A great tern-around

The Tern raft located on Causeway Lake at the Grange Estate in Willington was finally re-floated at the weekend after a couple of seasons stranded on the bank of the lake.  The raft was beached after the River Great Ouse burst its banks and filled the lake causing the raft to drift to the edge of the lake and was beached as the water levels dropped.  It was hoped the water levels on the lake would rise but recent winters had seen the opposite so action was taken to move the raft before it was totally beached. 

Tern raft being fixed at the Grange Estate

Image Mervyn Askew

With help from the Trust’s Site Ranger Robin Braithwaite, Forest Volunteer Mervyn Askew, Blunham Angling Clubs Graham Palmer, and local contractor Rickie Cooper the raft was slowly pushed back into the water and temporarily anchored whilst new sand and gravel is added to the deck and shelters for the chicks are built. Common Terns tend to breed along shingle beaches and rivers with shingle bars but can also be found on inland reservoirs and gravel pits like Causeway Lake. The plan is to have the raft refurbished, towed and anchored before the birds start arriving in April. 

By Forest Development Officer - Darren Woodward