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Did you know? Maple Lodge Nature Reserve...

posted 9 Jun 2013, 07:49 by Tomo
Just a short distance from Chorleywood and situated in Maple Cross, Maple Lodge Nature Reserve is 40 acres of mixed habitat, owned by Thames Water who lease it to the volunteer members of Maple Lodge Conservation Society. Regular work parties from the Society are responsible for maintaining and enhancing the reserve.

Although the nature reserve is not open to the public (members have 24hr access) the society host a couple of open weekends each year when they offer guided tours of the reserve. The next one will be on Sunday 4th August 2013 in celebration of their 30th anniversary. For more details check out the Maple Lodge website


Highlights of what's available:
  • From the Clubhouse Hide there is a view over the lake, and the feeding site attracts a wide variety of birds and animals.  Strategically placed posts here and elsewhere on the reserve provide kingfishers with good fishing perches.
  • The Plantation area has been planted with native trees such as oak, alder and ash.  The alder cones attract mixed flocks of siskin, lesser redpoll and tits.  The mature trees and hedges provide nest sites for many common birds.
  • The Paddock is carefully managed and is only cut twice a year.  During the summer it is a haven for wild flowers, butterflies and warblers.
  • The Wild Flower Meadow is protected by a rabbit-proof fence and is home to marbled white butterflies in mid-summer.  It also houses a barn owl box from which young have successfully fledged.
  • Marsh Lake and Clubhouse Lake support breeding wildfowl including gadwall, teal, tufted duck, shoveler and little grebe.  The reed beds are visited by reed and sedge warblers as well as the occasional bittern.
  • The Long Hedge contains an ancient mixture of shrubs and trees with flowers to attract insects and butterflies, followed by berries for wintering birds.  Mammals present on the reserve include fox, weasel, common shrew and harvest mouse.
  • There are 10 hides on the reserve so that people can observe wildlife without disturbance.  Seats and benches are also sited around the reserve so that visitors can pause and enjoy the peaceful setting.  Where practicable, areas of the reserve have been made wheelchair accessible, including a number of the hides.
  • The clubhouse has toilet facilities with disabled access.  Car parking is available in the nearby social club car park and there is disabled parking next to the entrance to the reserve.
Membership of Maple Lodge Conservation Society is open to anyone with an interest in conservation and natural history.  The Society also welcomes visits from interested groups.  Access to the reserve is via membership or by pre-arrangement with the Society.

For more details please visit the society's website http://www.maplelodge.org/ or contact the Chairman, Keith Pursall, on 07580 535986 or keith@maplelodge.org

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