Seeing the results of work over the Winter

Friday, April 20th 2018

Now that we've had a couple of days of warm, sunny weather, there are more opportunities to see how the work shown in these blogs over the last few months is having an effect.  While much of today's work has been in keeping bird feeders and hoppers filled, and in making sure that the Field Centre is clean and tidy for the weekend, there have been chances to stop and look at how well the reserve is looking.

While the slopes facing the sun above Risedale Beck are now awash with Primroses, the area of Hazel that was coppiced back in December is also coming alive with the colour of both Primroses and Wood Anemones.  In some cases, it's difficult to spot the latter as they are developing later in among the Primroses.  It will be interesting to see how well the ground flora develops here now that more light can get to the woodland floor.

The Wetland is also looking very attractive and apart from the Greylag Geese and the Mallards, Snipe were seen there this afternoon.  Although the toads here have been mating later than their counterparts in the Scrapes and Risedale Beck, it was a surprise to find fresh Frog spawn in one of the ponds.  The combination of grazing by Lark and Taurus, strimming the Juncus reeds, clearance of vegetation by volunteers to bring many of the ponds back to having open water, and re-profiling of some of the ponds by Willie Metcalfe, has made this a much more open habitat. 

Having said that, we also have to be careful here not to damage the original system of ponds and clearing vegetation from the one in the foreground of the picture above would cause damage to rare species.

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