It's not a secret any longer. We welcomed John Craven and the Countryfile team here recently, filming the 2016 Country File calendar shots on the old heath. Ben Andrew, who works here in Wildlife Enquiries had been selected as one of the chosen images, and we now know that his hedgehog picture is on the front cover! Really big congratulations to Ben. The episode went out on Sunday 4 October, so you can watch it here.http://bbc.in/1LclfY1
Here are a few images taken of the day, with me gatecrashing at the end! Thanks to Sue Thacker for her help and for taking the pictures on the day.
We've been working for some time on getting a new set of signs to give The Lodge a more welcoming entrance, which has entailed two planning applications and several other hurdles to jump along the way, but we went home very happy on Monday as we erected the main ones at last! Hope you like the new look, but we have more to do through the whole of the driveway,shop area and reserve to make visiting an even better experience.
Image credits; Mark Brandon
Every year we get a few days where green sandpiper turns up at the hide- and sure enough one turned up yesterday and has been popping in at times today. I met a couple (Ian Watson and and Sam) who had just photographed it, so thanks to them for sending me this image of the bird.
Mistle thrush and jay numbers are building up, with over 20 mistle thrushes together in a flock, joined by few song thrushes on the new heath. We are now waiting for the first winter migrants, with redwing, fieldfare, brambling, siskin and redpoll hopefully all on there way here.
The fantastic fungi season continues, with many visitors armed with cameras and getting into some very strange positions to get the best shots. We have seen people picking them however, and we ask strongly that they are left for all to enjoy while they flourish in their short lives above ground!
Hope to see you soon and enjoy your autumn walks at The Lodge
Just packing up to go home and Peter Bradley, our Senior Site Manager spotted five ravens soaring directly over the Gatehouse. A great end to the working day! I haven't had any reports of the hobbies since one flew over The Lodge gardens on Sunday- so they may have started their long journey back to Africa now. We'll now enjoy the feast of fungi before the first autumn birds start to arrive.
Those of you who have visited The Lodge recently may have noticed that the construction of our medium sized wind turbine in Sandy Ridge field, just behind the Gatehouse, has picked up pace this month.
Rapid progress has been made over recent weeks, as the cabling trenches have been dug which will connect the turbine to the RSPB’s headquarters, The Lodge, and the Grid. Work on the foundations for the turbine has also begun. Today, concrete has been poured over a large circular metal structure which, when dry, will create a strong foundation for the turbine.
Concrete is poured to create a secure foundation for the turbine
The entire installation will take a total of 20 weeks and the turbine itself will be delivered and will be installed in up to five days during January 2016, weather permitting.
We continue to stay in close contact with local parish councils, and are working hard to ensure that we minimise impacts on visitors to The Lodge nature reserve and gardens, and neighbouring communities throughout the turbine construction process.
Once complete the turbine will measure 100m at its highest point and will generate over half of the RSPB’s electricity needs across all of its UK operations.
For more information about The Lodge wind turbine, or to get in touch with us about the project, please visit www.rspb.org.uk/lodgewindturbine