Opening hours: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Farming and land management
Breeding is in full swing across the marshes. Storm Katie and April showers are keeping water levels topped up at the start of the month but we expect to start seeing the rills and ditches slowly fall as warming weather and winds evaporate the water away. The receding water in the rills (shallow channels within the fields) provides perfect muddy edges for waders and their chicks to feed, which we will see later this month (hopefully)! It also means our cows with calves at heel can return to the marshes throughout Spring as grass begins to grow and the ground begins to harden.
The recent rain has delayed our plans to resow the wildflower strips along the edge of our hay meadows. The strips provide a great source of pollen and nectar for our numerous solitary and bumble bees and other insects. The other wild bird seed strips are rather worn out now but will regrow throughout the spring and summer ready for next autumn and winter. Fingers crossed for wader chicks, migrants, butterflies and other delights throughout April.
Photography Guidelines As many of you will have read we sent out a gentle reminder about the nationally recommended guidelines for nature photographers. Thank you to all those Friends whom sent us some really helpful and interesting feedback, and notes of support.
“There is one hard and fast rule, whose spirit must be observed at all times. The welfare of the subject is more important than the photograph.” The Nature Group of The Royal Photographic Society.
Friends of Elmley Renewals
2016 stickers are still available for collection or send a SAE to us – Kingshill Farm, Elmley, Kent, ME12 3RW. If collecting, David is here everyday and is usually around the car park. The stickers work with static not glue so if you want to take it off you can. It will re-stick with a drop of water and a little pressure next time. Renewals keep trickling in. Thank you to everyone who has paid their 2016 subs in person or by Paypal. Don’t worry if you don’t know when to pay as you will receive an email from us or Paypal at the time.
Thoughts from a Regular March produced an outstanding episode of ‘ELMLEY’S GOT TALENT’, along with all the regular contributors, Marsh Harriers, Short Eared Owls and the whole gamut of waders,we got a pair of avian superstars, in a very confiding Jack Snipe, and a rather more furtive Bittern. Our first nesting Lapwing was located on the 21st, 3 eggs maybe a 4th now, confirmed on the 22nd, while the ‘expectant’ parent was feeding nearby, another 7 nest locations identified since. Look out for chicks, around 15/16th April. First Swallow seen 28th March hurried along by the gale force winds from storm KATIE.
Please report sighting of Marsh Harriers with green tags to the Hawk & Owl Trust project and all others to the BTO. This one was reported last year and is from Norfolk.