Helping the Heathland

Tuesday, October 1st 2013

To ensure that the reserve remains a haven for Water Voles, a mink monitoring programme is conducted. Clay pads are hidden within wooden rafts at various places around the site. The inquisitive mammals would leave their footprints behind in the clay as they walked through the small tunnels if they were living in the area. With some of the rafts in need of repair, volunteers set to work fetching them in and fixing them. One of them had Otter spraint on the roof!

mink_raft-repair

New clay was expertly prepared by Ken who is a 'pie competition winner' and adept at mixing dough!

Mixing_clay

The team soon made the wooden structures as good as new and put them back out in the becks and ponds.

mink_rafts

Meanwhile, Adam cut a swathe of heather on the heathland to encourage new growth next summer. The seed heads were scattered on another area by laying out the cut stems. This will help the heather to spread and improve the habitat.

Heather

Volunteers continued with weeding out this patch and removing Gorse, Silver Birch and Hawthorn.

Weeding_out_heather

Pupils from the Dales school joined in and by lunchtime over thirty people were assisting with the task.

Volunteer_help

Thank you to everyone for contributing to the management of this valuable habitat. The associated wildlife such as Nightjar, Woodcock and even the tiny Heather ladybird will all benefit from this work.

There are some special events coming up including a macro photography course on Sunday 27th October and the Foxglove Christmas party on Wednesday 18th December, see the events page for booking details.


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