Nature Notes 23 March 2021

Observations from staff 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.

Balloo Wetland Nature Reserve

We have created a new flower bed at the picnic area in Balloo Wetland. The bed will not only look pretty, but will also attract a range of pollinators.  As plants and seeds are a little hard to come by this year, because of the new customs regulations, we have sown the bed with a wildflower seed mix we had left over from another project. We will be gathering up suitable nectar-rich plants, as and when we can find them, and adding them to the bed as the year goes on. We'll keep you posted on how it goes.

Want to let nature into your garden? Find out more and get your FREE 'Let Nature In' Guide ~Ryan Bradley, Nature Reserves Officer

Balloo Wetland

Glenullin Bog Nature Reserve

Our team put up new signage at Glenullin bog this week. We have plenty of projects in preparation to return this nature reserve to a healthy condition. This will provide another safe refuge for species and will also help combat climate change through carbon storage.

Our work to protect and restore this nature reserve is only possible thanks to the generosity of our supporters leaving gifts in their Wills, together with match funding from the Northern Ireland Environment Agency ~ Ronald Surgenor, Nature Reserves Officer

Ballynahone Bog Nature Reserve

Our trainees and volunteers carried out rapid condition assessments on Ballynahone bog last week. Rapid condition assessments are undertaken to help check the condition or health of a site; they are a basic survey of an individual plot that shows vegetation cover and type on a given section of bog, but can be used on other types of habitat ~ Ronald Surgenor, Nature Reserves Officer

Condition assessments, Ballynahone bog

Umbra Nature Reserve

We found a Chinese lantern at Umbra yesterday. It´s important to keep in mind the damage that these type of items could cause to our wildlife and habitats ~ Andrew Crory, Nature Reserves Manager

Chinese lantern, Umbra