Habitat Creation on a Huge Scale

North Cave Wetlands is an amazing collaboration between commercial quarrying and wildlife conservation interests. The original site had been quarried for 20 years when it was acquired by Yorkshire Wildlife Trust in 2001and the extension of the wetland habitat began. It has now been extended to over 80 hectares and over 200 bird species have been recorded. The gravel islands provide breeding grounds for avocets, oystercatchers, lapwings, ringed plovers and common terns. Another 57 hectares of former farmland is now being quarried and replaced with shallow ponds, flood meadowland and reed beds.

Gravel extraction in progress

Last week I spent a day there, planting reeds around one of the newly created ponds. Using a bulb planter, we made holes in the soft mud and just dropped the plants in – progress was amazingly fast. It’s an unusual place to be working as a conservation volunteer, as gravel extraction is still taking place and huge lorries are cruising around – high vis jackets are compulsory.


 A new pond

Trays of reeds ready for planting

A margin of reeds

 Erecting a temporary protective fence

http://northcavewetlands.com/
http://www.ywt.org.uk/reserves/north-cave-wetlands-nature-reserve

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