Thursday, 26 July 2018


...sorry for the terrible pun! You may remember my post from earlier this year about the North Duffield Corncrake.

Well, the great news is that there have been ten singing males in the Lower Derwent Valley NNR this year, and Craig Ralston, the Natural England site manager thinks there may have been eight or so breeding pairs. This is simply brilliant, and testament to what landscape-scale nature conservation can achieve, through a partnership between Natural England, Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, local farmers and other organisations. There is now enough meadow in the valley being cut late in the season to enable Corncrakes and other ground-nesting species, such as Curlew, Lapwing and Snipe to thrive. This is a massively good result and has, this year, been helped by the warm dry spring and early summer, meaning no late spring floods causing the loss of nests, which has happened all too frequently in recent years. So, this really is Crex-cellent news, as this is the only natural re-colonisation by Corncrakes in England. Let's hope the partnership keeps strong and gives this enigmatic species a real future here in the Vale of York. Huge congratulations to Craig in particular who has worked so hard for years to make this happen.

Today, we (Yorkshire Wildlife Trust) hosted BBC Look North, who were doing a feature on the impact of the hot weather on wildlife. They were also very interested in the Corncrake success story and so I got to stand in the middle of the patch whanging on about my favourite subject. Not too bad a job sometimes!

My moment of fame :-) On the BBC Look North news.

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