Mink Raft Maintenance

Tuesday, April 16th 2019

Volunteers carried out many varied tasks including repairing and replacing Mink rafts all around the reserve.

Bob worked away in the workshop to upgrade and improve some old rafts and to construct a few new ones.

These are a vital way to monitor for the presence of Mink on the reserve, a clay pad fitted inside means that any intruding animals will leave their tracks behind. Mink would wipe out the Water Vole population and so this is a way of keeping them safe. The cartridge inside the wooden tunnel is made up of a mixture of sharp sand and potters clay. It takes quite a bit of mixing and the best way is by hand!


There is no alternative with this task but to get stuck in! 


Once ready, the rafts were distributed to the relevant places (where water enters and leaves the site).

Mink Rafts

This involved going off the beaten track into non-intervention zones and wildflower banks.

Hazel bank

Primroses, Violets and Wood Anemone are flourishing on the Hazel bank above Risedale Beck.


Wood Anemone

Colin edged the lawns around the Field Centre!

After lunch the Exmoor ponies were encouraged onto a new patch of moorland (by staff and volunteers with hay and carrots) where there is more grass for them which they seemed happy about!

A polite reminder to visitors to close all moorland gates behind them.



(1) Comments:

Tony Crease responded on 16th Apr 2019 with...

I haven’t seen the Willow Warblers’ return mentioned yet!  As I walked around at lunchtime they were calling loudly - the first I have heard in Foxglove this year.  Just so reassuring to hear them back - and no doubt many will be returns from last year - after their long spring migration from south of the Sahara.  Fantastic to hear these little birds back in the reserve.


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