Merry Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year

Many thanks to all who have contributed to the nature reserve over the last twelve months. It may have been time, materials, bird seed or monetary donations. Any of these were very gratefully received and were very much appreciated.

I would like to particularly thank my very loyal volunteers John, Lynda, and Rob who have worked tirelessly over the year without complaint.

Special thanks to my wife Libby for her tolerancešŸ˜œ

Red Sighting

A very pleasant surprise today when I spotted our first red squirrel of the year, on the reserve, today.

It was a brief view as I had some school kids from Collingwood school with me. This also meant I did not have my camera with me so no pictures I’m afraid.

Good to know we still have some reds in the vicinity.

Storm Arwen – The Aftermath

Well that was a bit of a breeze wasn’t it!!

We have spent the last week clearing up after the big storm. The reserve was hit fairly badly from a tree damage point of view but we were lucky not to suffer any building damage. I always said that the hides could take a cruise missile strike thanks to Johns robust building methods and the storm seems to have proved me right. If they can withstand 100mph winds they should be able to cope with groups of school kids!

Here are a few pictures of the carnage:-

TREE-MENDOUS GIFT

Many thanks to Northumberland County Council for my free hedging pack and free tree pack. There were 60 hedging whips of Dog Rose, Hazel, Hornbeam and Hawthorn which I have used as hedging alongside the track up to Dunces Houses. There was also a 10 tree pack consisting of Wild Cherry, Rowan, and Silver Birch which will be planted to replace some of the Ash that we have lost to Ash die back.

Hide and Seek

Its that time of year when our Jays are constantly visiting the oak trees and collecting acorns for their winter stashes.

Each Jay can take and bury up to 3000 acorns ready to recover during the winter months.

Its been shown that they remember about 70-75% of the locations where they bury the acorns.

The Lone Ranger

Meet the latest member of the the Clarks Bog Team:-

Meet Polly the Polaris Ranger, an electric All Terrain Vehicle that I’m hoping will make things easier for an old man to move ‘stuff’ around the site. Not so many wheel barrowing trips I hope!

Many thanks to Kevin Davies of Davies Tractors who supplied the ATV, he went over and above. He negotiated a swap with Gateshead Council (thanks to them for cooperating) from the original grey bodywork to a camouflage pattern. Once the swap was agreed Kevin sorted out the swap.

A very friendly and helpful company daviestractors.com

Murder on the reserve

I unlocked one of the hides this morning only to find two dead bodies on the floor. Two rats had met a gruesome end, which was a puzzle as there was no sign of a perpetrator!

I considered calling in Vera but then the chief suspect showed himself in the window:-

Yes our Mink is still at large!

Nature reserve construction and development