It is safe to say that, so far, we have been incredibly lucky with the weather this autumn! Apart from the odd rainy day, most have been dry and balmy. We have been blessed with bright, sunny days for every work party at Lyndon this month, perfect weather for spending all day outdoors undertaking practical conservation tasks. Yesterday, the team were out once again, clearing an area of Willow near the shore of the reservoir, and cutting and raking the meadow in front of the Lyndon Centre.
The meadows at Lyndon are all cut at the end of the summer, after the flowers have set their seeds, so that the dead vegetation does not enrich the soil with too many nutrients. This would encourage the growth of fast-growing, competitive species such as nettles, docks and thistles, which take over the area and crowd out other species. Managing the meadows as we do means the conditions are such that a number of flowers can flourish, and the meadows remain species-rich and diverse.
Over the past two weeks, the work party team worked hard to pull out the over-dominant reeds in front of Waderscrape hide. The channels were choked with vegetation, and had we not intervened, the reeds would have taken over the entire area and dried up the scrape. Now, thanks to the honest toil of our team, the scrape and channels in front of the hide are clear.
Our efforts were clearly worthwhile, as the wildlife is loving it! Volunteer Martin Lusty, Osprey monitor and member of the Monday work party crew, was in Waderscrape hide recently, and was treated to a superb view of a Water Rail! Water Rails are notoriously elusive and very secretive, but Martin’s patience paid off, and the bird revealed itself and inched slowly closer. Many thanks to Martin for letting us share his brilliant photographs!