Oasis for birds gets an upgrade

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Twitchers are among those who are set to benefit from a five-figure investment at an upgraded West Yorkshire nature reserve.

Adel Dam near Leeds is often home to kingfishers while the lesser-spotted woodpecker and water rail have also been spotted.

And visitors to the beauty spot can now get a better view of the resident species. A project to improve the site has been completed by the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, using a £43,277 grant from Biffa Award.

The funds have been used to improve the reserve’s infrastructure. A new wildlife watching hide has been installed to replace an old shelter that was in a state of disrepair. A trail leaflet and new signs have been created to tell the story behind the reserve to visitors, with information now on hand to identify some of the wildlife that people will encounter on a stroll around the site.

A boardwalk has been extended too, providing better access, while improvements have been carried out on the dam wall to make it easier for the Trust to control the reserve’s water levels.

Dr Rob Stoneman, the Trust’s chief executive, said: “We are delighted to have been able to improve the access and facilities available to people visiting this nature reserve, which we know to be popular with local residents, as well as wildlife.

“We hope that more people enjoy the site as a result and look forward to hearing about the wildlife encounters they experience. A huge thank you is due to Biffa Award for the funding they have given us and the dedication of our volunteers on site who make so much of the work possible.”

The rare combination of habitats, both wet and dry woodland, as well as a lake and pond providing open water, means that a great variety of wildlife make the nature reserve its home. In spring a mass display of bluebells draws visitors and the spectacle is currently in its final days.

Yorkshire Wildlife Trust will be celebrating the completion of the project with its volunteers, who regularly put in the hours on site, carrying out tasks including putting up bird boxes, controlling invasive plant species and clearing around pathways. There will be a small ceremony on Tuesday at 3pm, during which staff and volunteers will be joined by some of the local people who have had past involvement with the site to cut the ribbon on the new hide.

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