It's all in a morning's work at nature reserve

By Jackie Turley in Environment

The first work party of 2017 was held at the Manx Wildlife Trust’s Ballachurry wetland reserve, in Rushen at the weekend.

The reserve began as a working agricultural field which Stan and Pam Clucas had a vision for when they retired from farming.

With positive habitat creation and management it has started to develop into a woodland with glades and meadows while other, wetter parts, are turning into areas of curragh, reedbeds and ponds.

The site supports a wide range of wildlife including dragonflies and butterflies, as well as birds such as sedge warblers, chiffchaff, snipe and teal.

On Saturday, 12 volunteers busied themselves cutting back vegetation - mainly rushes - from both banks of stream, trimming back willows, removing self-sown sycamore saplings and removing redundant tree guards that had served their purpose.

Hand rails and the notice board were reinforced with timber stakes.

And the remaining wood from the old hide roof was cut up and removed. It was replaced with a turf roof last year.

Sheila Norris, who visits Ballachurry each week to monitor the wildlife, thanked all the volunteers, including members of the MWT’s Southern Group, not least for the refreshments which kept them going through three hours of hard work.

The next work party will take place later this month.

For more information contact Janet Thompson at jthompson@manx.net

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