Cambridge Safety Supports The Wildlife Trust Of Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire And Northamptonshire

We are pleased to announce we have donated £1000, to one of our local wildlife Trusts, after Jackie at Cambridge Safety saw first hand the excellent work they have done locally. When she visited Holme Fen for one of their workshops on identifying different raptors (birds of prey not dinosaurs!) and another in Northampton on identifying wetland birds from one of their hides as depicted in the picture.

Our donation will provide support towards Upwards Meadows and monitoring and research at the Great Fen in 2020, helping to improve knowledge and understanding of the species that are colonising these sites which are being restored. This also helps raise awareness about the importance of conservation of key indicator species in wetland habitats.

Conservation at Upwood Meadows

Conservation at Upwood Meadows

Upwood Meadows is one of Cambridgeshire’s designated a National Nature Reserves for its wildflower diversity. It is awash with life. The greatest display is in Bentley meadow, where medieval ridge-and-furrow and the many ant hills provide differing microhabitats for plants and invertebrates. Here plants including cowslip, green-winged orchid, saw-wort, dropwort, sulphur clover and Dyer’s greenweed provide summer-long colour and nectar sources for bees and butterflies. It is one of the best Wildlife Trust BCN reserves to see wildflowers in late spring and summer.

The site has surrounding mature hedgerows and mature trees which provide nesting habitats for many birds including turtle dove, blackcap and whitethroat, and they provide food for winter visitors such as fieldfare and redwing. Dew ponds dug in each field, originally for watering livestock, are now breeding grounds for great crested newts, dragonflies and damselflies. Upwood Meadows is close to the Great Fen, an ambitious landscape scale initiative which is working to restore peatlands for conservation, sustainable farmer livelihoods and the benefit of the local community.

Monitoring and Research at the Great Fen, Cambridgeshire

Monitoring and Research at the Great Fen, Cambridgeshire

The Wildlife Trust BCN’s monitoring and research staff provide a great deal of science behind conservation work. They also work with teams of voluntary ‘monitors’. The information they all gather enables them to assess the success of their practical habitat management. This involves a huge variety of surveys; for mammals, invertebrates, plants, reptiles, amphibians, and their habitats. It also involves a variety of modern technology, including trail cameras and drones.

The restoration work at the Great Fen has allowed species associated with wet and dry grassland to thrive. In summer, huge numbers of butterflies and dragonflies can be seen. The creation of new wetlands is allowing animals and plants that are fenland specialists to increase their distribution and colonise new areas. Species recorded at Woodwalton Fen and Holme Fen have now appeared in the restored areas; including bitterns, grasshopper warblers, marsh dock, marsh harriers, otters (opposite) and scarce chaser dragonflies (right). The Trust’s network of monitoring ensures that these changes and new arrivals will be recorded.

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