Tuesday, 4 August 2020

COVID-19 update

The summer has arrived and since the campsites have by and large re-opened we thought we would give you a quick update on current access restrictions on the Reserve.

It has been a strange 6 months on the Reserve but as lockdown has eased we have seen a flood of visitors heading to Northumberland, particularly over the last couple of weeks. Visitors can access the Reserve but with an increase in visitor numbers it is vital that we keep maintaining social distancing with others across the Reserve and try to minimise transmission of the virus wherever possible. For this reason we have decided to keep all our bird hides closed for the foreseeable future.

There are still some great places to stop and observe the diverse range of life that Lindisfarne National Nature Reserve supports. The viewing platform at Budle Bay provides spectacular expansive views across the mudflats and sand that form this important wildlife refuge. Waders are beginning to migrate back to the Reserve from their breeding grounds and this is the perfect place to see them feverishly refuelling on the rich mudflat after their long journey.
Budle Bay viewing platform in pre COVID times
The nature trail on Holy Island is also open but as stated above the bird hide at the Lough will remain closed. It is a beautiful 5km walk that takes in stunning views along the Northumberland coast and winds its way through some of the botanically rich dune system with several species of Orchids dotted along the trail. The downloadable leaflet containing the nature trail is available on the blog website. Please be aware of pirri-pirri bur that grows within the dunes. The spiky seed heads are perfectly designed to attach themselves to anyone brushing up against them. This plant is an invasive from New Zealand and so to stop the spread further afield we ask that before leaving the Reserve visitors remove any burs. Check thoroughly as they have a habit of sticking to absolutely anything.

 Seasonal Shorebird restrictions are still in operation across the Reserve as birds are still rearing young, readying them for the long migration south. This will be up for review next week. It has been an odd year for Shorebirds as well as people. Numbers of Little Terns across the Reserve started increasing from May but unfortunately nesting areas were washed by high tides in mid-May (fortunately before any birds had settled) but unfortunately spring tides accompanied by large swell flooded the site twice more. This resulted in the birds moving to another area of the Reserve where a number have nested successfully and are now rearing young.  Please read the signs and listen to any wardens when accessing the site to help us keep disturbance to a minimum at this critical time.
Juvenile Ringed plovers can be seen at this time of year on the Reserve

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