Thursday, 15 December 2011
In other news regular visitors to Burwell fen may have spotted some interesting spellings as well as wildlife. My nice sign is somewhat embarrassingly talking about ‘signed routs’ not ‘signed routes’. I haven’t had the chance to change them. Any regular visitors to this blog might have noticed my poor spellings! Sorry about that I do try to keep it acceptable.
Wednesday, 7 December 2011
Also Jason finished fencing the ha-ha on Burwell fen. The idea did work in part, and it was a shame to have to fence it, but we got to keep them cows off the path. In areas where the ditch is likely to hold water all year round and if we can make the edge a bit steeper I hope we can try it again. A ha-ha would not be subject to the continued management the fences need and in my opinion look a lot nicer.
Wild Camping at Oily Hall
The fence is up, the ramp for the composting toilet is in and the foundations are in place. All we need to do now is build everything! Hopefully before Christmas we will get the cabins or pods constructed. It looks to be a pretty tall order though and plenty of hard work.
Monday, 21 November 2011
Down at Oily Hall, which is to the West of Lode, we have started constructing a Cattle Handling Unit. Me (John), Johnny, Johnny and Jason (it made it simple for Jason to get out attention) set about getting it started. Basically it is a big strong pen, the cattle are baited or run into it to catch them. When time and materials permit the plan is to have three layers of crash barriers to complete the fence, and to cut all the poles down to get it all neat and tidy. We used old telegraph poles, so the post certainly look strong enough!
Below is a picture of where we got to, and a picture of what we hope it to look like from a site nearby:
Other things on the go:
Jason has started to build the fence to surround the new wild camping site on Oily Hall. With a spot of luck the shelters or ‘pods’ will be constructed in mid December. The idea is that groups such as the Scouts or Guides can book them out and use them as a stopover, no need for a tent. Further work on Oily Hall includes Jason building a fence to divide the fields and possibly digging a small pond.
Sunday, 13 November 2011
Harriers and Owls
Number one is pretty simple, our Visitor Centre at Wicken. Clearly a good spot at any time but if you finish your walk for about 30 minutes before dusk and are near the Visitor Centre you have a great chance of spotting a Harrier or two, and possibly an Owl, mainly Barn Owls.
Number two is Harrisons Drove. I have always liked a wander down here at dusk and waiting to see if anything flies over head.
Number Three, Via Newnham Drove, heading from Burwell. This drove is in a bit of a state and you need a 4x4 really to get to the end where there isn’t any parking, just a few lay-bys. But the reasonably long, straight walk down from then end can be as fruitful as where the arrow points to at its end. I found myself here at the end of last Thursday and spotted four Short Eared Owls one flying right overhead. If you are on the lodes way this is a nice point to stop lean on the gate and take a nice break. Barn Owls andMarsh Harriers have both been spotted here recently by myself.
Number four. Reach Lode Bridge. There is a bit of hard standing here, Split Drove is in better condition than Newnham Drove, not ideal but I can take my little car down there no bother. Pop over the Bridge and see what you can.
The path around Burwell Fen via Reach Lode, Burwell Lode and the Lodes way makes a big triangle. This is well worth a wander, especially in the afternoon/evening as the sun goes down.
Here is another fantastic picture of a Short Eared Owl by Richard Nicoll.