Most of Stanwick Lakes is a protected Nature Reserve and a Wetland of International Importance under the Ramsar Convention. It is also a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and a Special Protection Area (SPA) for the birds that rely on the specialised habitat throughout the seasons.
Stanwick Lakes has a diverse range of habitats including reedbeds, lakes, marginal vegetation, riparian, woodland, wet woodland, scrub, grassland and wet grassland, all of which need to be managed to maintain the abundance of wildlife which depend on them. Rockingham Forest Trust rangers lead a large group of volunteers who, through their hard work and dedication, help to conserve these habitats for future generations.
Examples of some of the management work includes:-
- Willow clearance from reedbeds and lake margins to provide habitat for waterfowl and warblers to nest in.
- A rotational cut of a large reedbed to promote new growth and prevent build-up of leaf litter.
- Woodland coppicing and clearance as young trees mature
- Hedgerow management, such as hedge laying, planting and trimming, to provide nature corridors for small mammals and nesting habitat for small birds.
- Conservation grazing during the spring and summer growing season, using cattle and sheep, to prevent scrub regrowth and unwanted plants from developing. Grazing is primarily to keep the grass sward low for overwintering arrivals like Wigeon and Lapwing.
- Cutting and bailing grassland and meadows after the main flowering season, aiding the dispersal of seed and allowing light for the later flowering plants. Cuttings are then used as cattle feed throughout winter when stock is kept off site.
- Monitoring of water levels, controlled by the Environment Agency using sluice gates, to maintain a wetland habitat.
If you are interested in joining our dedicated group of FOSiLs (Friends of Stanwick Lakes) to help us with this vital conservation work, then please call (01933) 625522 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and ask the ranger team for details.