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News Items

January 13, 2021
Latest News Laura Wharton

Promising Activity Reported at Bath Peregrine Site

Hamish Smith has reported some promising activity at the Bath Peregrine site at St. Johns. Could this be a potential pairing for Bath’s 2021 season? St.Johns peering over the local rugby ground in Bath. I’ve been following the dynamic at the church since the…
December 24, 2020
Latest News Super User

Sculthorpe Reserve - Closed

Sculthorpe Moor Nature Reserve Further to the Government announcement Norfolk will be moved into tier 4. Therefore, we are sorry, but we have decided not to open the Sculthorpe Reserve over the Christmas period and will remain closed to the public until…
December 20, 2020
Latest News Super User

Welcoming back the Ghost of the Moor

Welcoming back the ghost of the moor Written by Shaila Rao, Ecologist

The Hen Harrier Satellite Tagging Project: Case study - Sorrel

Dec 16, 2020 859
Looking back on Hen Harrier Sorrel’s journeying to dateAuthor: Hamish Smith As the Hawk…

A year in the life at Sculthorpe Moor

Dec 09, 2020 455
A year in the life of the Hawk and Owl Trusts Nature Reserve at Sculthorpe Moor in…

Great Progress on New Sculthorpe Walkway

Dec 09, 2020 554
Great Progress on New Sculthorpe WalkwayThe new walkway joins onto the Woodland Loop…

Sculthorpe Reserve Winter Opening Times 2020

Dec 08, 2020 408
Winter Opening Times Sculthorpe Reserve Winter and Spring Opening Times 2020 /2021 The…

Sculthorpe is Open! 8/12/20

Dec 08, 2020 400
Our Sculthorpe Reserve is open today! 8/12/20 We're happy to inform you that the reserve…

Lockdown 2 Update from Sculthorpe Moor (week 4)

Dec 02, 2020 584
Our fourth and final Lockdown 2 update from Sculthorpe Moor brings news of reopening,…

Hawk and Owl Trust Christmas Gift Guide

Dec 02, 2020 1162
Hawk and Owl Trust Christmas Gift Guide This year there are plenty of options to choose…

Chris Sperring MBE goes live with Sculthorpe's Tawny Owls

Dec 01, 2020 341
Chris Sperring MBE and Tawny Owls Live! Chris discusses Tawny Owls via Zoom with live…

Tawny Owl Surveys on the Fowey Estuary

Nov 25, 2020 529
Tawny Owl surveys on the Fowey Estuary – October 2020 Image snapshot from the Hawk & Owl…

Lockdown 2 Update from Sculthorpe Moor (week 3)

Nov 24, 2020 450
Walking the boardwalks today volunteers were spotted working on the new bridge that will…

Simon Beard kindly updates the Hawk and Owl Trust on the Winter period so far at the Shapwick Reserve.

Even with the various lockdowns, life still continues at Shapwick Moor.


Our grazing regime means that the last of the Red Devon cattle were removed from our fields at the end of December. This enables the fields to have a 'rest' from heavy grazing and soil compression in the wettest months. Grazing will start again in April on most of our fields.

We are moving several of our fixed field margins in the coming year. This is to prevent excessive scrub build upon the land that has been within field margins for the past 4 years and to position them in areas that are easier for us to maintain.

The last of the yellow rattle seeds were sown on November in strips of land that will not be grazed next year. We now have to wait to see if the germination is as good as it was in out trial plots last year. The long term plan will be to increase annually the areas that are sown with this species that is vital to reduce grass grown in our meadows.

Volunteer work has been greatly reduced this year due to Covid and the cheerful chatter of volunteers has been greatly missed. Limited individual volunteering continued until December, but even that has now stopped. The ancient overgrown hedge leading up the main track toward Shapwick Heath which was almost woodland full of dead and dying trees was, hopefully, saved by clearing out lower growth scrub and removing timber that was leaning in a manner that suggested it would fall in the next few years.  The remaining larger trees will be pollarded and smaller ones will be used to lay the hedge.

Our collecting box was badly damaged early in the Autumn and the box & its contents were stolen. Due to the skills of several local 'friends' a new box has been constructed and it will soon be placed in a new 'cairn' that is designed to prevent a nuclear attack!  Our visitor numbers are very low at the moment due to lockdown. Mostly dog walkers who live in the neighbouring villages.

Our winter months are the times when we have good numbers of wetland birds. This year we have had some notably large flocks of lapwings some days. Snipe are present in good numbers but elusive and tend to only show themselves as they fly off in front of us as we walk the reserve. Cattle Egrets have been on the reserve most days, but with the removal of the livestock that I mentioned earlier, these birds seem to disappear.  The Great White Egrets that the Avalon Marshes have become famous for are seen regularly along our ditch edges.  

2021 will continue to be a challenging year for us, but the reserve is in very good condition and we have a long list of 'jobs to do' once our volunteers can resume their efforts. 


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