Tuesday 30 May 2023

Visit to Kingfisher's Bridge

27th May 2023 - six NatureWatch members were taken on a fascinating visit around the privately-owned Kingfisher's Bridge Nature Reserve by the reserve warden, James Moss. Seeing the fantastic variety of wetland habitats there now, it was hard to believe that less than 30 years ago, Andrew Green, owner and then farmer, decided to turn 250 acres of his farm into a nature reserve. Using pioneering conservation techniques to create and maintain large areas of scrubby wetland, reedbed habitats and a large lake, as well as meadows and woodland, the reserve is now a sanctuary for many species, including a number of nationally rare plants, bats and other species.

James led the group through parts of the reserve normally closed to the public, pointing out the unusual plants, animals and birds that now live there, and explaining how the habitat was developed and maintained for maximum biodiversity by grazing with both Water Buffalo and Konik ponies, reflecting how such habitats would have been naturally 'maintained' in the past by species such as Auroch.

The group spotted or heard a total of 39 bird species, including Marsh Harrier, a booming Bittern, Cuckoo, and several nesting species including Sand Martin, Lapwing and Redshank, as well as large number of both Greylag and Canada Goose with young.

View over the wetland edge to the lake

Canada Goose with young on the lake

Rich variety of flora in the wetland areas around the lake

One of a number of Sand Martin nesting banks

Konik ponies helping maintain the wetland and meadows

The group and James Moss (warden, centre)

Canada Goose and young on the lake [photo David F]

Water Buffalo the meadow [photo David F]

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The Aims of Abington Naturewatch

At their meeting on 9 April 2005 the members approved this revised version of the aims of Abington Naturewatch:

  • To monitor and record the wildlife (fauna & flora) within the borders of the Abingtons;
  • To encourage protection of our wildlife, maintain its quality and foster its diversity;
  • To promote awareness of the richness, potential and problems of the natural environment of the Abingtons;
  • To cooperate in improving access to the local natural environment for the benefit of all Abington villagers.

Pat Daunt, Founder

The organisation is informal and communication is by email if possible; members are notified of events from time to time. Contact details are maintained by a small "project team". There is currently no membership fee as costs are covered by voluntary contributions at events.

Members are encouraged to report notable sightings of flora and fauna within the Abingtons to the appropriate sector coordinator and an illustrated record is published annually.

A map of the area covered, with some features noted, is available here: http://maps.google.co.uk/maps/ms?ie=UTF8&hl=en&msa=0&msid=213774935674882866424.00000111dca2be9f06ab8&z=13>

For more information or to join, please contact David Farrant on (01223) 892871.

Contributions to our records should be sent to sector contacts or either of the above. Photographs may also be submitted to Andy Merryweather (amerryweather61@gmail.com)