Arrival of rare turtle doves heralds new dawn for Daws Hall Nature Reserve in Lamarsh as regular events resume
With the arrival of spring, optimism has filled the air at a nature reserve near Bures following a difficult year, as regular events return this month following the easing of coronavirus lockdown restrictions.
Daws Hall Nature Reserve in Lamarsh welcomed back families for the first time this year last week, as part of its Busy Bees toddler group, ahead of a full schedule of walks, talks, workshops and fun days planned over the coming months.
It marks a significant milestone in the return to normality for the Daws Hall Trust, located off Henny Road, which has felt the full financial impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Due to safety regulations, none of the usual public events or educational school visits have been held at the reserve since the start of 2020, prior to the first national lockdown.
But with the lifting of restrictions allowing for family fun sessions to resume, Daws Hall general manager Will Dover said they are now able to plan ahead to bring visitors back to the 25-acre reserve.
Positivity has also been boosted by the arrival of a pair of turtle doves at the site for the third year in a row – a surprise occurrence, given the growing vulnerability of the species.
“The turtle doves are sort of a sign of spring,” Will told the Free Press. “They are becoming a rarer species, because there are fewer places for them to nest.
“That said, this pair has come back to roughly the same tree in the same part of the reserve three years running. The bird feeders we put out, they tend to seek them out again.”
He added: “The impact of Covid has been massive. Entry fees from people visiting are a massive part of our income as an independent charity. We’ve been really struggling.
“We’ve had some funding from the Suffolk and Essex Community Foundations, but a lot of grant-giving bodies have narrowed what they will fund, and that’s put a bit of a strain on us.
“We’re really looking forward to welcoming people back. We have a programme of events lined up for the rest of the year.
“Visiting on open days is a fantastic chance to see nature, and we want to galvanise people to protect nature and care about it beyond them seeing it here.”
Groups aimed at young children will continue this month, along with a morning birdsong walk taking place on May 22, while the first summer open day is scheduled for June 6.
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