With all this rain it's causing quite a lot of havoc around the country... including on RSPB reserves!
Over at one of our sister RSPB sites Radipole Lake (in central Weymouth in Dorset) is suffering with flooding problems.I wanted to share with you a post from Michael Wilson's post on Arne's blog:
Here is the story of how the reserve plans to get back on their feet as soon as possible and information about how you can help.
Good luck to everyone at the reserve and we look forward to seeing everything up and running as soon as possible!
“We’ll be back in business for the Games!”
Just a week after serious flooding, staff and volunteers at the RSPB’s reserves in Weymouth have pledged to be open and ready for visitors in time for the Games at the end of the month.
Last weekend saw floodwaters bring disaster for the RSPB’s popular nature reserves in the heart of Weymouth. Within hours the reserves’ wildlife was hit. Countless birds’ nests were destroyed, including those of the rare marsh harrier. By early morning the reserves, including the recently refurbished Wild Weymouth Discovery Centre and trails were under a metre of water.
Rob Farrington speaking for the RSPB in Dorset said; “The team locally had never seen anything like this. With a high tide meeting a deluge the water had nowhere to go but up and within a relatively short space of time we’d suffered significant losses.”
“We did what we could for the wildlife. The common tern colony over at Lodmoor was saved thanks to the provision of floating inflatable mattresses that gave the young terms a safe roost – an example of some remarkably quick thinking! But there was nothing we could do for other wildlife out on the reserve. And there was nothing we could do for the recently re-opened discovery centre as we watched months of hard work disappear - cameras, displays and much of the café equipment has been damaged beyond repair.”
Despite the losses however, the wildlife charity is determined to get back on its feet as quickly as possible.
Mr. Farrington said; “The reserve is going to be ready to welcome thousands of new visitors during the Olympics.
“We’ve already removed all the flood-damaged materials from the Discovery Centre, and contractors are coming in to remove plaster, walls and fittings. With luck and hard work, we’ll re-open the Centre in time, although it will be rather basic. We’re even hoping to put up temporary displays, including the story of the flood!”
To help fund the recovery the RSPB has launched an online appeal.
Mr. Farrington; “It’s difficult to give a precise figure for how much this will all cost. Some may be covered by insurance, but an awful lot won’t. We’ll need to start almost from scratch with the Discovery Centre. Out on the reserve we don’t know fully yet the damage to the paths, the boardwalks, the kingfisher and sand martin banks and the hides. And of course, there’s the time this is all going to take.
“Our first estimates put the costs of the damage and repairs at around £100,000, but this is likely to rise. So, if people would like to help we’d be pleased to receive donations.
“And many thanks must go to those who have shown their support already through calls and online messages, we’re really grateful and it’s heartening to see the local community rallying ‘round. And, thank you to everyone who’s offered to volunteer and lend equipment. This is now all in hand, but we will of course shout if we need anything more!”
To give to the RSPB Flood Appeal visit http://www.justgiving.com/rspbfloodfund
If people are planning a visit to the reserve, some paths are open, and the RSPB is on site. For full details contact the reserve office on 01305 773519.
There is some more information about what happened and how the team managed to help the terns on the Weymouth Wetlands blog - here.