Why are there no webcam links from Minsmere on the RSPB Minsmere web pages as their are for a number of other RSPB Reserves. It is the RSPB's most famous reserve and also a big tourist attraction. I would love to see pictures on the web from Minsmeres famous scrape and also the reedbeds. For example Leighton Moss has a webcam overlooking it's reedbeds and open water on its one of its pages on the RSPB Leighton Moss pages on the web. I cant ofter get to Minsmere as i live in North East England and i would love to see live pictures daily from Minsmere.
Thanks for your question. During the recent upgrade in our visitor facilities we did discuss providing a web cam, but ruled it out for the immediate future for various reasons.
We would like to have a camera at some point in the future, but need to identify the best methods and opportunities for doing so. Ideally, we like to show a relatviely guaranteed all year spectacle, rather than focussing on a single species for just a few months (e.g. a nest cam) or a wide view which doesn't change much (e.g. the reedbed). If we install a camera, we'd like to be able to show live pictures at all times. Nest cameras are only operational for a limited season, and rely on us being able to find nests - many of our star species are shy and easily disturbed.
There are logistical difficulties to overcome too. Many of the most suitable locations are some distance from the visitor centre. This means cameras would either need very long cables (not recommended, especailly in wetlands) or to use radio/satellite links. The latter is difficult as many parts of the reserve have very poor mobile phone reception.
We also decided during the upgrade to restrict the use of technology to an absolute minimum as a) we want visitors to experience real nature, b) technology that is broken is worse than not having it at all, and c) the best way to tell people how wonderful Minsmere is is by talking to them (face to face or virtually) and encouraging them to visit for themselves. We know not everyone can visit Minsmere as often they'd like, but we hope they are able to visit other places closer to home instead.
We are continuing to review our interpretation at Minsmere, so may install a camera in the future.
I hope this answers your question.
How about placing a cam pointing at the feeders then?
It's an option, but there are already plenty of webcams on feeders on other websites, so a camera on Minsmere's feeders would not add a special wow factor. We don't simply want to install a camera for the sake of having a webcam. It needs to say "this is Minsmere, come and see for yourself"
Put a little sign on top of one of the feeders then ;-)