All posts by petesbogblog

Boxing Clever

We now have our first Barn Owl box on a post, located at the wet meadow in the eastern end of the reserve.

Hopefully this well appointed ‘des res’ will meet the requirements of our feathered friends!

As it nearly killed my wife Libby when we tried to lift it onto the post (its very heavy), I hope something does use it!

The white object on the front of the box is a solar powered camera, which will be relocated, in case the owls are camera shy!

That sinking feeling

We do have a slightly worrying development at the large pond, which is causing a bit of concern. A significant hole/sink hole has appeared at the side of the pond, appearing on Monday.


The post in the ground is showing the hole is about 3 feet deep, there is a patch of ground approximately 10 feet by 10 feet around the post that has dropped at least 3 feet.


Our theory is that it is ground above the large drainage pipe that runs under the reserve, carrying runoff from Coopies lane Industrial Estate, that has been undermined and collapsed. We will be doing some exploratory excavations next week to see what we can find. Until then my pond is trickling into the hole!!!

Mummy Deer

I thought you may like a little update on our resident Roe Deer. As you can see above she looks fit and healthy, image taken today. She was with her youngster who also looks very fit and healthy.

As you may know he is a buck and you can see his newly forming antler buds on the top of his head.

I also had a visit from another Roe Deer family today which consisted of a doe, a buck, and a young doe. Unfortunately I didn’t get a picture to show you.

The Icing on the Lake

It has certainly been a chilly few days and as a consequence almost all our Mallards have flown, probably down to the Wansbeck. Our two swans have decided to sit it out.

Even our Water Rail has taken shelter from the snow and ice

This little Robin has met me every morning, during the cold snap, to get his breakfast.

Prancing on Ice

Our young Roe Deer has obviously not been watching the news recently as he ventured out onto one of our frozen ponds. The inevitable happened and he went through the ice with mother watching on nervously. Fortunately the pond he chose to wander on is only a foot deep, so he managed to get himself out of trouble.

Pipe Deams

I can’t resist a vole in a pipe, so I installed a couple of old clay field drain pipes in my dry stone wall in front of the Dunces Corner Hide.

My little voles have not disappointed and seem to enjoy using the pipes.

Natural History Society of Northumbria talk.

I was very kindly asked to give a talk to the NHSN on the Clarks Bog project. I did this on Monday evening and I would like to thank Chris Redfern and NHSN Director Clare Freeman for making me feel so welcome on the night.

They filmed the talk and anyone who is interested can view the talk on You Tube, you just need to go onto You Tube and search for ‘NHSN talks’. Even if you don’t want to listen to me drone on they do have other very interesting talks you can listen to or use the link below

Skill Mill

Thanks to my pal Andy Peaden for facilitating a meeting between myself and a company called Skill Mill.

Skill Mill is a social enterprise which employs young ex-offenders, working on environmental projects across the UK.

This week we have hosted Skill Mill who have been helping with a couple of projects on site. They have been helping with our winter program of pond maintenance and also construction of a second island on Dunces Corner Pond. Today we built a temporary jetty to enable materials to be taken out into the pond.

I’m very grateful for the help of Jonathan, Josh, Leon, and David who have done a great job this week.