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Sculthorpe Fen Project News

September 12, 2019
David Lindo launching the Sculthorpe Moor Nature Reserve expansion
Sculthorpe Fen Project News Super User

Sculthorpe Moor Nature Reserve launch of massive expansion

September 9 2019, almost 100 key supporters gathered to raise a glass and celebrate the launch of a major 3-year project at Sculthorpe Moor Nature Reserve. Earlier this summer the Hawk and Owl Trust who manage the reserve near Fakenham in Norfolk purchased…

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On 21 June a dShot Marsh Harrierog walker came across a critically injured male Marsh Harrier on the boundary of the Trust’s nature reserve at Sculthorpe Moor near Fakenham in Norfolk. Sadly, the finder was unable to get to the bird to rescue but did take a photograph which records the kind of injury that shows the bird had been shot. The bird was reported to staff at the reserve very quickly after the member of the public had tried, unsuccessfully to contact RSPCA. Unfortunately, a subsequent search failed to find the bird; the vegetation was all broken down with only a few feathers left.

The male Marsh Harrier breeding on the reserve has not been seen since and his absence puts this year’s chicks at risk as both parents are needed to supply enough food for a growing brood.

Police are asking for anyone with any information to contact them. If you saw anything last week that may be relevant please contact Jason Pegden (PC1257 - Wells SNT (C11), North Norfolk LDU) on 101.

The Trust has recently announced that it has purchased over 150 acres of land on either side of its existing 45-acre reserve along the River Wensum valley, one mile west of Fakenham. The new land is in two parcels and it is on the boundary of the western portion, near Sculthorpe Mill, that the bird was found.

Although native, Marsh Harriers had become extinct in England by the late 1800s. Occasional wandering birds from the continent bred in Suffolk and Norfolk up to the 1950s but numbers crashed once again and, by 1961, no Marsh Harriers bred in the UK. Once the use of pesticides was banned numbers once again began to climb and now, thankfully, these magnificent birds are becoming a familiar sight in the fens, marshes and reedbeds of eastern England. Marsh Harriers target rodents, birds, insects, reptiles, frogs and even, on occasion, fish. 

Nigel Middleton, Sculthorpe Moor Reserve Manager, saidWe hear of birds of prey being killed illegally so often. Illegal persecution is such a problem and it’s inexcusable. Having it happen on our door step has come as a real shock. Marsh Harriers are the reason that Sculthorpe is a reserve. This is just horrifying. If anyone knows anything please let the police know. Let’s bring this criminal to justice

News

New Wetland Area at Sculthorpe

The new wetland area is taking shaping. Photos: (C) Martin Hayward-Smith

Sculthorpe Moor Closure

The Sculthorpe Moor Nature Reserve and Visitor Centre will be CLOSED this SATURDAY 10 AUGUST from…