HELP US PROTECT LAVELL'S WILDLIFE
Bittern, Lavell's Tern Scrape 2008: Ron Bryant
Last updated 23/2/15
Next bird walk: Sunday 8th March 2015
Next work party: Sunday 22nd March 2015
Who are the Friends Of Lavell's Lake (F.O.L.L.)?
We are a registered charity (297074) with nearly 450 members (Aug 2013) and we hold monthly guided bird walks and arrange volunteer work parties each month to help manage the habitats to maximise the biodiversity.
Lavell's Lake has two scrapes, Phragmites reed beds and scrub habitats and in co-operation with Dinton Pastures Countryside Service (DPCS), we have worked together to build 2 excellent public hides overlooking Tern and Teal scrapes.
January 2010 F.O.L.L. opened a 'members only' hide called 'Ron Bryant' hide just off Dinton Pastures land, North of Lavell's Lake at Lea Farm Gravel Pit (LFGP). This was done with kind permission from the land owner Summerleaze Ltd, who continue supporting our conservation efforts and endeavours. Only F.O.L.L. members can access the hide which is secured with combination locks, access allows exellent views across the lake and landfill, which offers an open lake and managed 'willow free' edges to attract waders and dabbling wildfowl in the winter, making it a very different habitat from anywhere on Dinton Pastures.
The original F.O.L.L. committee set up the agreement with Dinton Pastures Countryside Service (DPCS) in 1984, dedicating Lavell's Lake as a Local Nature Reserve (L.N.R.). and took the wise decision to prevent any access behind the lake, providing undisturbed habitats for wildlife to thrive.
Lavell's Lake offers a good mixture dense scrub, grassy areas, mixed Alder, Hawthorn and Blackthorn, mixed deciduous hedgerows of Hazle, Spindle, some young Oak, Ash and the usual assortment of Willows. In partnership with DPCS through Countryside Stewardship Scheme grants, the amount of Phragmites reed has been purposely increased by over 500% since 2004, now giving extensive reed beds, sedge lined fringes, shallow waters well stocked with natural fish, making this small reserve a paradise for equatic species in summer and winter.
Resident reed dwelling bird species are Reed Bunting and Cetti's Warbler, in the summer we have many Reed & Sedge Warbler, with Water Rail & Bittern in the winter, along with Snipe, Teal, Shoveler, Little Egret and Lapwing on the scrapes.
Our key mission is to ensure the habitat is managed in the best way for nature to thrive and that area remains protected, whilst providing disabled access to bird watching hides.
Why we need your help
To keep attracting the birds we get, we have to constantly manage ever encroaching Willow and keep vegetation low and dense to maximise the scrub, this also keeps things perfect for good populations of Whitethroat, Bullfinch, Garden Warbler, Blackcap and Tits and finches.
In recent years DPCS have been hugely successful in helping F.O.L.L. with the expansion of new reed beds, grants for Bittern Hide and the disabled access path, as well as a new hide at Sandford and even more Phragmites, but
DPCS has undergone many downsizing and restructuring phases and we no
longer have the guarantee that a DP person will be able to assist on our
monthly work parties - We never have too many people to come and help and it is not always heavy work, often just paperwork, tea & coffee making, or PR duties are needed too.
If you cannot help physically, we welcome assistance in other forms, like helping promote the benefits of membership on awareness days, litter picking, bird counts, etc.
One very popular but expensive facility provided by F.O.L.L. is the winter bird feeding station next to Bittern Hide, costing around £600 per winter period to keep the feeders full and the facts are, we get less than £150 per year in specific food donations, making us reliant on using part of our annual membership subscriptions to keep the birds fed......and people happily viewing them.
So even if you cannot help physically we would really appreciate every donation - a sack of Black Sunflower costs £20+ and only lasts about 3 weeks
HOW YOU CAN GET INVOLVED & HELP
- Join F.O.L.L. - Annual membership from £7.50 per year, or £10.00 for families
- Attend our monthly 3 hour guided bird walks around Dinton Pastures (Every 2nd Sunday from 09:00 til 12:00) for a £1.00
Help out at our monthly volunteer work parties, held every 4th Sunday of each month
Donate additional funds towards conservation tasks and winter bird food
Attend our AGM and get involved with committee decisions
IMPORTANT SECURITY ADVICE
DO NOT BE A VICTIM OF CAR CRIME LEAVE NOTHING IN YOUR CAR -
If you drive a hatchback, remove it to show would be thieves you have nothing to steal