Moor Green Lakes Group

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Updates from our volunteers

Volunteer work on the reserve

Sunday 11th Feb 2024

It was a day of multi-tasks with the volunteers divided into four groups to work in different areas. In the car park, Team 1 repaired fencing, installed the new donations box and created an area for information posters. Nearby, access to the new path on Manor farm was blocked to discourage access until Cemex have complete all the internal fencing and the area is officially open to the public.

Team 2 worked in the meadow alongside the path to the river removing the small areas of blackthorn encroaching into the grassland. Some blackthorn saplings were dug up and used to filling the sparse sections along the hedge-line, particularly in the stretch where the hedge has been laid.

Team 3 repaired the previously laid hedge by adding new stakes and binders where the old ones had rotted giving it a real makeover. Also, the number of gaps in the hedge onto the bridle path were reduced.


Working on the hedge ©2024 MGLG

Finally, Team 4 worked on the slots between the path and Colebrook Lake South harvesting the stakes and binders for Team 3 and completed the clearance left unfinished after the January work party.


The cleared slot, before and after ©2024 MGLG

Tuesday 13th Feb 2024

Another good turn out, with the work organised by Ranger Eddie Whalley with teams working in different areas. Hedge-laying continued with a very impressive 50m completed since the work started in January. Some worked on fencing, including mending the fence along the path to the river where a very large tree came down in the January storms. Stock fencing was installed in the NE corner of Colebrook Lake North.

More binders and stakes for the hedge layers were harvested. Paths were checked for overhanging branches with some being removed and edges of the paths trimmed. Litter picking was carried out along the path and just inside the reserve - dog pooh bags and cans seem to be some favourite items for lobbing over the fence into the reserve. Please don't, take you litter home.


16-Jan-2024 Tuesday - Continued the hedgelaying along the path to the river

The BVCP Tuesday work party continued the hedge-laying and the tidying of the previously laid hedge. Another lakeside slot was cleared and the area in front of the Colebrook Lake South viewing slot tackled to improve the view. A large willow had come down over the bridleway in the recent storm, most of it had been removed by a Moor Green team of volunteers, but BVCP rangers removed the remaining very large trunks.

14-Jan-2024 Sunday - Annual hedgelaying and coppicing

An amazing 25 volunteers turned out in January and enjoyed dry weather - very welcome after the soaking we endured in November and December.

The annual task of hedge-laying was undertaken. Several volunteers, including new ones Alison, Holly and Colin were given the opportunity to learn this enjoyable skill under the watchful eyes of Tony Elston and work party leader, Duncan Clark. In addition, the hedge, laid in the last few years was cleared of weeds and bramble (it will grow back!) and given a bit of a trim.

Slots along the path from Colebrook hide to the river and along the southern edge of the reserve are cut on a 10-year cycle to provide a variety of habitats. A slot close to the hedge laying due for clearing was tackled. Both hazel posts and long thin binders were harvested ready for finishing off the laid hedge.


Hedgelaying ©2024 MGLG


10-Dec-2023 Sunday - Helped the wildflowers

Large areas of gorse and bramble were beginning to encroach on the meadow north of Colebrook North Lake reducing its ability to be just a wildflower meadow. Much of this was removed in addition to yet more shoreline willow.

Some new bee verticals were cut into the steep area of the bank and vegetation in danger of shading the area was removed. The bee verticals thrive best in full sun.

The weather was wet, so the large bonfire was very welcome for the 21 volunteers. We rarely have bonfires now, but this is the best way of getting rid of large quantities of gorse and bramble. Some willow was also burnt but the rest made into a dead hedge. Large quantities of Christmas goodies and mulled wine were enjoyed by all.

Tern Island clearance

The meadow North of Colebrook before and after gorse and bramble clearance ©2023 MGLG

14-Nov-2023 Tuesday - The car park

On a very wet day several jobs in the around the car park were completed. The gate was rubbed down ready for painting, but it was too wet to paint. The potholes that had appeared in the car park were filled and the many overhanging branches removed. By lunchtime everyone was thoroughly soaked so Eddie decided it was time to go home.

Group of volunteers in the rain

A group of volunteers basking in the glorious winter weather ©2023 MGLG

12-Nov-2023 Sunday - Worked on Plover Island and the nearby shoreline

In November another annual task was tackled - clearing the vegetation from Plover Island. This island is much more of a problem compared to Tern Island owing to large amounts of bramble and bracken in addition to the usual annual weeds. Access is via the pontoon making it easier to remove the vegetation.

Not all the 22 volunteers worked on Plover. A group continued the never-ending task of removing shoreline willow, using it to create a large dead hedge.

Plover Island

Before and after short of Plover Island clearance ©2023 MGLG

10-Oct-2023 Tuesday - Continued the work on the West end of Colebrook North

More work was carried out on the Tern rafts

Volunteers continued to cut back the willow on the western Colebrook shoreline opening a new vista from the footpath to the river.

Eddie, along with Matt, used the Robomower to cut back encroaching bramble in the meadow and to cut back the edges of internal path edges in other parts of the reserve to ensure easy access for vehicles.


