A summer of progress

We’re now into July and the summer season is upon us. Clegg’s Meadow looked a picture in Spring with thousands of Cowslips putting on a great show, followed by a riot of yellow buttercups.

Pictured: Spring cowslips in Clegg’s Meadow

The meadow was cut in early July, and is already greening up ready for the cattle which are grazing the adjoining pastures on Broomhill Flash and providing the right conditions for the breeding birds.

The new island just offshore from the hide has proved very popular with black-headed gulls. 45 pairs are nesting on it and there are great views of the parents with their chicks.

Another new breeding bird for the Flash is a pair of handsome lesser black-backed gulls, which have taken over one of the islands and have hatched three chicks. They are predators themselves and sometimes go after chicks of other birds, so we’ll have to see if the black-headed gulls can fend them off!

On the Wings across the Ings project

Most of the earth-moving has finished, but the contractors have taken a break due to other work and the fact that two pairs of little ringed plovers have found the new lake much to their liking and are breeding there. This is a specially protected bird and we need to avoid any chance of disturbance.

The lake has been flooded a few times which is great for assessing water levels. It certainly proved attractive to some migrating waders on their way north to the Arctic in early May, with dunlin, ringed plover, and a grey plover resting for a while. The contractors will be back in September to finish off the floodbanks and structures.

The new channel of the Bulling Dyke taking shape (Wings across the Ings)

Showcasing Denby Delf

We have been busy organising lots of events and walks too. At the end of June, around 45 members of the public embarked in beautiful weather on a mile long walk around our reserve at Denby Delf, also known as Mosley Roughs, in Upper Denby.

This was as part of the East Peak Outdoors Festival and the walk provided an opportunity to experience this biodiverse local wildlife site, the magnificent views down the Dearne Valley and the unveiling of six new site information boards.

These were commissioned by The Garganey Trust and The Denby Village Conservation Group, in partnership with Denby Dale Parish Council and Men’s Shed.

Pictured: Jeff Lunn, Chair of the Garganey Trust, who also led the group around the reserve, and Martin and Lynn Watts of the village group, unveiling the welcome plaque at the entrance to the site off Denby Lane.

The next few months are a great time to visit all our reserves with plenty of breeding bird activity and the meadows and pastures full of wildflowers and insects. Have a look at the lesser black-backed gulls at Broomhill Flash, or enjoy the butterflies and orchids at Denby Delf.

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