Wheldrake work party – October message from Craig

Just a quick email to say a huge thank you for everyone’s help tackling willow scrub at Wheldrake Ings over the last two work parties. As those who attended at the weekend will have seen, it’s made a huge difference to the area (with other volunteers groups from Aviva, Nestle and Network Rail) contributing to an impressive total of over 50 person work days. The two reed beds in front of Swantail Hide are now almost clear – with the exception of a small amount by the boardwalk near the main bridge over the ditch, as is the view lines between the pool and Swantail. This has produced a much more open field, better viewing, and will allow the reed beds to recover and expand and also, hopefully, will help push Carrion Crows back away from the key sensitive breeding areas.

Obviously with 10 people crashing through the reed beds and four fire sites it wasn’t great for spotting birds, but we did have a single Marsh Harrier, 3 Green Sandpiper, several Snipe and two flocks of Pink-footed Geese over (about 35-40 in each). Ringing from dawn also produced (amongst the usual target of Reed Buntings and Meadow Pipits), a single Reed Warbler, Goldcrest, several Chiffchaff and two Blackcaps.

Thanks again – I’ll see those who are attending the talk on Tuesday evening – when we will have the ‘hot off the press’ LDV 2017 calendar available – from which all funds go to the ‘friends of group’ and thus back into helping towards management of the site.

And, shortly after, he added: “As if to further make the point about how good the reed bed looks following the recent clearance works, there are four Bearded Tits present there is this morning – flying around calling over the reeds by Swantail hide”.


Craig S Ralston

Senior Reserve Manager
Lower Derwent Valley, Skipwith Common, Forge Valley Woods and Duncombe Park NNR’s