Category: Public

What’s beneath the surface?

Our minds are conditioned by what we see of the landscape around us. Beneath the surface is geology that conditions the world above. At the end of June 2019 the British Cave Research Association (BCRA) and The North Pennines UNESCO Global Geopark (NPUGG) will meet at Nenthead, near the watershed between the Tyne and Wear rivers,… Read more »

Birds at risk

A group of Young Volunteers from Durham Wildlife Trust has completed the first weekend of bird monitoring on our Upland, the third successive year. As we noted previously the mild winter and decent spring is a significant improvement on the difficult conditions ground nesting birds faced in 2018. With anticipation our team went to the… Read more »

Hopes for better weather and healthier breeding season in 2019

It was a miserable year for birdlife on the upland in 2018, but there is hope for a better 2019. Last year’s bitterly cold winter, late spring, and scorching summer meant the breeding pattern for our birdlife was severely disrupted. As a consequence nests had fewer eggs – for example, curlew had perhaps only two… Read more »

A wet Spring and dry Summer has impacted on Weardale’s birdlife.

For Red Grouse the combination of a late cold Spring left hens in poor condition when nesting, not least by the near total failure of cotton grass which is a major source of spring protein for grouse. The exceptionally warm dry Summer that followed reduced the insect population on which new grouse chicks feed.  The… Read more »

Spring Lek 2018

Over a series of mornings late in April a small number of conservationists gathered early morning on the Lek to watch and listen to the Black Grouse at full throttle. There were over forty black cock birds on the Lek on any given morning providing a tremendous display, at quite a volume.  We have added… Read more »

Creating new habitat

  Postponed for a month to allow for the weather to warm a little – and the ground to eventually thaw –  a group of Durham Wildlife Trust Young Volunteers spent a morning tree planting on the moor. The saplings have been planted in an area where Natural England believes it is possible for a… Read more »

Winter chill

While snow on the uplands is a beautiful sight, it is a tough time for birdlife.  Many birds take to the lower levels and find some shelter in dips and along walls or fences. Plus there is always the chance of some food at feeders close to the farm.  It is a reminder that at… Read more »

Counting the birdlife

As we reported in May, we have started a long-term project to monitor the birdlife on the moor.  Annual monitoring is an excellent way to better understand bird populations and to make, or adjust, intervention on the moor to assist and assure healthy bird populations. The more information we gather, the more years we gather… Read more »

Spring brings new challenges

This spring on the moor we have two exciting projects to report. First, a professional photographer visited to capture the Black Grouse at the peak of the lekking period, when the grey hen grouse come to pick the best of the Black Grouse males from the early morning displays of plumage and display. A selection… Read more »

Summer is on its way.

Through the spring we had a MammalCam in the woods. Where the hare, badger and squirrel rummaged around at night. When Spring arrived a feeder was placed close to the farm, and birds arrived quickly. First Grouse. Pheasant too. And with Summer on the way, the Black Grouse are back on the lek, from before… Read more »