Weʼve raised £1,280 to build the "Sand Castle" - an artificial sand martin colony at Linford Lakes Nature Reserve in Milton Keynes
- Milton Keynes, United Kingdom
- Funded on Saturday, 30th June 2018
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Sand martins are the smallest of the martins and swallows found in Europe, with dark brown upper parts and dark under wings contrasting with otherwise pale under parts divided by a distinctive dark chest bar.
Agile fliers, feeding mainly over water, they are normally the first of the hirundines to return to the UK from their African wintering grounds in spring and can often be seen perching on overhead wires or branches. Over the past 50 years the European population has crashed on two occasions as a result of droughts.
They nest by burrowing into sandy banks, a fragile and vulnerable habitat. By providing them with a permanent home, located in a protected nature reserve, their chances of forming a successful breeding colony will increase, helping to boost their population and protecting them from any future threats to their survival.
The colony will offer the opportunity to study their movements, longevity and breeding success giving us insight into the lives of these amazing little birds as well as helping to enrich and protect the reserve on which the colony will be built. Visitors will be able to watch their movements from a recently built hide, inspiring new naturalists, young and old, for years to come.
Milton Keynes is fortunate to have many beautiful parks and lakes, however Linford Lakes is unique within the city, being the only site run exclusively as a permit only nature reserve. The history of Linford Lakes dates back to the 1940s when the site started life as a gravel pit. Much of the material extracted went into the building of the new city and since the 70s, it has existed under several incarnations, from ARC Wildfowl Centre, to Hanson Environmental Study Centre. In this time it has been an important centre for research, a protected haven for sensitive and vulnerable wildlife and a tranquil escape for members of the local community.
Sadly, the area is under threat from development of adjoining land which will inevitably lead to increased disturbance to all of the wildlife that makes the site its home. Helping to create a successful breeding colony of sand martins will not only benefit the birds and the overall biodiversity of the site, but it will help to secure this important site's position as the premier nature reserve in Milton Keynes and protect it from further damage from human activity.
Many groups of volunteers support the site by running the various activities, talks, events and studies that make this such a special place. Whether it be coppicing, hedge laying, building a dry stone wall, or studying the many species of plants, fungi, birds, reptiles, mammals and amphibians that make their home in the reserve, we want to ensure that Linford Lakes continues to connect people to nature for many generations to come.
Please support me, the Parks Trust, the Friends of Linford Lakes Nature Reserve, all the visitors to the site, past and present and most of all, the wildlife that makes the reserve its home.
For more information about Linford Lakes Nature Reserve on the Parks Trust website, click HERE
For information about Open Days and other events run by Friends of Linford Lakes Nature Reserve, click HERE
To purchase an annual permit to visit Linford Lakes Nature Reserve any time you like (costs less than 60p a week for a family of four!), click HERE
Updates appear here
Kenny Cramer started crowdfunding
Leave a message of support
Apr 14, 2018
Brilliant idea! Well done.
Linda & Alan Piggott
Mar 26, 2018
Good luck Kenny. Looking forward to watching the result.
Mar 3, 2018
Meant to do this earlier! See you soon
Feb 22, 2018
Good luck Kenny. Hope you reach your target!
Feb 20, 2018
For awesome cause, well done mate.
The K Team
Feb 19, 2018
Dear Kenny, Thanks for planning the new Sandcastle estate in MK. We really need somewhere to live when we return from Africa. Good luck and we hope to see you very soon! Thanks, the Sand Martins
Jan 8, 2018
Awesome initiative Kenny, good luck!
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