Nature network update – June 2024

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Nature enhancement is a key part of our ongoing work to conserve and enhance the Suffolk & Essex Coast & Heaths National Landscape. 

Our Nature Network Officer, Alex Moore da Luz, provides a round-up from all of our nature enhancement projects and volunteer work parties for June 2024.

1 Shotley Ringed Plover Project

It’s been a fantastic breeding season down at Shotley this year as part of our ongoing conservation efforts to support ringed plover on the peninsula, alongside the Orwell.

Two pairs of ringed plover have been recorded along with four chicks. A pair of oystercatchers also successfully hatched chicks – one was spotted a few weeks ago. Great news!

2 Stag Beetle Pyramid Building

On the 6th and 20th June, volunteers helped to build more stag beetle habitat on the edge of a woodland at a farm in Shotley Gate. The land between the south side of the Stour estuary and the Deben estuary remains a stronghold for stag beetles in the UK.

They are a rare and threatened beetle throughout northern Europe. Male stag beetles measure up to 7.5 cm long, making them the largest beetle in the whole of Europe!

3 Volunteer Thank You Event

We had a fantastic day at Trimley Marshes for the annual Coast & Heaths Volunteer Thank You Event on 11th June.

Huge thanks to Joe Underwood (Reserve Warden) who led a very interesting tour of the reserve and showed us some real treats including avocets, bee orchids, lapwing chicks, greenshank and three pochard ducklings. Pochard are a very rare breeding bird in Suffolk.

Massive thanks to all the volunteers that make such a huge difference to help wildlife and manage their precious habitats!

4 Gardening for Wildlife

Well done to Phil Price, one of our National Landscape volunteers, for his No Mow May efforts (above)!

Saving even small patches of lawn from the mower can be a lifeline for birds such as starlings and house sparrows in their desperate search for insects to feed their hungry broods.

If you have any photos of wildlife habitats in your garden you would like to share that can inspire others, please email [email protected] to be featured in future monthly updates.

5 Upcoming tasks

  • Friday 5th July – Stag beetle pyramid building in Shotley
  • Friday 12th July – Himalayan balsam control in Higham
  • Friday 19th July – Stag beetle pyramid building (location tbc)
  • Friday 16th August – Tree after care in Chelsworth
  • Friday 23rd August – Sedge management at Bixley Heath, Ipswich
  • Friday 30th August – Tree aftercare at Borley Mill

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