Dubwath Silver Meadows
Dubwath Silver Meadows is a wetland nature reserve next to Bassenthwaite Lake and is one of the best havens in Cumbria for seeing wetland flora and fauna. It also plays a useful role in protecting the quality of the lake by offering natural flood water storage and improving water quality by depositing silt and nutrients before the water enters the lake. A cleverly designed recycled plastic boardwalk extends almost the complete circumference of the site and is accessible to pram pushing parents and those in wheelchairs, making it a popular destination for visitors and locals alike.
Depending on the time of year you visit, this is also home to the rare small pearly bordered fritillary butterfly. A team of bird watchers/listeners recently recorded almost fifty different bird calls in one early morning visit to the site including Whitethroats and Willow Warblers and the evocative call of the Lapwing. This is also an key wintering area for Snipe which can be seen around the edges of the pools. Wildlife statistics are regularly collected and fed back to help compile national database of wildlife around the country.
Barkbooth Lot is situated near the head of the Winster Valley and includes rough fell land, oak woodland and meadow.
In the last year, the nature reserve has seen an impressive 250m of wall restored, running around the boundary of Barkbooth. As well as this, part of the pond in the woodland was dredged to allow for some open water in the reserve. Wall, fence and path maintenance are all ongoing tasks year-on-year.
The roadside trees in the reserve have been cleared, and wildflower seed and plug plants were sown and planted in Howbarrow Meadow to try and increase species diversity. Over the last year, bird boxes have been cleaned out and monitored over the breeding season. Dragonflies have also been monitored. Further species surveys are to be undertaken to ensure that species diversity at Barkbooth is flourishing.
Warton Crag Butterflies
Warton Crag nature reserve is part of the Arnside and Silverdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in Lancashire. The reserve has a rich variety of habitats including areas of limestone pavement and ledges, with mixed woodland, limestone grassland and scrub. This reserve is important nationally because it is home to several rare butterfly species, northern brown argus, pearl bordered fritillary and high brown fritillary, which are UK Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) species. By working with local volunteers the project hopes to strengthen links with the local community, raise awareness and increase support to assist with management and monitoring work at Warton Crag in the future.