Earth Trust’s continuing works at Radley Lakes
Latest news update from Lucy Tomkinson. Read the PDF here.
Community Reserves Warden, Earth Trust
VOLUNTEERS WORK ON BIODIVERSITY ENHANCEMENT PROJECT FOR THRUPP LAKE
In March 2016 we reported that Earth Trust had received funding from The Trust for Oxfordshire’s Environment 2 (TOE2) for work on a biodiversity project at Thrupp Lake. Volunteers have now started work at Earth Trust headquarters to make 13 bat boxes, 15 bird boxes and two tern rafts which will be installed later in the year.
Coppicing of Thrupp Lake Islands
Rotational coppicing and scrub clearance was carried out on selected Thrupp Lake islands at the beginning of February this year. This is an annual process which started in 2013 and for the past two years it has been paid for by FRL as part of an annual donation towards the management of Thrupp Lake.
Some of the islands have been cleared for Common Terns and Oystercatchers who nest in colonies out in the open so that they can see and attack predators. If the islands become tree covered, they are unable to nest there. It is important to have a mosaic of habitats around the Radley Lakes areas that will enable many species of birds and other wildlife to breed there. Look out for the Common Terns which will arrive in April.
TOE2 Funding for Thrupp Lake Projects
A report from Lucy Tomkinson, Community Reserves Warden at Earth Trust.
Thanks to funding from The Trust for Oxfordshire’s Environment 2 (TOE2), Earth Trust is about to start work on a biodiversity enhancement project at Thrupp Lake.
The project will enable us to add new biodiversity features to the Thrupp Lake Reserve as well as continue our existing work with the Thursday volunteer group supporting priority habitats and species. The project will concentrate on increasing habitat diversity in the small pocket of establishing meadow known as St David’s Meadow, through sowing wildflower seed and planting plug plants.
We will also be focusing on increasing the nesting habitats for a range of species. This will entail building an otter holt on a suitable island (we know Thrupp Lake is within the Abingdon otters’ territory) and installing a number of bird boxes, including a tawny owl box, and bat boxes in suitable locations around the lake to provide more roost sites for the noctule bats and soprano pipistrelle bats that live there. We also plan to build tern rafts, to put on the lake to provide much needed ground nesting areas, and an artificial sand martin barrel to encourage the local population of sand martins to breed at Thrupp Lake; both of these species are Amber listed Birds of Conservation Concern.
The project will also help us to continue the rotational coppicing of the lake islands, opening them up for nesting waterfowl such as coots, great crested grebes and roosting overwintering ducks like shoveler and teal. We will also carry on using the coppiced materials to widen the islands as potential nesting sites and roosting sites for overwintering.
The work being carried out will contribute to UK Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP), contributing towards Oxfordshire’s BAP 2020 targets.
We are hoping to make a start on the project in the coming weeks, so keep your eyes peeled for the Thursday Volunteers’ handy work!