Precisely 12 months after the diggers first rolled in, stakeholders have met at the Barton on Humber wildfowlers’ ‘Horkstow wetlands project’ to celebrate the creation of a thriving wetland habitat and to unveil official signage.
The project, which was funded by a £100,000 loan from the Wildlife Habitat Charitable Trust (WHCT), set up by BASC, has turned what was 16 acres of arable land into a wetland mosaic. The club’s intention to create a high tide wader roosting site has surpassed expectations, not just benefiting wildfowl but also a range of other fauna and flora.
Roy Hodsdon, secretary of the Barton on Humber Wildfowlers Club, said: “The Horkstow wetlands project has been a very extensive, exciting challenge for the club. We are extremely satisfied to be at the stage we are at to date, although there is plenty more work to be carried out. In February 2020, we intend to install 30 plus nesting tubes to aid the mallard ducks.
“It was encouraging to identify four nesting pairs of lapwings, with visible sightings of chicks on the fringes, earlier this year. In addition, a whole variety of ducks and waders are being seen in the area, along with a flock of around 100 goldfinches on the south wetland thistle areas. On accessing the moat recently, club members were surprised to find two young healthy hare leverets.”
Paul Williamson, WHCT secretary and head of land management at BASC, said: “This project epitomises the importance of the Wildlife Habitat Charitable Trust. We are delighted to have offered both financial and technical support to allow Barton on Humber wildfowlers to enhance the local biodiversity and grow their club.
“The club should be seen by others who shoot as an exemplar on how to create a superb conservation habitat from a blank canvas. The WHCT hopes that this project will stimulate others to consider approaching the trust for grant funding for similar conservation projects.”
The club has plans to undertake further habitat improvements within its adjacent landholding to create an integrated wetland oasis of over 40 acres. The club will work with the Humber Nature Partnership in formulating its plans which will link into the wider landscape objectives of the Humber Estuary.