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RSPB Fen Drayton Lakes, for March 2009

Posted: 13/02/2009

A photographic competition, entitled Fens Through A Lens, was jointly organised by the University Museum of Zoology, Cambridge, the RSPB and the Wildlife Trust last year. Local photographers Sue Jones and Paul Hutchinson took winning images at Fen Drayton Lakes. Many of the best images have been put into a touring exhibition. If you missed it in fen Drayton before Christmas, you can catch it in Swavesey’s Parish and Priory Church of St Andrew from 6 to 26 March. Do go and have a look – you may recognise some of the views or other photographers’ names.

Fen Drayton Lakes provide so many opportunities for artistic inspiration (and frustration) – from close-up shots of spring flowers and buds, panoramic scenes, portraits of people and birds. The birds often provide the frustration – why do they always seem too far away for your camera, or refuse to look to the camera when they are close enough? Next time you go for a walk, remember to pick up your camera.

Construction work on the guided busway through the lakes has made progress, despite the snowy conditions in early February. It is still too early for us to be able to say what impact the postponed opening will have on visitors, particularly in relation to the amount of construction traffic using the entrance road and Holywell Ferry Road, and the condition of the road surfaces. So far, our requests to have the holes filled have not been successful.

Our conservation volunteers learnt how to lay hedges last November, and have put their new skills to good use on a hedge near Springhill Lagoon. Laying involves cutting almost through the main stem of each shrub in the hedge, then bending the stem over its neighbour. The job is done in the winter, and then when spring growth begins, new shoots come from the cut. The combination of leaning stems and new growth produces a dense hedge. Traditionally, such hedges were to keep farm livestock in (or out). They have the additional benefit of providing good nesting sites for many songbirds.

The next guided walk at Fen Drayton Lakes will be on Thursday 19 March, beginning at 10am at the small Elney Lake car park and viewing screen close to Fen Drayton village – follow signs for disabled access parking. There is a charge of £3 (£1.50 for RSPB members, reductions for children). We will be hoping for fine weather, which will encourage the ducks to give their courtship displays and songbirds to sing.

Look out for our new events leaflet – the cover has a picture of children hunting bugs. It should be ready by the middle of March.


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