Young explorers on a habitat mission
BEETLES, birds and beautiful lizards enthralled young nature lovers.
The members of the Macclesfield RSPB Wildlife Explorers headed to Lindow Common, in Wilmslow, armed with gardening gloves, trowels and forks, to help with conservation management at the common.
Lindow is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and features one of the world’s most threatened habitats – lowland heath, and the young explorers were able to spot some more unusual wildlife during their visit.
The site is actively man- aged to ensure that the surrounding trees do not encroach, preserving an abundance of specialised plants – round-leaved sundew, bog rosemary, bog asphodel, cranberry and bogbean.
Wildlife Explorers worked hard removing tree and shrub seedlings from designated areas of the common to make sure that these important plant communities, including heather and cross-leaved heath, are not destroyed by being overshadowed by the larger more vigorous plants.
The group finished their day with a walk around Black Lake, at the centre of the site, getting good views of green tiger beetles, dragonflies, damselflies and a family of moorhen.
The highlight for many was watching a family of common lizards basking in the sunshine on a log.
In the background migrant birds were in full song and Cheshire East countryside ranger Paul Hughes was on hand to help identify singing garden warbler, willow warbler and blackcap.
Group leader, Tina Hanak, said: “We are delighted to have the opportunity to work on a SSSI and learn about the incredible species that make Lindow Common home.
The children are very lucky to have a wildlife oasis in a relatively builtup part of our county where they can learn about the natural history of such a rare habitat firsthand.”
For more information on nature-focussed events for children and families go to macclesfieldrspb.org.uk, follow the group on Twitter @Maccwildlife or like their Facebook page.
The Young Explorers encountered a number of different animals and insects during their conservation mission on Lindow Common