Work to create two exciting new wetland areas at RSPB Saltholme, the popular nature reserve in Teesside, will start on Tuesday 27 August. This is the third phase of a programme of improvements to enhance the experience for wildlife and visitors by refurbishing visitor infrastructure and creating new habitat.
The package of work that will start this month involves re-landscaping the main lake to create more islands for nesting spring migrants, such as common tern, and installing a new sluice.
Chris Francis, RSPB Saltholme’s Senior Site Manager, said: “This will allow staff to lower the water levels in the late summer to create a fantastic muddy area for wading birds, such as black-tailed godwit, who pass through the UK on their autumn migration. In the spring, we will raise the water level to create the islands on which the common terns will breed when they return from Africa.”
The second part of this major project is to create thirty new ponds designed to benefit dragonflies and damselflies. In addition to the pools there will also be the creation of new footpaths, installation of interpretation panels and brass rubbing points, and a magnificent new dragonfly life cycle sculpture.
Chris said: “We already have a huge number of dragonflies and damselflies on the reserve every summer. These pools will provide the ideal sites for these insects to lay their eggs. Once the eggs hatch, the dragonfly nymphs will spend years in the pond before emerging as adults and starting the cycle all over again and we cannot wait to share this new feature with our visitors.”
Teesside Environmental Trust have funded this work as part of their long-term commitment to creating an internationally important nature reserve on Teesside. The work will last for about six weeks and the site will remain open throughout the works.
Saltholme is open from 9.30am - 5.00pm from 1 April – 31 October and 9.30am - 4.00pm from 1 November – 31 March and is open every day apart from Christmas day.