The Suffolk Wildlife Trust Conservation Day and the 50th AGM was held in the Corn Hall at Diss.Following the opening remarks by Lord Cranbrook we had excellent talks by Mike Harding on ‘The Remaking of a Fen’, Tim Pankhurst on ‘The Importance of Redgrave & Lopham Fen’, Dr Helen Smith on ‘Fen Raft Spider on the move’ and Nick Mason on ‘The Changing Fortunes of Suffolk’s Dragonflies’.
The AGM was carried out quickly and efficiently.The Chairman Sir Kenneth Carlisle in his report thanked the staff and all of their volunteers for their hard work and dedication to conservation.
In the afternoon we enjoyed a walk at Redgrave and Lopham Fen led by Andrew Excell and Richard Young.
Thankfully we have almost finished cutting and raking the grassland on the summer flood; I am also purposely draining the flood so that I can have a heavy tracked vehicle on to recontour the scrape area. The work should be taken place in a week or two.
Observations included Wheatear 3, Greenshank and Marsh Harrier.
I had a site meeting this morning with Dorothy (line manager) and Mike Pratt and Mervyn Miller our two voluntary wardens. The photo shows us standing on the sea wall inspecting the maintenance work that is being carried out by the Environment Agency. The grazing and the annual marsh management work is going exceptionally well. While we discussed the winter work programme a Hobby appeared over our heads hunting for dragonflies.
My interest in wildlife began many years ago, when short trousers were in fashion. The first bird’s nest that I found was that of a Song Thrush way back in 1949. Luckily for me during my childhood days, the Orwell estuary was my playground. My most memorable recollection from those early-1950s days, and one that has stayed with me ever since, was when I stood at the water’s edge of Mulberry Middle at low water. I was in awe of the vastness of the scene around me; the natural wilderness feeling was so powerful, and thereafter I was simply hooked on the beauty and the wildlife riches of the estuary and I have savoured that experience on so many occasions. I have also seen some dramatic changes. These days, only on a bleak winter’s day or during the depth of night does the estuary become, once again, a wilderness for its wildlife. These are just some of the reasons why I am passionate about and do all that I can in the world of conservation.