Butterfly Snail Rush Large Butterfly

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Ham Mere Update

The refurbishment of the two hides overlooking the scrapes in Ham Mere (the new name for the Nature Reserve in Ferry Meadows) is now complete and we are planning the next phase of the work to improve the wetland habitats.  This work will involve undertaking a hydrological survey to determine water levels and water movement to see if we can retain and control water on the site.

refurbished bird hide
Refurbished Bird Hide in Ham Mere- Ferry Meadows

Although the recent drought had caused the scrapes to dry up, resulting in the loss of some of the wetland wildlife, it has had one benefit which has been the disappearance of predatory fish such as Pike. As a result there has been an increase in the survival of Mallard ducklings with at least six large broods seen this spring.

The recent return of the water will also help the ducklings as aquatic insect life returns and provides food for these and other water birds.  As the water level drops naturally during the summer it should leave some rich muddy pools that will hopefully attract migrating birds, particularly wading birds and ducks.

To control the encroachment by swamp vegetation and willow saplings, the scrapes will be cut again later in the year. The Trust has recently invested in a machine to do this work which will improve the habitat as well as the opportunities for viewing wildlife.

Scrape Mowing
Scrape mowing in September 2011

The Trust now runs regular volunteer working parties and one of the tasks for the group this winter will be to tackle the spread of willow trees onto the scrapes.  If you feel like joining click here for more information.