Family fun day at nature reserve
PUBLISHED: 09:00 05 April 2015
A NEW nature reserve has opened up on the outskirts of Weston, offering the chance to see an array of birds as well as other British wildlife such as otters and voles.
The Bleadon Levels reserve has undergone improvements and an expansion, in order to provide its visitors with better opportunities to catch a glimpse of native creatures.
The reserve was created at the Wessex Water sewage works, which were set up in 1999, after millions of pounds of investment to make it eco-friendly. The 27-hectare piece of land includes a salt marsh, tidal creek and wildfowl lagoons.
There is an exciting new addition to the reserve for birdwatchers, as two new bird hides are now situated at the north and south banks of the lagoon so visitors can get a better view of the myriad birds which can be found there.
Principal ecologist at Wessex Water Mark Doughty said: “We particularly encourage birdwatchers to visit the site as there are many types of bird that inhabit both the land and water at the reserve.
“Species including, snipe, teal, widgeon, gadwall and green sandpiper are all frequently seen here.”
The drainage ditches at the site are also home to many water voles and one of the nation’s most-loved natives, the otter.
A drove of brown hares has also made its home at the site, despite dwindling numbers of the mammal nationwide.
Wessex Water is hosting a free event for families to visit the newly-opened reserve.
Anyone can go along and find out the history of the reserve, the plants and wildlife that inhabit it and take part in a range of activities on April 10 between 10am and 3pm.
There will also be an opportunity to make birdboxes at the on-site education centre, and there will be an Easter trail across the reserve to follow with treats at the end for children.
Mr Doughty said: “We’re holding this open day to let the public know about what the nature reserve has to offer.
“We are hoping to broaden the appeal to families, birdwatchers and we are hoping many other people will want to use it from now on, as well as dog-walkers who enjoy walking along the seawall at the site.”
The reserve can be found off Accommodation Road.