There has been a lot more happening around Fishlake Meadows recently. Some new chestnut paling fencing has gone in at the southern end of the canal path. This has been put in to smarten up the first section that many people who visit the nature reserve see. It gives the beginning of the path a much more cared for look I think.
Next to the car park a small section of path has been laid to make the pedestrian access better from the new housing development. Before the access was just an area of grass that was becoming muddy and worn as people walked over it, this new section of path will protect the surrounding grass and shouldn’t get muddy through the winter. Along the canal bank, restoration work has been started in areas where the bank has become eroded.
Work parties have continued with scrub cutting near the canal and have made wonderful progress. The views through to the water from the canal are much better now. In the areas that were cut last year, the reeds are growing well, increasing the size of the reedbed. The areas cleared this year should develop in the same way.
You may notice that the stumps have been left high rather than cut low to the ground. This is something that Bob Chapman had started doing at Blashford Lakes, and found that instead of getting regrowth, the stumps died off. Therefore we’re trialling the same approach at Fishlake Meadows. It may not work in the same way it did at Blashford Lakes, but we feel it’s worth a shot.
Wildlife at Fishlake Meadows has been wonderful in the last few weeks. There have regularly been 2 great white egrets around (possibly 3), goldeneye, pintail, kingfisher, marsh harrier and lots of water rail squealing away. The starlings are gathering in higher and higher numbers which is attracting a peregrine falcon regularly. With the weather staying colder we could start to see even more interesting wildlife putting in an appearance.