Over the past few months visitors to Sandwell Valley will have noticed all the groundwork being carried out around the reserve. I'm happy to say this work will be completed by the Whitsun Bank Holiday. The path to the hide (opening in mid-week soon) has been dramatically improved, not only is it wider but also the surface has been improved to make access easier. We've even smoothed out the exciting(?) hairpin bend.
Our new wildflower garden is also taking shape and our volunteers have been busily planting the first of the native plants with more to come in the next couple of weeks. I've assumed watering duties and have been kept very busy recently!
Although not in use at present the new car parking area next to the Visitor Centre is at last beginning to turn green. This isn't due to mould but is down to the grass seed finally growing through the re-cycled plastic grid. We're going to let it grow a bit more before we start parking on it.
So as the year advances the reserve has suddenly sprung to life with the trees in leaf, the birds singing and everyone enjoying what the site offers!
The opening of the Lakeside Hide every weekend has meant a return to the norm after our recent traumas. From 10.30am through to 3.30pm the hide is open to all visitors every Saturday and Sunday. We have established a rota system whereby a staff member and at least 2 volunteers are available to help with bird identification and general wildlife enquiries. In fact the hide seems to be a trove of information about all manner of items, most of which is nature related!!
Last weekend we witnessed the courting dance of a pair of great crested grebes within yards of the hide and to cap it all we welcomed our first lapwing chick of the year - baby and parents are said to be doing fine! What better way to spend some time sitting amongst like minded folk observing at close hand the wonders of nature.