RSBP September 2019 newsletter
RSPB and National Trust get together – by bicycle.
As part of a trial initiative to link the RSPB’s Rainham Marshes and the National Trust’s Rainham Hall, visitors who hire a bike from the RSPB can now enjoy 10% off the entry fee to Rainham Hall. The bicycle could be used to travel to Rainham Hall on the day of hire, or the voucher can be used on a different day within two weeks of the bike hire.
[Rainham Hall – an historic house with a difference: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/rainham-hall]
[Rainham Marshes – full of wildlife and a great day out: https://www.rspb.org.uk/reserves-and-events/reserves-a-z/rainham-marshes/]
Breeding waders update.
There is a correction required from the last update – our number of breeding waders were actually 82 pairs of lapwing, and 87 (not 82) pairs of redshank – both these figures are up on 2018. Productivity for lapwing was nearly 0.5 young per pair, so lightly below the target of 0.6-0.7 young per pair.
Big Wild Sleepout at Rainham Marshes.
Our annual Big Wild Sleepout, an opportunity to camp out on the marshes, was held on Saturday 3rd August, and was a great success.
Nearly 50 people joined us for the event, and included several families who had never tried camping before. There was lots of pond dipping, mothing after dark, story-telling, wildlife walks and clear skies that allowed good views of both Saturn and Jupiter.
Young Wardens and more.
Today’s young people are the first generation to grow up with an understanding of climate change, and the last to have the chance to help us avoid its most disastrous effects...here at Rainham Marshes we’re doing everything we can to give young people opportunities to get involved in conservation and change.
We already offer events for children but as they grow older, children need a bit more of a challenge, a bit more responsibility. This year we started a Young Wardens group in response to requests from youngsters taking part in the Duke of Edinburgh scheme. Young people from 12-18 now meet once a month to work alongside our warden team. They get involved in practical conservation tasks, learn how to work as a team and how to safely use hand tools to carry out repairs around the reserve. It’s been a successful start and many of the volunteers who joined the group simply to complete their DofE volunteering have remained afterwards as they enjoy it so much.
We’re always happy to help keen young wildlife lovers with conservation work experience in any way that we can. We’ve had four young people so far this year carrying out work experience with our warden team and we find that, if you believe in them, they are just as capable as any adult to carry out real tasks which contribute to our conservation effort.
This July, we were happy to host a group of older teenagers taking part in the National Citizen Service. This scheme, set up by the government a few years ago, encourages young people and partner organisations to work together on a small project. The teenagers, who are strangers when they start, live and work together for 3-4 weeks and take part in a whole range of exciting activities. This includes working with their partners in the community, identifying a way they can help, raising money and then providing volunteer resource to complete a project. Our NCS group built us a bug hotel from recycled materials to use in our dedicated education zone. They were committed and mature young people and it was a pleasure to work with them.
Autumn work programme gets underway.
This is the time of year that our tractor earns it’s keep, and topping the thistles and rushes has now begun. This helps keep the sward suitable for cattle grazing, and also gets the sward ready for next year’s breeding season. This work will be ongoing for the next few weeks. Our grazier has also begun cutting some areas for hay.
As part of a funded programme of works, our entrance gate onto Wennington Marsh from Coldharbour Lane has been repaired, and made more secure. Other elements of this funded programme, such as track repairs, livestock fencing and bridge repairs will get underway very soon.
RSPB at the Havering Show.
Rainham Marshes attended the Havering Show over the recent very hot August Bank Holiday. Our single-use plastic-themed stand, and upcycled dragonfly activity, attracted adults and families, giving us a chance to tell them about our amazing reserve and the work of the RSPB.
We made several new RSPB members, sold pin badges and engaged with lots of people.
Senior Site Manager
RSPB Rainham Marshes nature reserve New Tank Hill Road, Purfleet, Essex, RM19 1SZ
Tel 01708 899845
Mobile 07841 804860