10th and 11th of October activities.

The Thursday volunteer gang were in yesterday and the main task was dragging some previously cut willow from the entrance track to the education centre north across Ellingham Drove, to the Tern Hide car-park. The willow was then stacked around the top of the banks that surround the car-park to prevent access to Ibsley Water from unwanted fishermen or trespassers from disturbing the birds. The team made quick progress despite the cold wind bowling across Ibsley Water and soon had the job completed allowing time for a few other tasks like trimming back around signs, gathering up old tree guards and layering a few willows in strategic places to block potential fishing sites.


High vis volunteer Bob does a grand job laying some willows. The partially cut trees will continue to grow and form a dense thicket.

The rest of the week has been spent doing a range of tasks including wrapping barbed wire around the top of gates to deter (you guessed it!) access from fishermen. We’ll never be able to completely stop them but we can do our best make things very difficult for them. Their illegal activities actually do a fair amount of environmental and ecological damage on the reserve, by ground baiting swims, disturbance to wintering wildfowl and ground nesting birds.


We also cleared away some fly tipped garden waste chucked over the reserve fence by the kissing gate and path that lead to the Goosander and Lapwing Hides. The waste included a nice lot of Buddleia seed heads, a plant which is an invasive species on the reserve.


Fly tipped garden waste.

Unfortunately this means more Wildlife Trust money wasted clearing up other peoples rubbish, rather than on wildlife conservation.


Four big bin-liners worth. Note the Buddleia seed heads with hundreds of seeds attached.

A more satisfying task was cutting a view into the ironically titled Clear Water pond (it is very murky!).


Cutting begins…


Finished view. It’ll improve more once the leaves fall off the trees.

The Clear Water pond generally contains very few birds other than a few mallards and the odd moorhen but I have seen kingfishers and mandarin ducks in the past so it’ll be interesting to see what else turns up, I suspect a fair amount of things get missed.

Recent wildlife reports have included water rails on Ivy lake, white wagtail and 2 wheatears around Ibsley Water. Siskin are definitely increasing with around forty frequenting the large Alders by Ivy silt pond and I saw my first four Redwing of the autumn fly over the education centre today. There are also some fabulous mushrooms around reserve.


Mushrooms on the approach to the woodland hide. Just tried looking them up. Not a clue.


A male great spotted woodpecker at the woodland hide feeders


5 thoughts on “10th and 11th of October activities.

  1. You will be aware that commercial fishing has started at Mockbeggar Lake and that the Somerley Estate has sporting rights also at Ibsley Lake.When Mockbeggar Lake was transferred to the Somerley Estate in 2011,Semcorp Bournemouth Water gave them permission to fish Ibsley Lake for 5 years.
    In view of the history of Mockbeggar Lake it would be as well to ask any fishermen you may come across at Ibsley Lake whether they have permission from the Somerlay Estate or local fishing club.

    • Hi Patrick

      Yes they have rights on Ibsley North Lake which is not managed by the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust. The lake I am referring to is Ibsley Water (part of the Blashford Lakes Nature Reserve) on which no fishing is allowed at any time.

  2. Ibsley North Lake is owned by privately by a resident in Mockbeggar Lane and I hope that this person also owns the sporting rights.
    I confirm that as part of the High Court Agreement between Semcorp Bournemouth Water and the Somerley Estate,the water authority gave the Estate permission to fish the lake for 5 years.The Somerley Estate has the sporting rights for both Mockbeggar and Ibsley Lakes and have taken up commercial fishing at Mockbeggar Lake this year..


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