Boardwalk opening – 28th February!

The grand unveiling is finally just around the corner. After months of head scratching, post banging, levelling and bolting pieces of wood together.. the new Ivy South bridge and boardwalk will be ready to open to the public tomorrow afternoon! To mark the occasion, we were thinking it would be nice to do a small ribbon cutting ‘ceremony’ to thank those who have supported the project along the way. We appreciate this is last minute, however if you are able to make it, we look forward to seeing you around 14:00 near Ivy South hide.

By linking up the path between Ivy South hide and Ellingham Lake walk, the popular circular route, known as the ‘Wild Walk’, will be navigable once again!

Many thanks again to everyone who gave to the appeal and to those who helped with the construction effort.


Reserve (largely) reopen

The Dockens Water has dropped since yesterday meaning Ellingham Drove is reopen and passable once again. Please note that whilst we have been able to reopen much of the reserve again today, there are still some areas of standing water that are yet to drain and have frozen over, including tern hide carpark which remains closed (pictured below). Some other areas of the reserve may also remain closed due to ice, so if you do visit this week, please take care and follow the site signage.

Reserve closed due to flooding

Following last night’s heavy rain, the Dockens Water burst its banks causing flooding across the reserve and along Ellingham Drove. We have therefore been forced to close the reserve, including all hides and car parks.

Please be advised that the police have closed off Ellingham Drove so if you are travelling in the area, you will need to find an alternative route.

The water may take some time to recede and, with a cold snap forecast tonight, may also freeze over. We will post again to confirm when the reserve is open again, so please do check with us before making a special journey.

Stay safe!

Bird hide works complete and boardwalk update

During planned re-roofing works on Ivy South, Woodland and Ivy North hides, it was found that some of the wooden support posts had rotted through causing certain sections of the structures to subside! This caused some of the windows to jam, the gutters to sag, and in time the floor beams too would have rotted too. Whilst the contractors were still on site, we decided to address the issues straight away. After levelling the hides, the old posts were removed and replaced with concrete slabs and a layer of damp proof membrane to prevent rising damp.

Although this additional work set the completion date back by a few weeks, we hope that it will have extended the life of the hides by a good number of years! With this in mind, we took pre-emptive action to level and re-roof Lapwing hide while we were at it!

Minor repairs were all that were needed to refurb the Ivy South and Lapwing access ramps however Ivy North and Woodland ramps needed replacing entirely. We’re relieved to say that the work is now complete, and that all the hides are open, accessible and dry once again for everyone to enjoy.

Woodland hide ramp under construction
Woodland hide ramp complete
Ivy North ramp complete

With the hides up together again, we have now turned our attention to finishing another big infrastructure project on the reserve – the ever popular boardwalk. With staff changes, weather extremes and increased material costs, the odds have been stacked against us, however good progress has been made and we are anticipating to finish the work in the early part of 2023.

We are super excited to have this open soon for the thousands of people that visit Blashford each year to enjoy once again! A huge thank you again to everyone who donated towards this project appeal – it wouldn’t have been possible without you!

Progress during Summer 2022
Frame going in on the new ‘passing place’
Passing place almost complete
End in sight!

Upcoming hide closures

As we continue into autumn and are experiencing more frequent (and much-needed!) rain at Blashford, it has become apparent that some of the hide roofs are no longer functioning as they once did. Ivy South, Woodland and Ivy North hides have sprung some rather large leaks which require reroofing works, and with the access ramps also looking past their best, works will commence next week to revamp the three hides.

Please be aware that the hides will be closed whilst works are carried out, however we plan to stagger the schedule so that just one hide will be closed at a time, minimising the impact on visitors. Ivy South hide will be first with work due to begin on Tuesday 25th October, followed by Woodland and finally Ivy North.