6 January 2012

Fancy a Green Workout?

Happy New Year!  If you're looking for a new challenge in 2012, Froglife is undertaking a lot of management at Hampton Nature Reserve near Peterborough over the next few months, and we’re looking for help.

As we prepare for the Big Newt Count in spring, we need to ready the ponds to improve our chances of spotting the small black amphibians. This has involved cutting back reeds and bullrushes, and the chopped stems need to be scraped back to form giant compost heaps. These in turn benefit will Grass snakes as egg laying sites. In partnership with Buglife, we are also improving the habitat for invertebrates, saving ponds from encroaching willow saplings and trees.
The stunning Hampton Nature Reserve near Peterborough in Cambridgeshire
Volunteer sessions on Hampton Nature Reserve are a great opportunity to see and explore the Reserve. The site is a spectacular almost lunar landscape of hills and hollows, with over 300 ponds – a legacy of clay extraction for the brick industry. It is home to a vast array of wildlife species, including the biggest known population of Great crested newts in Europe, as well as Water voles, bats, deer, butterflies, dragonflies and other invertebrates and a range of birds.

Helping Froglife create piles of reeds, manage willow and other trees to improve the site will certainly burn off lots of calories in the fresh air! You’ll also be helping keep this important site in top condition for the wildlife, as well as meeting new people and learning new skills.

You can join the team of regular volunteers at the following sessions:

• Every Thursday from 10.30-2.30
• Saturdays from 9.30-3.30: Saturday 7th and 28th January, 4th and 18th of February and the 3rd and 31st of March
• If you fancy different days, Reserve Warden Paul will be going up there nearly every day over the next few weeks, and can do with extra pairs of hands! Do get in touch with Paul to discuss how you can help.

To sign up as a Hampton Nature Reserve volunteer, please get in touch with the warden via email here or phone him on 07977 250048. Paul will tell you all you need to know, and arrange to meet you at the start of the session.  Hampton Nature Reserve is not open to the general public, so this is a great way to get involved with this precious local site.

Hampton Nature Reserve is home to around 30,000 Great crested newts
•  You can find out more about Hampton Nature Reserve at the Froglife website here.
•  There are all sorts of other volunteering opportunities with Froglife, in different parts of the UK.  If you would like to find out more about what you can do, get in touch with Sam Taylor.
•   You can find out more about the Great crested newts that live on the Reserve here.

Froglife manages Hampton Nature Reserve on behalf of O&H Hampton Ltd.

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