West Norfolk’s Dersingham Bog National Nature Reserve undertook its annual spring cleaning somewhat early this year.
The bog, managed by Natural England, is internationally famous for the diversity of its fauna and flora.
It is the largest most intact example of an acid valley mire in East Anglia as well as being one of the last remaining fragments of lowland heathland in south-east England.
These highly-specialised habitats support a mosaic of uncommon and rare plants and mosses which in turn support a rich diversity of insects species, some of which are similarly scarce.
They also attract uncommon birds, including, nightjar, woodlark, grasshopper warblers, tree pipits and stonechats which migrate to the heathland and the bog to breed in the summer.
Tom Bolderstone, warden, said: “Our resident woodland bird species are showing signs of claiming territories and pairing up for this year’s breeding season.
“This is somewhat earlier than usual and is most probably due to the mild winter.”
Staff and volunteers have been out on to the reserve to spring clean all of the nest boxes throughout the woods.
It is not unusual for 56 species of birds to nest on the reserve as a whole.
Mr Bolderstone said: “It is important to remove all of the old nest material. Parasites from last year’s broods can lie dormant in the old nest material and infest this year’s young.”
However at the moment it is the reserve’s resident woodland birds that are getting all the attention.
Contact the local office on 01485 543044 to find out more about the volunteering opportunities available.
You can also visit Visit http:www.naturalengland.org.uk/ourwork/conservation/designations/nnr/1006047.aspx