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Testwood Lakes celebrates its tenth birthday
11:30am Wednesday 21st August 2013 in News
TESTWOOD Lakes Nature Reserve in Totton is ten years old this year and the Hampshire Wildlife Trust would like you to celebrate with them.
On August 31 and September 1, you can join staff and volunteers in a series of events that celebrate the unique qualities of this suburban nature reserve. There will be activities to interest all ages running over the weekend, including:
- August 31 – Incredible Sounds of Nature from 2pm-4pm
- August 31 – Wildlife at Dusk and Birthday BBQ from 6pm-9pm
- September 1 – Tenth Birthday Bash Activity Drop-in Day from 11am-4pm
- September 1 – Tenth Birthday Walk from 1pm-3pm.
When the reserve and centre opened to the public in 2003, its former life as a busy industrial gravel extraction site in the 1990s was still quite evident.
Ten years on, Testwood staff and volunteers have transformed the 150 acres into an important wildlife refuge and an exciting place to explore and see wildlife.
Visitors can enjoy the wildlife from two bird hides and viewing screens that overlook some of the best bird breeding and feeding habitats.
Access around the reserve is easy thanks to surfaced paths, boardwalks and kissing gates. You can find your way round and find out more as you go thanks to waymarking posts, interpretation panels, artistic sculptures and even a Bronze Age roundhouse.
Visitors of all ages and abilities are welcome to explore the reserve. In one year, the reserve leads over 4,000 children and young people on a wide range of activities, using the centre as a base.
These include pond dipping, bird watching, nature walks, map reading, den building, eco-challenges and natural arts and crafts.
More and more wildlife has been welcomed to the reserve over the years by installing bird boxes, a sand martin nesting bank, rafts and raised gravel beds for waders to nest on, and the creation of colourful gardens right outside the centre.
Staff and volunteers work on the reserve to remove built-up vegetation in the ponds to keep them healthy, maintaining a good variety of tree structures in the woods, and cutting the meadows and grassy banks in rotation to keep the variety of wild flowers.
Careful monitoring has shown the wildlife that benefits from the reserve totals 132 species of birds, 16 species of dragonflies and damselflies and 25 species of butterflies.
Lapwing, oystercatchers, little ringed plover and great crested grebes continue to breed successfully, and most of the holes in the sand martin bank are being used successfully as nesting places.
In a year, over 40 volunteers give more than 730 days of their time.
If you are interested in helping, get in touch at hiwwt.org.uk and click on ‘Our Reserves’, or email email@example.com.
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