We are very pleased to announce that we are now the official owners of the fields behind Cliff Farm thanks to a huge fundraising effort earlier this year. After many delays during the official handover processes with solicitors etc., we have finally exchanged and the fields are now officially owned by the Observatory!
Of course none of this would have been possible without the amazing response which we had from our supporters to help fund this land purchase. So, a BIG thank you must go to everyone who donated, took part in a quiz or auction or helped spread the message about our fundraising. THANK YOU!
The view down the middle of the two new fields.
Until their purchase, these fields were largely left fallow over the past decade, with a hay cut taken from a portion of the northern field. The fields make part of the wider ‘Triangle’ habitat of mixed shrubs, hedgerow and grassland. Birders familiar with the area may have seen an Olive-backed Pipit, Barred Warbler, Red-flanked Bluetail or Richard’s Pipit in these fields in recent years, and they are reliable areas for Short-eared Owls, shrikes and chats, even including the Masked Shrike in 2014!
The view over the new fields from the Canal Bank looking back north.
We as an Observatory will now be working out exactly what the habitat management plan will be for this parcel of land, as well as our other parcels of land at Church Field, Corner Field, Sykes Field and the Observatory garden so that we can be ready to hit the ground running later in the year. Our initial plans are to have a mixture of wildflower meadow/scrub/sacrificial crop in the northern of the two field and wildflower meadow with some wet ditches and a shallow pool in the southern field.
We’ll keep you, our loyal supporters, updated as we finalise plans and begin to work in this field on this exciting project.
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Posted: 23 August 2021
Thanks to all the many photographers who allow us to use their images on this site, in particular Dave McAleavey, Martin Standley, Mike Watson, Richard Willison.