On Wednesday 31st May 2023, we once again opened the gates to the public for yet another successful open day. A chance for visitors to come along and discover what is often referred to as a ‘hidden gem on our doorstep’. We still hear reports from those who were unaware of the reserve’s presence, hidden from the road, waiting to be discovered.
With Flutterby Face painting in the welcome marquee, many excited children were transformed into all manner of amazing creatures, whilst others dissected owl pellets, guessed the skulls and dug for shark’s teeth in the sand pit.
Down in the reserve, visitors enjoyed a spot of pond dipping, dug for fossils and got involved in finding clues on the nature trail. Others pondered a while in the bird hide, taking in the tranquillity of the open water and sounds of reeds in the wind. A sense of peace, only disturbed by terns protecting their island nests from visiting birds of prey overhead.
Special events took place with invertebrate expert Dr Pete Kirby and botanist Sarah Lambert hosting a bug hunting event, with over 100 species recorded. An amazing count considering the weather! Then later in the day, Karl Charters escorted a large party around the reserve on an informative nocturnal walk. Many great crested and smooth newts were seen en route, and the group was treated to the chance to observe 2 long-eared owls!
To close the day, Phil Parker and Karl Charters ran the moth trap by the main hide until the early hours of the morning. Only a few moth species (around 30) were noted due to the cool temperature, but a lovely evening was had none the less.
It is safe to say, the inclement weather did not dampen spirits, with 250 visitors attending the event, between midday and 5pm. Plus many more for special events into the evening.
It is always a pleasure to welcome everyone to Kings Dyke Nature Reserve. We are thankful to receive continued support from Forterra, ensuring the reserve and wildlife within it can continue to thrive. It is amazing to see the appreciation visitors/members have for the outstanding variety of wildlife the reserve holds.
People’s commitment to protecting and nurturing nature, whilst admiring its beauty, is something to behold.
Open day Blog Notes/Pics