Weekly wild news from our reserves – 29 January 2021

Last light at Darsham Marshes after a day dragging and burning cut alder - Jamie Smith

This week we kept warm around the fire sledge, Gunton Meadow had a tidy up, our British white cattle got some extra hay, and there was more snow and flooding.

Keeping toasty by the fire sledge

The North Suffolk team used a fire sledge to burn woody off-cuts from successional shrub at Darsham Marshes this week. A fire sledge is a moveable platform which burns wood without damaging the ground or allowing nutrients from the ash to enter the soil in these sensitive floristic locations.

Mosaic of habitats at Gunton Meadow

Ellen Shailes, Broads Warden, oversaw contractors at Gunton Meadow who laid a hedge and partially cleared trees from around the pond. This work will maintain a mosaic of structure on site, allow more light into the pond and reduce the leaf fall burden to benefit aquatic plant and amphibian life.

Sunrise at Lackford Lakes

Hawk Honey captured the scintillating dawn colours which cast their warming glow across the moody sky at Lackford Lakes nature reserve this week.  What a way to start any day!

Beautiful bullfinch

A fleeting glimpse of a bullfinch spotted beside the Lackford Lakes Visitor Centre. Michael Andrews, Visitor Officer said ‘The bullfinch is a large, plump finch that feeds on buds and fruit in woodlands, hedgerows, parklands, gardens and orchards. Beautiful, easy to tame and skillful at mimicry, it was often taken as a cage-bird in times past. Shy and secretive, its melancholy call may be the only indication of its presence in a thicket. Bullfinches usually nest in shrubs, such as hawthorn and blackthorn, making a flimsy nest out of twigs and moss.’

Bullfinch at Lackford Lakes - Hawk Honey

Bullfinch at Lackford Lakes - Hawk Honey

‘Nom nom nom’

Dan Doughty, Assistant Warden, has been keeping our British white cattle well fed with supplementary hay during the cold winter months at Church Farm.

British white cow at Church Farm - Dan Doughty

British white cow at Church Farm - Dan Doughty

More stunning snowy scenes

Giles Cawson captured these beautiful shots at Bradfield Woods National Nature Reserve. The woodland was looking stunning after snowfall.

Feathered reed fen

Redgrave & Lopham Fen has been experiencing flooding not seen in at least a decade. The extra areas of open water iced over during the cold snap this week, their smooth, glass-like features in stark contrast to the feathered tops of reed catching the welcome warmth of the sun, softening the scene.

Big Suffolk skies

We’ve had some lovely bright days as well this week – perfect for admiring those expansive Suffolk skies!