Nature Notes 26 January 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

The pond at Balloo Wetland has become overgrown with reed sweet-grass. Although a native wetland plant, it can very quickly spread and form dense mats that smother the pond and other native plant species. To get away from this monoculture, we have started to remove the plant with help from our Nature Skills trainees.

This work will provide some open water habitat that will encourage more waterfowl, amphibians, dragonflies and damselflies to the pond and should give other beneficial wetland plant species the chance to grow~ Ryan Bradley, Nature Reserves Officer

Inishargy Bog Nature Reserve

It was a particularly wet day at Inishargy Bog for our  ESC volunteers. With all the heavy rain, the drains where full to capacity, which doesn’t help when you are trying to put fencing up to keep livestock out ~Ronald Surgenor, Nature Reserves Officer

Volunteers, Iniaharghy bog

Slievenacloy Nature Reserve

Last week´s fire at Slievenacloy was to get rid of some old hawthorn hedge and gorse that had to be cut back during the process of installing the new stock-proof fencing throughout the nature reserve. Some of the gorse had been removed from the fields where it had started to encroach out onto the species-rich grassland ~Ronald Surgenor, Nature Reserves Officer

ESC at Slievenacloy Nature Reserve