Monday, 28 September 2015

The Nature Reserve is a Hive of Activity

The reserve is currently a hive of activity! The grazing marsh is a mosaic of wetlands but over-time the ditches have silted up, this has led to the scrapes and in-field features drying out earlier and earlier in the year. This can have a detrimental effect on the breeding birds. The ditches are therefore cleared on a 7-year rotational programme, so that water can flow more easily around the reserve. This work will greatly improve the habitat for breeding birds by ensuring the shallow scrapes hold water for longer.

Work in progress.

Water levels on the reserve fluctuate throughout the seasons and from year to year. The amount of standing water present is controlled through a complex series of sluice gates. Water levels are controlled to create a good balance of wetland plants and grassland species, and to ensure ideal conditions for breeding birds, water voles, and otters.

Also, a shiny new fence now stretches from the end of Holkham pines to the Overy boardwalk. This protects the fragile marsh and reedbeds as well as the natterjack ponds.

A Meadow Pipet inspects the new fence.

Look out in the coming months for more work being done on the reserve, as our attention turns to improving the grazing marsh fields close to Lady Ann’s Drive. 

Monday, 21 September 2015

The Great British Beach Clean at Holkham

Last weekend was no ordinary weekend as it was the Great British Beach Clean Event organised by the Marine Conservation Society. This annual nationwide event is a beach cleaning and litter surveying programme. Marine wildlife is increasingly under threat from the waste and litter in our seas, with hundreds of species accidentally eating or becoming entangled in litter. Last year 5,349 volunteers found 2,457 pieces of litter on 301 British beaches. The data collected is used by MCS to campaign for a marine litter strategy.

Last Friday Holkham played its part with 15 volunteers from Aviva kindly lending their time away from the office to take part in removing litter from our beautiful beach. The day was a great success! Everyone had fun, no bombs were found (this time), the sun shone and we recovered 35 bin bags full of litter from the beach, as well as other large items including fishing nets, buoys and bits of boat.

The most shocking discovery however was the amount of beer cans, bottle tops and other party paraphernalia found in the dunes. While we love the fact that people travel to Holkham to enjoy the sun, sea and sand it is disappointing to see such a huge amount of dangerous litter being left.

If you are interested in joining us for future litter picks or helping us on the reserve then take a look at our volunteer days HERE

Monday, 7 September 2015

Holkham National Nature Reserve Needs You!

We are looking for enthusiastic people to volunteer and help us improve and protect the beauty of Holkham NNR. We need passionate volunteers young and old to help carry out vital practical conservation tasks in sunshine, wind and rain! If you'd like to join us, in wheeling a barrow, planting a sapling or simply handing out the warming cuppas, we'd love you to join us!

Our volunteer days are friendly and informal and no prior experience or skill is necessary just a passion and enthusiasm to get involved. Volunteers will work alongside our skilled and experienced wardens carrying out various habitat management tasks and survey work, but best of all you’ll have a great time while doing it! Everyone is welcome and even a small commitment can have lasting effects on the reserve and its wildlife.

For those looking for a job in the environment volunteering with Holkham NNR not only offers you the chance to learn new skills, make new friends and enhance your CV but you will get the opportunity to gain that all important hands-on experience desired by so many employees.

Hokham NNR will be running conservation workdays every week on Wednesdays, and the first Sunday of every month, you can come along as often or as little as you like. 

Refreshments are provided but volunteers should bring their own packed lunch, sturdy waterproof footwear, wet-weather gear and enthusiasm! Volunteers from all age groups are welcome, however the minimum age is 18 unless accompanied by an adult.

Your time and skills could make a real difference, come and join us.

You can find the dates and times of our weekend volunteering days HERE