help at hand

IMMI workforce

Many thanks to the IMMI group of workers who turned up today to help out on the reserve. Thanks to John and Michelle for organising the visit.

The guys and gals worked hard on our Sand Martin nesting bank.

planning approval

Glad to announce we received our planning approval part two. In the original planning approval there was a condition that every 3 years I had to apply for re-approval of the classroom facility. This was there to make sure if I popped my clogs the classroom wouldn’t be left to rot as a blot on the landscape! However, what I did not appreciate was that this would involve a full planning application with a £500 bill attached every 3 years. I was not impressed when I learned this, as it seemed a little harsh for our small community project.

To be fair to the Morpeth Planning Department they were willing to be flexible when I approached them with an alternative solution. So now I have agreed that should the land cease to be a nature reserve it is a requirement that I remove the classroom. This seems a pragmatic solution that will not cost the reserve £500 every 3 years, phew!

I also tagged on our wooden hides in this application to replace the original approval for straw bale hides. The straw bale hides just turned into ideal home for our rat and rodent population, not ideal for school kids to visit!

Deer View Hide
Dunces corner Hide

busy on the bog

Its been our busiest week on the reserve with regard to bodies on the bog.

We have had 50+ visitors from Abbeyfields School, pupils and teachers, I gave a little talk on pollination. We then had a little tour showing them examples of pollination in action.

Hardly Picasso but my best effort!

Then we had 20+ Collingwood School pupils and teachers in three classes.

We had 15+ 4th Morpeth cubs on site for a tour then they helped with some landscaping of my Sand Martin nesting bank.

We had our local Moth Survey group in doing a study, so I think we are now just over the 80 different species found so far on site.

With several walk in visitors its been quite a week.

Time for a stiff G&T and maybe watch a relaxing Euro cup final!!!


We have finally got around to replacing the rickety pallet walkways to the classroom and Deer View hide.

The main aim was to make them more wheelchair friendly and also increase the longevity, with the pallet boardwalks only lasting 2-3 years.

John Bell did most of the hard work with a little help from me but he’s made a fine job of them.

Before improvement
In progress
Finished article
John in action
Finished article

We’ve only had one wheelchair user in so far but there were no complaints, so hopefully we have made progress.

chick pics

Below is a selection of the latest youngsters born on site in the last couple of weeks. We have a second brood of both Moorhen and Mallards as well as a sole surviving Little Grebe chick and a sole surviving chick from our hybrid pheasant.

2 days old
4 + 8 mums done well this year
2nd brood Moorhen chick
3 of 4 2nd brood
Sole surviving hybrid chick
Sole surviving Little Grebe chick

not twins but triplets

Our little Doe has fooled me again, last year I was fooled into thinking she only had a single fawn. This year it would appear she has fooled me into thinking she had twins when in fact it looks like she had triplets!

Now it could be it was a rogue fawn that just tagged onto the mother with twins and the little one was fooled into thinking it was its mum but I think the mum would have chased it off. She did not do this which makes me think they are genuine triplets. Happy Days!

exotic mum produces

Our ‘Hybrid Pheasant’ mum has produced a number (between 8-12) of exotic looking chicks.

I’m interested to see how these develop, thats if they can avoid the many predators waiting to have a snack!!

Nature reserve construction and development