National Trust's Orford Ness runs dry after a dry summer

By Culture24 Staff | 28 September 2009
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photo of a large group of birds in a marsh

Waders of Airfield Marsh. © NT / Grant Lohoar

Although sunny days may have seemed few and far between this summer, migrating birds at the National Trust Orford Ness Nature reserve in Suffolk are suffering from one of the driest summers in recent years.

Expert’s estimate that it will take two weeks of solid rain to replenish the water levels in the lagoons and marshes of the reserve to improve conditions for migrating waders, ducks and geese

According to the Met Office figures Suffolk was the second driest county in the UK this summer with 128.3mm of rainfall between June and August and it is feared Orford’s notable autumn visitors will have to find somewhere else to fill up on the autumn migration.

“Orford Ness is a significant location for migrating birds. The coastal marshes can be viewed as a motorway service station - a place for food and rest,” said Stuart Warrington, Nature Conservation Advisor for the National Trust.

“With so little water left on the marshes, the normally rich supply of invertebrate food may be rather more limited this autumn. Migrants will still come to these quiet marshes to rest but may not get as much food as usual before they move on.”

"If we get some autumn storms and the marshes and lagoons get wet again, the aquatic invertebrate abundance may increase in time for the wintering birds, but it may be too late for those birds that stop at Orford Ness on passage to places further south."

For more information of the Orford Ness Nature reserve follow the details below.

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