our great little initiative to get everyone in the north of the Midlands region together and working for nature. The idea is courtesy of our Area Manager, Michael Copleston and after two brilliant days out at Budby and Coombes, it was Langford's turn to host the event in August!
So on a very sunny and scorching day, we welcomed staff and volunteers from Budby and Coombes Valley for a day's reed planting out on Phase 2. After tea and biscuits in the office, we made our way to the polytunnel, where the reed growing process was explained. We grow all our own reed here at Langford - around 30,000 of them a year and the polytunnel is where all the magic happens, thanks to our dedicated volunteers. After the polytunnel demo, we headed off to Phase 2 for a morning's planting. The selected island on Phase 2 has suffered from goose grazing in recent years, with no reed present and so we really appreciated the help of the 25 attendees to get the island covered in the stuff! A massive effort throughout the morning saw around 3000 reeds planted over about half the island area - amazing! Just as well then that we had plenty of ice cream and home made rocky road and flapjack (thanks Gail!) to supplement our sandwiches at lunchtime!
After lunch, I led a guided walk around site for those that hadn't been before - a great opportunity to showcase all the work going on at Langford and of course we were treated to some great wildlife, with greenshank, hobby and emerald damselfly providing the highlights.
A further 500 reeds planted in the afternoon provided a total of 3500 for the day, fenced off with around 500m of fencing to keep off the hungry geese!
What an amazing day we had - such a great effort, brilliant team and a massive thanks to everyone who came!
Hard at work!
Planted reed ready to go.
And just part of the vision for the area!
July is the first month of the WeBS year, with autumn passage starting, it also won't be long before we are welcoming our first winter visitors back onto site. Conducted by Stuart and Julie, here are July's results....
63 tufted duck
48 mute swan
105 graylag goose
37 Canada goose
21 little egret
8 grey heron
8 great crested grebe
5 green sandpiper
21 black-headed gull
2 lesser black-backed gull
12 common tern
Greenshank - some of the first waders through on passage in July. Chris Gomersall (rspb-images.com)