Sights and sounds are a delight

Cromwell Bottom Nature Reserve.
Cromwell Bottom Nature Reserve.

Spring is well underway, but at times it feels like winter is still holding on.

Though the weather has been changeable the sights and sounds down on the reserve have been a delight to witness.

Birds are still making use of the feeding area with male chaffinches and bullfinches looking at their best.

A very obliging chiffchaff showed well, collecting nesting material.

Warblers can be heard in the trees and a pair of kestrels make regular visits over the meadows.

On warm days we are seeing a number of butterflies and bumble bees which is a reminder that summer is on its way.

On North Loop a pair of common sandpipers have been displaying and large numbers of swallows and martins have been observed and work parties have continued to plant some more of the thousands of trees that need to be planted.

Birds of note around Calderdale include little ringed plover, ring ouzel, dotterel, golden plover and cuckoo.

Redstart and a hen harrier also showing well have all been reported this month.

For us as a wildlife group, a more worrying development is Calderdale Council’s proposed country park down at Cromwell Bottom.

Country parks become a sterile environment for wildlife.

We will be presenting a fuller piece on this in the near future setting forward our case for leaving the area as a nature reserve.

Because of this a number of environmental groups have withdrawn promised funding.

We need your support by voting for us in a grant application for £1,000 from the Aviva Community Fund.

We intend to make the sights and sounds of the reserve even easier for children and families to enjoy.

Getting outside in green spaces has huge benefits for physical and mental well-being and that’s what we want to happen for all our visitors.

Come and pay us a visit. You might see a deer, a mouse or some beautiful birds - and our bridge spiders are spectacular.

We already host activity days throughout the year for schools and young people’s organisations, but we can’t always get as close to nature as we would like.

However, it is not always very easy to find the wildlife, or to show it to people safely and humanely.

For some people it is difficult to get nose to nose with a newt, or to find a frog. In the evenings there are bats around the reserve - but blink and you miss them.

We want to buy some good equipment to reveal the riches of the natural world on our doorstep - especially to visiting groups of children and young people.

Cromwell Bottom Nature Reserve will be our open air classroom for them.

We will use the kit with lots of other visitors too so that we can make our activity days even better.

So if we are awarded this money we will buy rat detectors, moth traps and pond dipping equipment.

Please support us by going to our website www.cromwellbottom.blogspot.co.uk and following the link.

Or go to Aviva Community Fund website www.community-fund.aviva.co.uk/voting/project/view/1826/ and vote for us.

l Voting closes on Saturday, May 30.