Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Brancaster update

Brancaster Activity Centre 
We are delighted that we have been able to start our school visits by working in partnership with Deepdale Backpackers and Farm, and last week saw our first visits of the year which worked very well and all the children had a fantastic time. A big thank you to everyone who has worked to make this happen.


Easter Activities
This Easter we have planned some 50 things to do before you're 11¾ family activities. Wild Wednesdays will be on 9th, 16th and 23rd of April and will include activities such as bug hunting, kite flying, bird watching, a muddy harbour walk and more. All activities are free and all children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. For more information or to book please call 0844 249 1895 or see our web page.

Brancaster Beach
Following extensive re-decoration made necessary by the tidal flooding, the Brancaster beach toilets are now open, three weeks ahead of the planned date. Please respect these public toilets.
If you have any queries then please do not hesitate to contact us on 01485 210719 or email brancaster@nationaltrust.org.uk 

Monday, 24 March 2014

24th of March: Spring arrivals on Blakeney Point


Spring migrants have started to arrive on Blakeney Point. The first Chiffchaff appeared in the Plantation on the 9th of March, and the first Wheatears were seen on the 21st.


The breeding bird season is beginning. Over the past couple of weeks several hundred Black-headed Gulls have moved onto their usual breeding place on Far Point.
Black-headed Gulls on Far Point this weekend

Despite the Suadea bushes being partly buried by shingle, they are still settling in the usual location. Amongst them are over a dozen Mediterranean Gulls. They stand out from the Black-headed Gulls with their blacker heads, redder bills, white wing tips and distinctive call.
Mediterranean Gull on Blakeney Point
(seen here amongst Sandwich Terns in May 2011)
 
Yesterday (Sunday 23rd) saw the arrival of this year’s first Sandwich Terns, spotted by Skippy from Aylmerton Field Studies Centre whilst out on a seal trip. We are excited about watching numbers build up over the next few weeks. I was fortunate to see Sandwich Terns on their wintering grounds in West Africa last month, it was fascinating to see them in a different setting, amongst Caspian Terns, a rarity in the UK.
Caspian Tern in The Gambia

Sandwich Tern at Blakeney

Repair work on the Lifeboat House is nearly finished. The public toilets will be opening on the 31st of March (as per the National Trust handbook), however the visitor centre will not be opening until the 7th of April as renovation work to the floor is taking a little longer than predicted.
Young 'black' Grey Seal on the Point

We will keep the blog updated with migrant and breeding bird news throughout the spring. You can also follow us on Twitter and Facebook to stay up to date.

- Ajay (Coastal Ranger)

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Morston scaffold bridge in place

The temporary scaffold bridge structure is open and there is now access beyond beyond 'bridge 2' for the first time since the tidal surge. There are some safety considerations so please read the signs on the entrance to the bridge.

The green temporary fencing has been required to protect the saltmarsh (please stick to the path) and you may notice some bushes have been netted to prevent birds from breeding within the access and disturbance area. The on-site works to replace the wooden bridges will start on the 31st of March. The temporary bridge will be in place until the new wooden bridge is completed.

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Footpath Update between Blakeney & Cley



As a result of the tidal surge in December there was significant damage to the flood defence at Blakeney Freshes and the public footpath between Blakeney Quay and Cley village.  Due to safety issues the footpath has remained closed since December.  Whilst the long-term future of flood defence measures for this area remains uncertain, the Environment Agency, Norfolk County Council, Natural England and the National Trust recognise the significance of this route for the local community and the economy of this area and are actively working on practical temporary measures to re-open this route as soon as possible.  Work is expected to commence on site in mid-March and the Environment Agency have issued the following information sheet.