Tom’s Ponds at Bank Island

In memory of YOC stalwart Tom Lawson who died in July 2022, his estate along with YOC, The Friends of the Lower Derwent Valley and Natural England put together funding to improve the scrapes in front of the first (William Wilkinson) hide at Bank Island.

The work was completed in the autumn of 2023 and the funding was used to improve, refresh and extend the scrapes. The aim was to increase the areas appeal for passage and breeding waders, as well as providing further visitor enjoyment from the hides.

Once the winter flooding receeded, the results have been great this spring and a fitting tribute to Tom and his family. Breeding waders using the scrapes have included nesting Oystercatcher, Lapwing and Redshank along with Curlew. Greenshank, Common Sandpiper, Green Sandpiper, Wood Sandpiper, Whimbrel and Little Ringed Plover have all used the scrapes on passage.

The scrapes have also been giving visitors close views of Garganey with a regular pair sometimes joined by an additional male. There has also been two male Mandarin and a Little Gull, while two pairs of Common Tern have joined the Oystercatcher nesting on the refreshed island.