Nature news - 11th December Millennium Country Park The Ranger team spent some time this week working on repairs at the Millennium Country Park, to "winter proof" our facilities and improve the site for visitors looking to explore over their Christmas and New Year breaks. At the entrance to the sensory garden there were 3 lines of cobble stones, but unfortunately the path had worn away between these lines and had become difficult for buggies and some mobility aids to cross. We took the decision to remove the cobble stones rather than filling in the path between the lines because we know the issue would just persist, and removing the stone was a more permanent solution for those guests with access needs. The floor in the giant bird hide had begun to rot and was coming up in one corner, making enjoying the space a bit tricky. We went in this week and removed the wooden floor, and instead created a small ramp up to the concrete base which was below the floor to remove any access obstacles. Ranger Nicola snapped these great before and after photos, and also some great images of the work in progress! Finally onto the wetlands bridge, where there was a small step up at either end which needed some attention. We filled that step in to create another small access ramp up, which we hope will make it easier for visitors that use mobility aids or buggies. Veteran Tree Work Unfortunately this beautiful tree was next to a footpath, so some of the limbs needed to be removed for safety reasons. We wanted to keep as much of the tree as possible because veteran trees are amazing habitat for all sorts of organisms, some of which are totally reliant on the habitat veterans have and therefore quite rare. Bats are one of the families of species which love veteran trees, so we got an ecologist to check none were roosting there before work started. He used an endoscope and checked all the rot holes and cavities on the limbs which were being removed, luckily none were found so the tree surgeons were able to carry out the work required to make the tree safe. All the limbs which were removed were stacked in the hedgerow to allow the deadwood habitat to continue to be used by other invertebrates. Little egrets at Marston Corner Video credit: Bob Hook This brilliant video was supplied by volunteer Bob, who captured a small group of little egrets last month enjoying their lunch at Marston Corner. With it's black bill, yellow feet and long neck plumes the little egret is becoming increasingly common sight in inland areas and across East Anglia. This particular bird has found itself a prime fishing spot here in Marston, and has clearly perfected the technique and enjoying their catch!