OTLEY AND DISTRICT MEN’S FORUM

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 Otley Wetlands Nature Reserve" by Mr P Riley

On land to the west of Otley owned by Col Dawson’s Weston Estate and by FM Lister & Son is a thirty acre area leased for 21 years to the Wharfedale Naturalists Society and others which is now known as Otley Wetlands Nature Reserve. It was about this that Peter Riley came to give us an illustrated talk.

Aided by slides of the highest quality he explained the origin of the reserve, its natural environment and its habitation.  At the end of gravel extraction in 1996 this area, adjacent to the yachting lake, was deemed suitable for wild life preservation. It consists of a lake, a moat,  reed beds, rough grassland and immature woodland. Although said to be natural it also needs the help of humans to maintain it in the best of conditions.  

Volunteers started in 2002, as part of a work programme, clearing Alder and Willow scrub. Since then they have continued their efforts to produce an environment that attracts many species of birds, animals, insects, plants and flowers such as orchids.

Over 26 species of butterflies have been seen as well as 19 species of Dragonfly and Damselfly. Many different types of birds venture there including Grey Partridge, Reed Warblers and Lapwing along with the resident Swans.  

Unfortunately there are also Mink that have to be hunted and slaughtered to prevent them killing some of the mammals being preserved such as Fallow Deer, Stoats and Otters, Voles and Shrews.  


Continuing our series of fascinating talks we next have Ms G Lindsey telling us a Tale of Travel from the Andes to the Amazon. This will take place at 10-00am in The Main Hall of Otley Civic Centre on Thursday 9th October 2008.

 

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