On Tuesday myself, Ed and two of our regular volunteers, set about opening up the view of the north-eastern part of Ibsley Water as viewed from the Lapwing hide. Over the years the bramble clumps have slowly expanded and merged and the willows grown up and shut off the view of the lake. You could make a case for clearing all of this vegetation, but this area has a good population of adder so maintaining some cover within a generally grassy area is the best option. So we settled for trimming back the bramble clumps and opening up the gaps between them and reducing the height so it is possible to see over the top of them.
This job illustrates a common problem that land managers have, there is rarely one objective of management, it is necessary to balance, sometimes competing interests and come up with an option. Very often this is one of managing a mosaic of habitats, unfortunately this usually means frequent management, which takes time and money. Much of the attraction of Blashford lies in the variety of habitats, finding ways of maintaining these effectively is one of the key jobs of reserve management. We are lucky to have a strong volunteer team who help out a great deal and this task at the Lapwing hide was one that we could not have easily done without their help. This is what it looked like when we had finished.
During the day there were reports of great views of the bittern from Ivy North hide and of brambling and lesser redpoll at the Woodland hide. About the only birds I saw were the thousands of gulls coming into the roost at dusk, nothing rare but always an impressive sight to my mind.