Rain helps lagoon return to normal

SUFFOLK: What a difference a month makes!

SUFFOLK: What a difference a month makes!

Back in September birdwatchers were shocked at the state of the Scrape lagoon at the world-famous Minsmere nature reserve on the Suffolk coast.

The Scrape had completely dried out over the summer, leaving what is normally a service station for migrating birds as an arid desert.

Our coverage was picked up by broadcasters and national newspapers as an example of how badly this year's drought had affected wildlife.

However the rain over the last couple of weeks has transformed the scene - and now the Scrape looks much more familiar to regular visitors to the reserve.

There still are not quite as many birds as normal at this time of year - possibly because the small creatures that live in the mud were forced to burrow deeper during the drought.

Most Read

But the wildlife is returning - there are several types of wildfowl on display and this week a pair of Bewick swans arrived from Siberia.

Ian Barthorpe of the RSPB said: “Only part of the Scrape had dried out which meant the birds tended to congregate in certain areas where it was wetter.

“However now we have had more rain they are starting to spread out across the site, which improves the visitor spectacle.”

Mr Bathorpe said the water levels - as expected at the end of autumn - were still low but he was confident they would start to rise with the start of winter.

“Potentially it's something that's going to be recurring,” he added. “We are likely to get drier summers - this year's was the driest on record - but we are confident that water levels will recover and continue to rise over the coming months.”

How did the dry summer affect you? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk