Water Vole mitigation, displaying waders and more water vole mitigation

Carlton Marshes by John Lord

Waders are starting to display across the marshes, with Lapwing, Redshank and Avocet being seen on the scrapes. Read on for wildlife news from across the Suffolk Broads, Carlton Marshes habitat creation updates, and to hear about the volunteers that make it all happen!

The last few weeks have seen up to 12 Avocet visiting the scrapes, hopefully they'll decide to stay and breed this year. Last year 5 pairs of Avocet raised 15 chicks on the Carlton scrapes, which was a first for Carlton. Redshank and Lapwing have starting displaying, listen out for the alien sounds of Lapwing calling across the marshes. Pairs of Redshank have been displaying around the new pools of Peto's marsh, it will be amazing if we have breeding Redshank no them in their first year. Our volunteer Gavin has been putting trail cameras out around the reserve where he has found otter runs and spraint (otter poo). He captured the lovely image below. You can tell Otter spraint apart from other animal droppings, as it's full of fish scales!

Work continues to prepare the reserve for the invasion of diggers in April. The last two weeks of Water Vole mitigation work has been extremely muddy. Our new bit of kit, a John Deere Gator bought with Heritiage Lottery funding, has been essential for getting around on the mud covered marsh. All volunteers have gone home splattered with mud and exhausted. Work has continued clearing dyke-side vegetation, which involves raking away any vegetation left after it has been flailed. This is an extremely demanding job for everyone involved. 


Volunteers have also been putting up rabbit fencing to protect the young trees which have been planted on the new land. We have used cleft Sweet Chestnut for the fence posts which, as well as looking great, is a naturally preserving wood so you don't need to use chemically treated posts. 


Ellen Shailes at ellen.shailes@suffolkwildlifetrust.org for more information about volunteering across the Suffolk Broads reserves or

Barry Bradnum at waveneyvalleygroup.swt@gmail.com for more information about the Waveney Valley Wildlife Group

Current volunteering roles:

Conservation work party volunteer - Gunton Warren nature reserve

Bird surveyor - Carlton Marshes nature reserve

Learning volunteer - Carlton Marshes nature reserve and across Lowestoft

Pop up café volunteer - Carlton Marshes nature reserve

Heritage Fund

Thanks to the generosity of our supporters and a £4 million grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, our vision to buy and restore 384 acres of land for wildlife in the Broads National Park is taking flight.