The future of conservation is in safe hands at Lackford Lakes

Wednesday 27th July 2016

A new creepy-crawly wildlife area has been designed and built by the Trust's Young Wardens at Lackford Lakes

Fledgling conservationists have designed and built a ‘creepy-crawly corner’ for visitors to explore at Suffolk Wildlife Trust’s Lackford Lakes reserve.

The Young Wardens, a group of children aged between ten and 16 who meet during the school holidays to learn practical conservation skills, were asked earlier this year to think about how they would transform part of the site near Bury St Edmunds into a haven for invertebrates.

The area near the reserve’s double-decker hide has until recently consisted of a bare concrete pad – a legacy of the site’s time as a gravel quarry.

The children visited the site in February and then began researching the needs of invertebrates and thinking about possible natural-looking features that would also attract reptiles.

During the Easter holidays and half term the group of about 25 children returned to Lackford Lakes to put their ideas into practice, creating a standing dead wood pile for beetles and stony basking areas for reptiles. Other features included hibernating tunnels for bees made from plant pots filled with old bird nests that were buried in trenches.

This summer the Young Wardens will be putting the finishing touches to their creepy-crawly corner and officially open it for visitors on August 2.

Education officer at Lackford Lakes, Emma Keeble, who leads the group, praised the hard work of the Young Wardens.

She said: “The group have completely transformed what was an unused space into a wonderful habitat that is already attracting invertebrates and reptiles. But not only will this space be great for wildlife, it will be fantastic for visitors too – giving them a place to explore, learn and play.

“I know some of the children have been coming to Lackford Lakes since they were really small but to think they are already giving something back is absolutely amazing. It makes me think that the future of conservation is in safe hands.”

Suffolk Wildlife Trust has been running Young Wardens for nearly 15 years with groups taking part in activities including coppicing, reptile surveys and turning an air raid bunker into a bat hibernaculum.

Wildlife activities for young people with Suffolk Wildlife Trust

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