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Blashford Bulletin April 2018

Lapwing-Chick-Blashford-April-2018Spring has definitely arrived now with the dawn chorus of birdsong and the buzzing of insect wings filling the air.  Listen out as birds like chiffchaff and goldcrest use their song to stake their claim to their feeding territories.  Swallow---DHawkins-Blashford-April-2018The birds on the reserve are busily mating, building nests and rearing their young.  Last year visitors were treated to a mother lapwing and her chicks patrolling up and down in front of Tern hide.  Sand-Martin-by-Steve-Farmer-Blashford-April-2018The swallows, swifts and martins have returned from their winter holiday in far off South Africa and are treating visitors to impressive flying displays as they greedily gobble up the insects above the lakes.  It is amazing to think that the swallows zig-zagging over Blashford Lakes have travelled over two thousand miles, covering two hundred miles a day and reaching speeds of up to 35 miles per hour.  No wonder they are so hungry!

It is not just the birds celebrating spring on the reserve, take a walk along Dockens Water to see a splash of spring colour as the Cuckoo-Dave-Foker-Blashford-April-2018bluebells are in full bloom along its banks.  Complete your visit by having a quiet sit down behind the education centre watching newly emerged dragonflies and damselflies as they zoom around in the spring sunshine.  The warmer weather is bringing out an abundance of insect life with an ever growing list of colourful butterflies and shiny beetles.  All you need then is to hear the easily recognisable call of the cuckoo echoing round and you will know that spring, with all its promise, colour and life is definitely here.

Natural-Wellbeing-Blashford-April-2018All this makes Blashford Lakes Nature Reserve a wonderful place to enjoy all that spring has to offer and to nourish the senses. We know that a strong connection with nature has countless benefits for people’s health and wellbeing, which is why we began Natural Wellbeing sessions here on the reserve last year. The sessions run every Friday from 11am until 2.30pm and use the natural environment to promote adult health and wellbeing, so are particularly beneficial for people who are suffering with mental health conditions. Participants are able to get involved with cooking lunch outside, wildlife watching, craft activities or they can just enjoy the peace and tranquility of the woodland with the company of others.  If you would like to join us or know someone who may be interested, please get in touch on 01425 472760 or BlashfordLakes@hiwwt.org.uk.

The Blashford Lakes Project is a partnership between Sembcorp Bournemouth Water, New Forest District Council and Wessex Water. The reserve is managed by Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust, a charity that aims to protect local wildlife and inspire people.

For information on upcoming events visit our website: www.hiwwt.org.uk or phone: 01425 472760. For up-to-date wildlife information visit our blog:
blashfordlakes.wordpress.com.