Wildlife site gets new tower hide

Bird Watching (UK) - - News Wire -

Nat­u­ral Eng­land’s Shap­wick Heath Na­tional Na­ture Re­serve, in Som­er­set, has a new tower hide. One of Eng­land’s most im­por­tant wildlife sites, the new tower al­lows el­e­vated views over the lakes and reedbeds of Meare Heath and the Avalon Marshes, while pro­vid­ing im­proved ac­cess to the re­serve for visi­tors. Shap­wick is home to such rare UK species as Bit­tern, Bearded Tit and Marsh Har­rier, and is a prime spot from which to wit­ness Star­ling mur­mu­ra­tions in win­ter, as well as a large va­ri­ety of mam­mal and in­sect life. The for­mer peat beds are vis­ited by thou­sands of visi­tors ev­ery year and the new hide was built us­ing do­na­tions to a crowd­fund­ing cam­paign in De­cem­ber last year, which raised the £17,000 needed in a very short time. The open­ing cer­e­mony was at­tended by more than 40 sup­port­ers of the project, and was of­fi­cially opened by Dr Andy Cle­ments, board mem­ber of Nat­u­ral Eng­land and Di­rec­tor of the BTO. A part­ner­ship be­tween the Loro Par­que Fun­da­cion and the Amoren­tia Es­tate in South Africa may have solved a con­flict be­tween par­rots and bees. The en­dan­gered Cape Par­rot has been badly hit by a lack of suit­able tree cav­i­ties used by the species for nest­ing. The erec­tion of nest boxes should have helped solve the prob­lem but for one thing; honey bees, which have out­com­peted the par­rots for the boxes. Last year, how­ever, the part­ner­ship im­ple­mented a ‘push-pull’ method of pest man­age­ment to free the boxes for the birds. The push con­sists of a safe per­methrin in­sect re­pel­lent to dis­suade the bees from us­ing the nests. The pull com­prised bee traps set close to the nest boxes. These traps when full were taken to the fruit and nut or­chards on the es­tate where the bees were trans­ferred to spe­cially built hives. Re­searchers hope that this will now en­able the par­rots to nest, while also pro­vid­ing much needed in­come from bee­keep­ing for lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.