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From fairy magic to flaming damage

Thrupp Lake in Radley has been a hive of activity recently, and sadly not all of it good. The thriving nature reserve, which we manage on behalf of landowners RWE nPower, has seen volunteers installing new wildlife features, local Brownies creating a fairy door trail and, unfortunately, vandals burning down the bird hide.

The fire, which tore through the wooden hide on Sunday 23rd April, is clouding what has been a fantastic period of improvement at Thrupp Lake. Over the last 12 months staff and volunteers have been creating features that will encourage even more wildlife to the site, with the installation of tern rafts, otter holts and bird and bat boxes, all thanks to funding from TOE2.

“Thrupp Lake has always attracted a huge variety of wildlife and we’re hopeful that our recent improvements will draw in even more. We’re extremely grateful to our volunteers who have worked incredibly hard to build and fit the new wildlife features. The group have really enjoyed tackling a new project. After all our hard work to improve the reserve, to find out that the bird hide had been burnt down was devastating,” said Lucy Tomkinson, our Community Reserves Warden.

The nature reserve, much loved by local residents, has been subject to vandalism in the past and the eyesore that is derelict Sandles building has been a particular target. The good news is that this is due to be demolished in the coming weeks (keep an eye out for more information).

Volunteers cleared the remains of the hide during their regular session on Thursday 27th April 2017; it has not yet been decided whether the bird hide will be replaced. However, the improvements for wildlife will continue; the final piece of work is scheduled for early May, when volunteers will be helping Lucy create a sand martin bank on an island at the southern end of the lake for the birds to nest in during the spring and summer for years to come.

Thrupp Lake bird hideRemains by Mike Towndrow

Left: the bird hide at Thrupp Lake; right: what remain's after Sunday's fire (photo by Mike Towndrow)

26th April 2017