Nature Notes 18 May 2021

Milford Cutting (c) @k_ellio

Observations from staff, volunteers and members on our Nature Reserves this week.

Nature reserves may look completely wild, but our 19 reserves across Northern Ireland are actually carefully managed by a dedicated team. We protect, restore and create a mix of habitats where wildlife can thrive.

Milford Cutting Nature Reserve

Milford Cutting is looking incredible in this spring weather. Thanks Karen (@k_ellio) for sharing your pictures of our Nature Reserve on Twitter. Karen has also spotted some kingfisher, dipper, grey wagtail and sand martins along the river! ~Kelly Muldoon, Marketing Communications Officer

Balloo Wetland Nature Reserve

We are carrying out remedial works to one of the old oaks in Balloo Wetland this week. The tree has been heavily pruned in the past, as it has shed limbs before, and is quite dangerous. The tree has now been diagnosed with a pretty serious disease, a fungus that causes soft rot, Kretzschmaria deusta. The fungus can cause catastrophic failure of the tree and, so with this risk, and the risk it may cause to the public, we have had to make the decision to dramatically reduce the tree. We will be removing the crown and leaving a 4 metre 'monolith' (its main stem but without branches). This way, the tree will be safe for the public and will also still provide a habitat for wildlife. ~Ryan Bradley, Nature Reserves Officer

Oak, Balloo Wetland Nature Reserve

Oak (c) Gemma Sandford