Crane watchpoint opened at Lincolnshire reserve


Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust (LWT) has opened a new viewing area at its Willow Tree Fen reserve, which will give visitors the opportunity to watch the site's breeding Common Cranes.

Over the winter months, work has been carried out at the reserve near Spalding to allow people to visit the site without disturbing the cranes and other wildlife. A track which cut through the centre of the reserve has been removed and the spoil used to create a raised car park and viewing area. The views across the reserve from the new viewpoint are superb and offer great opportunities for seeing local wildlife.

The car park and viewpoint are open every day from 9 am until dusk (or 9 pm), when the Crane Watch volunteers are on site. The volunteers will help visitors see the cranes and other wildlife, and answer any questions.

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A new viewpoint at Willow Tree Fen LWT will allow the public to safely watch the site's breeding Common Cranes (Ian S / commons.wikimedia.org).

Common Cranes are faithful partners, forming life-long pair bonds. After spending the winter in flocks in the Norfolk Broads or the Nene and Ouse Washes, pairs return to their breeding sites. The Willow Tree Fen birds returned a few weeks ago and have already started to breed. Sightings can't be guaranteed, but the birds are regularly seen from the new viewpoint. Over the past couple of weeks, there have also been sightings of Hen Harrier, Great Egret and other local specialities.

Willow Tree Fen was bought by LWT in 2009 and has been transformed beyond recognition from agricultural land to wet fen. The reserve is an example of the resilience of nature and how quickly it can bounce back if given a chance. Since it became a nature reserve 1,137 species have been recorded including: 162 beetle species, plus 346 flowering plants and 173 birds.

Further information about visiting Willow Tree Fen can be found here.