The Robomower taking a well earned rest ©2023 MGLG

8-Oct-2023 Sunday - Tackled Tern Island and shoreline Willow

Clearing Tern Island of vegetation is an annual task to provide the clear gravel liked by some nesting birds - mainly black-headed gulls and little ringed plovers. In the past, this job has taken a large team all day to achieve but now we seem to be getting on top of the job and it only took a small team of 6 the morning to get it cleared. All weeds are removed from the island by boat.

View of Colebrook North

View of Colebrook North after willow clearance ©2023 MGLG

Other volunteers worked along the western shoreline of Colebrook North clearing saplings, mostly willow, and some large willow that we have not had time do in other years. A large pile was left for the cows to enjoy.

The task of removing the tern rafts and dismantling them began. Over the years they had become more and more dilapidated and no longer suitable for nesting terns.

Thanks to all 24 volunteers for their contribution.

Tern Raft

The end of life for this tern raft ©2023 MGLG

12-Sep-2023 Tuesday - Worked near Colebrook hide

Work was carried out near Colebrook hide. The hay cut was carried out in the birdfeeder paddock, the route to the hide trimmed. Some shoreline willow and other saplings removed.

10-Sep-2023 Sunday - Created a Winter view

Clearing the view from Grove hide has become a regular task for the MGLG volunteers now made easier using battery hedge trimmers (used for the first time in 2022). In addition, the stream past the hide was cleared to give a good flow and some willow saplings removed from the reed beds and the acidic scrape.

All this work by the 17 volunteers ensures the willow doesn't take over and provides a good view of Grove Lake for winter bird watching.

Grove Hide

Cleared view infront of Grove Hide ©2023 MGLG

Tales from Moor Green Lakes

What happens behind the scenes at Moor Green Lakes, from the BVCP Rangers and Volunteer Leaders (this section is no longer updated)


01-Feb-2019  Holy Hedge Laying Volunteers


21-Sep-2018  More Green Car Park

17-Sep-2018  Phew! What A View

22-Aug-2018  The benefits of taking photographs to identify insects

20-Jun-2018  Bumper Year for Barn Owls

20-Mar-2018  My Tern on the Raft

16-Feb-2018  Clearing Tern Island

15-Feb-2018  Enviromental Endeavours

4-Feb-2018  New Owl Boxes

17-Jan-2018  Heatening Hedge Laying


28-Nov-2017  Volunteer Leader Update - Plover Island

22-Nov-2017  Roboteers Start Your Engines

18-Oct-2017  Volunteer Leader Update - Hide Maintenance

15-Sep-2017  Out with the Scrub and in with the Birds

31-Jul-2017  Amber Alert: Shelducks Nesting!

26-Jul-2017  Volunteer Leader Update - Grove Lake Hide

20-Jul-2017  Volunteer Leader Update - Balsam Bashing

12-Jul-2017  Ticks – Staying Safe This Summer

10-Jul-2017  Finchampsteads Finest Entomologists

8-Jul-2017  Children find watery insects at Talavera

6-Jul-2017  Extreme ragwort removal at Moor Green Lake

17-May-2017  Mammals for Members of Moor Green Lakes

16-May-2017  Machine Manoeuvres at Moor Green Lakes

25-Mar-2017  More Green Lakes Work Party - Ochreous streams and stumperies

27-Feb-2017  Hedge-laying complete at Moor Green Lakes

24-Feb-2017  More Green Lakes Work Party - Clearing scrub near Grove Hide

22-Feb-2017  More Green Meadow

4-Feb-2017  Moor Green Lakes New Bench

1-Feb-2017  How to lay a hedge at Moor Green Lakes

24-Jan-2017  Moor Green Lakes Work Party – Clearing Tern Island


30-Dec-2016  A fence to far

18-Dec-2016  Moor Green Lakes Volunteers go to Plover Island

1-Dec-2016  Belted Galloways by Sunset

30-Nov-2016  Scraping off ice at Moor Green Lakes

1-Nov-2016  Brownies and Brown Knees earn Butterfly Badge

31-Oct-2016  Xylem in a scrape on Long Island

28-Sep-2016  Bat box checks

6-Sep-2016  Moor Green Lakes Open Morning

26-Aug-2016  More Moor Green cutting with Student Matt

24-Aug-2016  Sea Scout skills at Moor Green Lakes

14-Jul-2016  Cutting of Manor Farm and Moor Green Paths

17-Jun-2016  Barn Owls bouncing back in Wokingham

31-Mar-2016  Jenny wading at Moor Green Lakes

4-Mar-2016  Coppicing and pollarding at Moor Green Lakes

16-Feb-2016  Muddy boots as Moor Green Lakes

10-Feb-2016  Royal Grammer School students help dragonflies

6-Feb-2016  Volunteers learn hedge-laying

27-Jan-2016  Staking out coppice stools at Moor Green Lakes

22-Jan-2016  Restored nesting rafts Tern over a new leaf


10-Dec-2015  House building for shelducks

10-Dec-2015  Field Vole Volunteers at Moor Green Lakes

8-Dec-2015  Island Adventures at Moor Green Lakes

26-Nov-2015  Mucking about in boats at Moor Green Lakes

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