News Items

April 14, 2021
Latest News Laura Wharton

Reserves and Hides are Open!

The Sculthorpe Moor and Shapwick Reserves reopened fully on Monday 12th April 2021. On Monday morning Nigel Middleton took great pleasure in changing Sculthorpe’s ‘Closed’ sign to display its ‘Open’ message. Throughout the day the reserve welcomed happy…
April 14, 2021
Latest News Laura Wharton

Kestrel Highways Project update on A303

Kestrel Highways Project update on A303 An update on the A303 Kestrel Highways Project in Wiltshire which covers 30 miles of the hinterland bordering the A 303, from Mere to Andover. The current Kestrel Conservation Status is Amber, which means that there is…
April 07, 2021
Latest News Laura Wharton

Bath Peregrines Update - Incubation Stage

In total, the Bath Peregrines have laid 4 eggs between the 24th and 31st March (2021). Based on data from recent years Hamish Smith anticipates that hatching will happen during the week of the 1st May. In Summary:Egg 1 was laid 18.39 24th March Egg 2 was laid…

Norwich Peregrines Update - Incubation Stage

Apr 07, 2021 1235
The Norwich Cathedral Peregrines are currently in incubation stage after laying a total…

Creating & Conserving Habitats Through Land Management

Apr 06, 2021 477
Creating and conserving habitats through land management at Sculthorpe MoorImage: Steve…

2021 Norwich Cathedral Watchpoint Update

Mar 23, 2021 2133
Norwich Cathedral 2021
Norwich Cathedral 2021 Watchpoint Update At present, the Trust remains in a lockdown…

Nigel Middleton - 20 Years at the Hawk and Owl Trust!

Feb 23, 2021 1136
Nigel Middleton recently celebrated his 20 year anniversary with the Hawk and Owl Trust.…

Meet the Team - Katherine Hewkin

Jan 27, 2021 1142
Katherine Hewkin is the Trainee Assistant Warden at Sculthorpe Moor Nature…

Peregrine Project – Norwich Cathedral - January 2021

Jan 19, 2021 13117
The Hawk and Owl Trust have visited Norwich Cathedral this month to clean and check the…

Promising Activity Reported at Bath Peregrine Site

Jan 13, 2021 1788
Hamish Smith has reported some promising activity at the Bath Peregrine site at St.…

Sculthorpe Reserve - Closed

Dec 24, 2020 1231
Sculthorpe Moor Nature Reserve Further to the Government announcement Norfolk will be…

Welcoming back the Ghost of the Moor

Dec 20, 2020 1354
Welcoming back the ghost of the moor Written by Shaila Rao, Ecologist…

The Hen Harrier Satellite Tagging Project: Case study - Sorrel

Dec 16, 2020 1692
Looking back on Hen Harrier Sorrel’s journeying to dateAuthor: Hamish Smith As the Hawk…

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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