Floods batter nature reserves
Recent heavy rainfall has caused disruption in several nature reserves run by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB). The Ouse Washes nature reserve has been particularly severely affected after a two-metre rise in water levels destroyed the nests of approximately 600 wading birds, and it is feared that this includes damage to the nests of 37% of England and Wales' lowland snipe population.
Other reserves known to have been affected include Pulborough Brooks in West Sussex, Fairburn Ings near Leeds and Minsmere on the Suffolk Coast. The redshank, avocet, black-headed gull, lapwing (pictured) and black-tailed godwit have all experienced disruption at various locations.
Commenting, Ouse Washes Site Manager Jon Reeves said “Following centuries of land drainage across the UK, the Ouse Washes is now the most important stronghold for these birds, after they have been largely forced out of other sites...Literally, we have all our eggs in one basket and we’ve lost them. It’s devastating to watch the nests succumb to the rising waters without being able to do anything to prevent it.”