Category: Public

Year 3 of our Bird Monitoring programme.

This has been the third year for a group from the Durham Wildlife Trust young volunteers to visit designated spots on the upland to count birds, in May and in July. The moor is a haven for a range of endangered birds on the BTO list of endangered British birds. We mention five below within our… Read more »

Going underground

Day two of a weekend study on the fascinating underword of the “Hypogenic Caves of the North Pennines UNESCO Global Geopark” brought a team from the British Cave Research Association (BCRA) and The North Pennines UNESCO Global Geopark (NPUGG)  to the Fairy Hole cave system of Upper Weardale. The group spent a number of hours… Read more »

A promising time on the Uplands

Late Spring and early summer has been a busy time on the uplands of Upper Weardale. This time-lapse video shows the remarkable energy of the early morning Black Grouse on the Lek. By now of course many of the young birds hatched in May and early June are almost ready to leave the nest. Late… Read more »

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 »