In the short term FOLL will continue with one further Phragmites expansion project on the north lake edge at Lavell’s. This will be quite a large section of reeds, some 130 metres long, by 30 metres deep, probably resulting in numerous more pairs of Reed Warbler, Reed Bunting, Sedge and Cetti’s Warblers whilst providing more wintering habitat for Bittern and Water Rail.
Teal Hide could be replaced, or we may just leave it and build a new secure hide. Ideally this would be larger and on stilt legs, to combat flooding and give better viewing of the scrape, island reed beds and Sand Martin wall.
Lavell’s car park would really benefit from a formal information board, including a map and guidance on all conservation matters.
Lea Farm GP will continue to mature as a breeding site for more species, plans for artificial Shelduck nests and maybe even solar powered web cams for watching the Common Tern colony could become a reality.
Having invested so much into Lea Farm, the hedgerow along the Loddon will be laid and managed to maintain a thick, nest friendly and fruit bearing haven. During the hedge laying interim period, we will install panel fencing and improve stock fencing to eradicate dog intrusions into the nature reserve.
White Swan Lake (WSL) attracts as many Bitterns as Lavell’s and for this reason we hope to move ahead before 2020 with formalising a Bittern viewing point there.
Sandford Lake will need a new sluice and there are also parts of the path that have been eroded by 30 years of winter flooding that are now easily breached in the summer too. Any work will be dependent on consent from Dinton Pastures Countryside Services and the Environment Agency, not to mention the potentially high costs, but if achieved it could turn Sandford into an exceptional nature reserve.
The hedgerows of Middle Marsh and running up between BSL and WSL have been a little neglected and under managed. FOLL has begun to install stock proof fencing to stop the damage and we hope a formal management programme can be started over the coming years to help more Nightingale and Lesser Whitethroat to breed.