We are very pleased to be hosting a survey route as part of the Nidderdale AONB’s Wild Watch. As a new nature reserve we are very interested to learn what species we already have on our site at Bank Woods.
The site has a number of different habitats, including Ancient Woodland, lightly grazed semi-improved grassland and large areas of gorse. We also have streams running through the land, and several ‘boggy’ areas. We thought that made our place ideal for Wild Watch!
The Wild Wacth volunteers have been trained in species identification. They will make regular visits over the next few months. Their task is to identify which species they observe, from a list of fifty provided by the AONB. The ‘refugia’ are already in place along the route. These are simply squares of roofing felt! Underneath, the ground becomes warm, because any heat is trapped. The idea is that cold-blooded creatures like reptiles or amphibians might like to hide under these. The surveying Wild Watch volunteer will check these regularly. I had a sneaky peak under a couple, and found only two black slugs. Perhaps they will attract something a little more exiting!
Our future plans include protecting our Ancient Woodland, and encouraging natural regeneration, as well as planting more trees. We will also create ponds and scrapes, and add bird boxes and other habitats of various kinds. It will be fascinating to discover if our efforts increase the range of species that choose to live at Bank Woods. If you would like to join us in supporting nature, please have a look at our shop – all our products are plastic free, and all our profits go to support nature.