Beware mr and mrs rat

Having just posted about my rat problem, I was pleased to see I may have a natural solution to control the numbers!

This little chap was running around me today, stoatally cute and a rat killer.

Lets hope she or he has a liking to the odd rat or two.

you Dirty rat

Well I spent most of the day repairing the damage done by my colony of rats. Some have taken a liking to Deer View Hide and have taken up residence in the walls!

One of the culprits caught looking guilty

many thanks and Merry christmas

Many thanks to all my willing volunteers, without who we would never have made the progress we have this year. Especial thanks to John, Rob, and Lynda who come along rain or shine to help me out, it is very much appreciated.

Thanks also to The Collingwood Foundation, for obtaining a grant from the Nineveh Charitable Trust, which has paid for the large pond dig.

Thanks to David Dungait and his family for their support and allowing me to play with his land!

Thanks also to Collingwood School and Media Arts College for their support and sending their students help and hopefully enjoy their regular visits too the reserve.

Big thanks to the various visitors to the reserve and the donations made.

Sadly we lost one of my volunteers this year, John Proudlock passed away in November. He lost a year long battle with pancreatic cancer which he fought bravely and with good humour. He was a thoroughly nice guy who will be sadly missed and my thoughts are with his wife Joan and the rest of the family.

I look forward to a ‘more normal’ summer 2021 I hope, probably not before unfortunately.

Last but not least thanks to my wife Libby for her help and tolerance!!

A very Merry Christmas and a happy new year to one and all.

The big pond project commences

The big dig started on Thursday. I have employed RBB contractors to dig our large pond.

Darren ‘the digger man’ arrived with his 15 tonne excavator to start the project.

Ross ‘the boss’ does a bit of tree trimming to allow the digger onto the reserve.
Darren making his way into the reed bed.
First job to flatten the reeds and make a carpet for the digger to move around
Crack on with the digging.
View from the island

So a good start but plenty more digging to do over the next week.

It’s amazing that a 15 ton excavator and 12 ton dumper truck are able to operate in such boggy conditions but they can!

Dumper in action
Dumper departing

Eventually the bog won and we had to say goodbye to the dumper, having sank and been dug out twice, we didn’t want to push our luck for a third time.

Before
After

Quite a change!

All done in 4 days! Many thanks to Ross Blackburn owner of RBB Group who dug the pond, to Chris and especially Darren ( the digger man), and our dumper expert Tom.

Fungi Finder

There are lots of fungi out at the moment, unfortunately I’m no expert. So I thought I’d post my collection of pictures and if anyone can help me identify them I would be most grateful!

Puffball?

Sammy the Bog Mascot

Meet Sammy the wood pigeon.

Young Sammy a few days old

Sammy was blown out of his nest when just a few days old. Normally I would leave nature to take its course but having left Sammy by his nest for 8 hours and no parents had come to see I made the decision to try and raise him myself.

Sammy after a week

Thanks to google Sammy was happy with crushed bird seed and water, which Libby and I fed him 3-4 times a day.

Loves an ear nibble
Starting to lose his feather fluff after 3 weeks
Sammy loves to wave at you

Now fending for himself
Quite the smart little pigeon now

Well Sammy is now over 6 weeks old and seems fit and healthy. He follows me around the reserve and happily greets visitors when they come onto the reserve ( usually by landing on their heads! So be warned if you don’t like pigeons!!)

Nature reserve construction and development