Young ex­plor­ers on a habi­tat mis­sion

Macclesfield Express - - HEART OF THE COMMUNITY - RHI­AN­NON MCDOWALL

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

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