Wetland wildlife at RSPB Blacktoft Sands near Goole in East Riding received a significant boost this year, thanks to a grant of more than £20k from Viridor Credits Environmental Company through the Landfill Communities Fund.
This funding has enabled the team at the RSPB reserve to carry out a range of habitat work to improve food supplies for wetland birds and the other creatures that live in this watery landscape, such as the rare bittern, marsh harriers, toads and water voles.
The creation of new pools and ditches, combined with reed bed cutting and grazing with cows and konik ponies, has provided new habitat for the fish and insects that wetland birds need to survive.
Water from the Humber Estuary is now moving more efficiently across the whole reserve, bringing with it much needed food supplies for wintering wildlife. The newly created pools filled up during the September 2018 spring high tides and are already attracting feeding wading birds including snipe and redshank, as well as wildfowl such as teal. Konik ponies are grazing and trampling around these pools, making them easier for birds to feed from.
Mike Pilsworth, RSPB Humber Sites Manager, said: “The wetland habitats created by this project are already providing extra feeding areas for wildfowl and wading birds and will play an important role for birds using not just RSPB Blacktoft Sands but also across the wider landscape of the Humber Estuary. I’m looking forward to see our important breeding birds such as bitterns, marsh harriers and bearded tits using these areas next spring.“
Gareth Williams, Operations Manager at Viridor Credits, said: “we are proud to support RSPB in ensuring our winter visitors have a warm welcome to our shores. The project will also benefit our indigenous wildlife, providing essential habitat for them to thrive.”