Over-wintering osprey project volunteers work hard at Lyndon

Over-wintering osprey project volunteers work hard at Lyndon

The Lyndon Visitor Centre closes each year from mid-September when the ospreys leave Rutland, and re-opens in the spring to coincide with the ospreys’ return. However, this does not mean that all work ceases… Every Monday throughout the winter months, a work party takes place at the Lyndon Nature Reserve, run by the osprey team. The volunteers who take part in these work days are all osprey volunteers who monitor our breeding birds and talk to the public about them during the summer season. These work parties have several advantages. They serve as a brilliant way of keeping the osprey volunteers and staff in touch with each other and the nature reserve throughout the winter. As such, there is a large social angle to these weekly gatherings. However, all of the volunteers put in an enormous amount of hard work too. Most of the work that takes place on the work parties is vital habitat management work, tasks which need to be undertaken in order to keep the reserve at its best and maintain its wildlife interest, all through the winter and into next spring. Some of the tasks completed to date include removing reeds from the shallow scrapes to prevent them from drying out, coppicing blocks of willow and hazel to let more light penetrate to the woodland floor, and managing the hay meadow by cutting it and then removing the material to enable the usual diversity of wild flowers to flourish again in the spring.    Another important factor is that, although the visitor centre is closed, the nature reserve at Lyndon remains open to the public throughout...
Volunteer, Dave Cole, awarded Christopher Cadbury Medal

Volunteer, Dave Cole, awarded Christopher Cadbury Medal

The Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts has awarded the 2016 Christopher Cadbury Medal for services to the advancement of nature conservation in the British Islands, to Dave Cole, naturalist and Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust volunteer. Dave has been volunteering at Rutland Water Nature Reserve for over 35 years, and in that time has succeeded in inspiring staff, trainees and volunteers alike. From wildlife surveying to filmmaking, carpentry to practical nature conservation, there is no job too big or small that Dave won’t tackle with enthusiasm and knowledge. Dave has been instrumental in building confidence, knowledge and skills of everyone he meets. An inspiring all-round naturalist, his personal expertise and tuition has had a huge impact on the nature reserve, especially trainee staff. He has inspired members of the public to fall in love with wildlife, through numerous public walks. Since 1980, David has taken part in monthly Wetland Bird Surveys and has undertaken breeding bird surveys, as well as local bat surveys. His legendary carpentry skills have been invaluable, from overseeing the construction of all 35 birdwatching hides on the nature reserve, to the erection of thousands of nest boxes for an array of species, and even the internal fittings in the new Volunteer Training Centre. Dave was presented with the Christopher Cadbury Medal by Tony Juniper, President of The Wildlife Trusts. In accepting the award Dave said “It’s a great privilege to volunteer at Rutland Water Nature Reserve and contribute to this wonderful place. I am lucky to be part of a wonderful group of volunteers and I am honoured to accept the Christopher Cadbury Medal on...

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