Welcome to the LDV NNR ringing blog, this blog is designed to share the experiences, findings and tales from a group of dedicated ringers. We specialise in conservation orientated research projects, largely focusing on wildfowl, waders, owls and birds of conservation concern, in and around the Vale of York NNR's.

NB - Whilst the purpose of this blog was initially designed to cover our nationally important wildfowl ringing activities, it now also features wildlife and work posts, explaining how we manage the NNR for both wildlife and people.

For daily sightings please visit our Twitter account: https://twitter.com/ldv_nnr (@LDV_NNR)

For details of events, volunteer tasks and wildlife images please visit our Facebook account: https://www.facebook.com/Lower-Derwent-Valley-Skipwith-Common-NNR

Monday 30 March 2020

20/03/20 - Recent work on the NNR

Earlier in the month we welcomed the first corporate group of the year from AECOM in Leeds, to help us with various management tasks across the reserves. Following an introduction to the sites, the tasks and a H&S briefing, the group enjoyed a quick check of the moth trap followed by a bird ringing demonstration. We then split into smaller groups and headed to Skipwith Common NNR, and carried out tasks including the construction of reptile hibernacula and brash piles – providing valuable habitat whilst also helping to tidy up the site after recent contractor works. Despite a quick look round the Common we didn’t manage to come across any reptiles on the day, although we should be seeing the first Adders, Grass Snakes and Common Lizards any time now on warmer days. Following lunch back at the NNR base, the team then helped us to make a number of Barn Owl, Kestrel, Little Owl and Tree Sparrow nest boxes, as well as planting the last of our remaining hedging plants. Many thanks to everyone for their efforts on the task, and to our regular band of volunteers for their help and support on the day. 

Later in the week we were back on the road, this time helping the staff at Riccall Primary School to create a new wildlife/meadow area for the pupils. Our team were busy creating a living willow hedge with tunnels for the pupils to enjoy and help manage in the future, along with hopefully providing useful materials for arts and craft sessions. Whilst there we also spent time scarifying some of the area, before adding our wildflower seed – harvested from the Ings. Many thanks as always to our great team for all their help and support. 

Friday 13 March 2020

09/03/20 - Aviva Community Fund

We are pleased to announce that The Friends of the Lower Derwent Valley have made it through to the final round of the Aviva Community Fund, with a bid to improve access to the hides and footpath network at Bank Island. We are looking to provide c1km of ‘easy access' pathway, to link with the improvements made to the track at Wheldrake Ings last year - creating 3km of accessible footpaths between the two reserves. Our aim is to make the reserve more accessible for those who may currently find it difficult to negotiate the natural paths, including wheelchair users, young families, the elderly, partially sighted, and those who generally don’t feel comfortable with unprepared surfaces. Many of the less mobile and confident are currently excluded from some areas of the reserve, and so we’d like everybody to be able to enjoy the wildlife spectacles the reserve has to offer.

As well as working with our own volunteers and corporate groups, we will also be working with Ad Astra York - an alternative education provider set up to re-engage young people. They will help shape, plan, design and deliver aspects of the project, and in-doing so will help secure life-long skills and interests – but we also need your help as this project is a crowd funder, and whilst Aviva staff are allowed to donate money from the company to their chosen cause, we need your help to reach our ‘all or nothing’ target. Please visit our page and give what you can - every little helps- https://www.avivacommunityfund.co.uk/bank-island-nature-reserve---access-for-all-2?fbclid=IwAR0ssNslJb6Pb0HbiGWdi7R38fUG_oJ492o3PuWMTGkANahuAzAQrROPeEk#start