We are now around half way into the restoration and things appear to be going to plan, with some wonderful results, such as this lovely looking ditch.
Many of the new ditches were awash with dragonflies this morning, several dozen in sight at any one time, many egg laying, either singly or in pairs, whilst others were still involved in the chase!
Wherever we can we try, not only to enhance the site for our wildlife, but also for our visitors, and, opposite the Buddleia Loop view point we have already opened up one ditch mouth so people can see into it and, today, we opened up a second, which will give views in toward one of the key bittern roosting sites on the reserve and, over a few hours today, this….
Work has also started on upgrading our paths. Our aim to get them all up to a standard so that they are passable across all seasons and in all weathers. Some parts of our paths are a bit difficult in wet weather, or if you are pushing a pram or in a wheelchair, so, as a first step, we are re-surfacing the paths running from the visitor centre around the Buddleia Loop, nearly 1.5 km in total, putting in a smooth, flat surface, that does not get filled with mud and rain. This does mean that parts of the path, especially around the Buddleia Loop, will need to be closed for a few days, just to make sure that people and diggers don’t get too close to each other. The work, in total, shouldn’t last for more than around three weeks (weather permitting) so please bear with us whilst we make these important changes but, if you have any questions, please do give our visitor centre a call (01305 778313). To whet your appetite here is a picture of the work in progress, you can see the start of removing the old path surface and, within a week or so, we should be installing the new surface.
Yesterday we hear of a report of a stork that flew over the reserve. This is a very rare bird in Weymouth so we were keen to see any photos of the bird. To our delight we received this picture this morning and it clearly shows a White Stork!
It flew over the reserve at about midday on Saturday so its amazing that nobody else noticed it flying over the reserve, especially as it flew right over the North Hide! Presumably the same bird was seen at Langton Herring yesterday morning but its now disappeared.
thanks to Danny Dench for sending us the pictures.
Three week into the restoration and work has started on the larger reedbed to the north of north hide. This area was lowered a few years ago to create open water and reed fringed pools and since then the reedmace/bulrush (depending in what you call them - the plant that has the large cigar shaped 'flowers' - picture to follow) has taken over and there is no open water left. This area was, when there was water, a favoured roosting site for our wintering bittern and, being just to the side of north hide, gave great opportunities to see this wonderfully evocative, but hard to see reedbed specialist. So, we have re-created pools in the middle of the area and have started to re-create the ditch around the outside, re-connecting old ditches, improving water flow and fish movement and so, we hope, making it a desirable location for bittern to breed (fingers crossed for next year).
Before the start of the works the ‘ditch’ looked like this....
And, a few hours in it looked like this.....
We are working on the wider ditches over the next couple of days, so more by the end of the week