Wednesday, 6 October 2010

John and David, batmen of Grochall

Watch where you're putting that drill!

Volunteers David and Kathryn Issitt and John and Brenda Lancaster have been hard at work on our newest nature reserve at Grochall, just a stones throw from where they live at Mile End, Lizard. We bought 44 acres of farmland here last December, thanks to the generosity of Elisabeth Lee, who left a legacy for the purchase of a nature reserve in Cornwall. The land here fitted the bill perfectly, being rich in wildlife, such as nesting barn owls, ponds and heathland, and being nestled between two nature reserves, Natural England's Lizard Downs to the South, and Windmill Farm (jointly owned by Cornwall Wildlife Trust and Cornwall Bird Watching Preservation Society) to the North, opening up all sorts of opportunities for linking access and wildlife friendly management.

Bat boxes ready for action
David and Kathryn, and John and Brenda, ever enthusiastic, have helped with all sorts of tasks from planting apple trees, to daily checks of our ponies and cows, but their latest project is bat based! Our bat expert advised, that although, with thick hedges and wildlife friendly margins meaning lots of good feeding habitat for bats, without old buildings and trees, roost sites are limited at Grochall. That's where David and John, drill and screwdriver in hand, stepped in to leave our bats (probably mainly pipistrelles) spoiled for choice when it comes to designer homes. Meet the Kent Bat Group Bat Box! David and John have made 7 of these boxes, complete with narrow voids which bats can crawl into, to feel secure as they rest in the day, which are now fixed to a new barn. A borrowed bat detector has shown that our nocturnal friends have been out and about, and we hope its only a matter of time before they move in. Thanks to David, John, Kathryn and Brenda for all their hard work at Grochall.


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