Sunday, 29 October 2017

Rushden Lakes

When retail developments clash with wildlife there is usually a problem. It is flora and fauna versus Florence and Fred, with the former generally being the losers. At Rushden Lakes, a development adjacent to flooded gravel pits rich in wildlife, a brave effort has been made to reconcile the inevitable problems. Wildlife has of course suffered and to pretend otherwise would be to turn a blind eye - or ear - to the noise, the atmospheric pollution caused by a daily influx of vehicles in their hundreds, the potential litter and simply the acres of tarmac covering what could have been an even more valuable wildlife habitat. But there is no denying the importance of this innovative venture, and if it reminds people of the wildlife on their doorstep, this is no bad thing.
My worry is that the area could be over-managed. 'We must remove that overhanging branch, someone might bump their head, and get rid of that fallen log, someone could trip' sort of attitude, but with the region's wildlife trust deeply involved I'm sure that a common sense attitude will prevail. Earlier today Chris and I mosied over to take a look.
There are plenty of well-positioned viewing platforms.
Rushden Lales, 29 October, 2017
A big effort has been made to retain and reveal the area's natural beauty. The public access is limited to footpaths but enough of the adjoining wet woodland - a sort of carr - is visible to whet the appetite, perhaps encouraging people to become involved in the work of the Trusts and get really engaged in woodlands.
Woodland to the left and a lake to the right. Rushden Lakes.
 29 October, 2017
Inevitably the amount of wildlife to be seen was limited to commonplace, familiar species, but how many children have properly looked at the flowers of brambles, examined acorns or felt the spiny receptacles of teasels?
Flowers lingered on brambles. Rushden Lakes. 29 October, 2017
There will be plenty of wildfowl on the lakes and, if they can't spot any woodland birds, there are a number of carved wooden sculptures to fire the imagination. 'I've never sat on a woodlice,' I heard a child shout, as it mounted a wooden isopod.
'Owls then on every bough do sit'.  Rushden Lakes, Northamptonshire.
29 October, 2017
Was there anything for me to report? A willow leaf bore the gall of a cecidomyid fly, Iteomyia caprae, but that was about it, and I'd not gone with the intention of doing any surveying anyway.
The yellow gall of Iteomyia caprae. Rushden Lakes, 29 October, 2017
The weather had been better than we'd been entitled to for late October and we left with the intention of returning. However, it was a round journey of sixty two miles so it won't be in the immediate future. 

Tony White  E-mail:

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