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Wetland and Water Voles

Tuesday, May 22nd 2018

There were two priorities for work with the volunteers at Foxglove today.  Having cut back the soft rush on the wetland last month, it has regrown rapidly so needed strimming again along the edges of the ponds, particularly the ones nearest to the hide.  This has also given us a chance to monitor how well wildlife has been doing here and it was great to see three Water Voles while doing this work.

Apart from keeping an eye out for Water Voles and nesting birds, the wetland flora is starting to develop and the Adder's Tongue Fern is now showing in several places.  These have been carefully avoided within the strimming regime as they also coincide with the first leaves of Common Spotted Orchids.

The work of the volunteers is an important part of managing the reserve.  We are in the process of updating the leaflets about Foxglove and the opportunities for volunteering here, so we took advantage of breaks in work to get photos of the volunteers to feature in the new leaflets.  Removal of an old section of boardwalk also provided a photo opportunity.

Work wasn't just confined to the wetland and another group have been busy on the heath.  Although the volunteers have worked their way across these areas removing growth of invading trees several times in the last few months, with many now having leaves on it shows how much is still left.  Willow, Birch, Hawthorn and Gorse saplings have all been pulled up with the aid of the tree poppers.  Again, the area was carefully checked for nesting birds with a solitary Common Frog being found.

Thirteen people have been out volunteering today, and they have made significant impacts on both habitats.  Their work is very much appreciated.

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