Blog Post: Snowed under in summer

Summer season is snowed under at Fairhaven With an underlying uncertainty shrouding the beginning of the year we were never wholly certain as to what the uptake of school visits back to Fairhaven would be like. Having been in a position to offer a funded subsidy we knew that the uptake at Leighton Moss had been substantial and with us having had a delay to the water supply to the new centre we weren't sure what to expect. On return from the Easter holidays historically there's a flurry of school enquiries and despite some trepidation this year did not disappoint, the flurry started before the schools broke up and continued on return too. As a result we are now almost fully booked for the whole of June and July. This has been no mean feat, some of our bookings are quite large, luckily Kirsty one of our education team volunteers enjoys leading too and where she is unavailable we have been able to call in the cavalry, with assistance from Carol the Learning Officer at Leighton Moss. In fact in it's thanks to all of our volunteers that we are able to host so many visits. Our team of education team volunteers are fabulous. Assisting with the preparation of resources in the morning, engaging with the pupils and staff and then cleaning and tidying away at the end in readiness for the next day ensures that the day runs smoothly. Our feedback so far has been exemplary too, teachers really appreciating the effort that our volunteers go to and the valuable contribution that they make. There'll be a nice big get together at the end and drinks will be on me! If you or anyone you know would be interesting in volunteering for the education team then click this link for further information. We are very much looking forward to a very busy season. For further information about our school offer click here , there are plenty of days in September. Our coastal sessions are popular at this time. On the other side of the estuary Things have been hectically busy on the other side of the estuary too. There's been an arrival of new vehicles. Firstly there's the new tractor, meaning excitement all round. This new vehicle also has a cab, so that even in inclement weather our wardens will stay dry! However, with the vehicle being a substantially taller, we've had to have a new door fitted on the garage to accommodate it. We've also had a boat donated to us from Burton Mere . Being in the middle of two of our sister reserves certainly has its benefits. There's been volunteers working hard to renovate her and get her "ship shape" should we say? The boat will enable us to maintain the "wet fences" a lot easier than previously. Now does she need a name? Maybe in honour of a long standing staff member? We've a lot to thank our volunteers for here too as they've been e flat-out maintaining the fences and cutting the paths. They've also found time to construct some nice human ‘perches’ which have been going up around Marshside too, providing a rest for weary visitors (they’re much appreciated by the weary wardens too!). Our predator fences around the new scrape at Rimmers Marsh and at Hesketh out Marsh have been switched on, hopefully protecting the avocets nesting there, we are expecting chicks on the loose anytime soon. The tern rafts have also been put out at Hesketh, again protecting the terns from land predators, with Arctic terns queuing up to inspect them immediately, fingers crossed for a successful nesting season for them. Arctic terns make one of the longest migratory journeys wintering in the Antarctic and joining us here in the summer to breed, so lets hope they're satisfied with their accommodation. Don't forget to call in and see us in the Fairhaven Lake Visitor Centre , grab a coffee, peruse the books and grab some bird food, my birds are almost eating me out of house and home at the moment. Looking after little ones is energy zapping so I'm glad that the food I provide gives them that well deserved energy boost. All in all, we're all snowed under, but in a good way. Jo Baby Arctic tern by Wes, tractor by Tony and school children by Jo