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Duck Decoy becomes Crane Breeding Zone

The Great Crane Project has been working with a farming family near Cossington, on Somerset Levels and Moors to convert an 18th century duck decoy and Scheduled Ancient Monument, into a potential crane breeding zone.  

   Starting to fill up through the sluice.

36 metres of culvert pipe has been dug-in to connect the low-lying zone to the surrounding water system.

This will ensure that the water level stays high through the spring ensuring appropriate conditions when the cranes are starting to nest-build.

Prior to the water being let back in, RSPB volunteers have helped to remove some of the hundreds of years of vegetation build up and a control sluice has been installed to allow the farmer to keep the levels just right.Volunteers digging out some of the vegetation        RSPB volunteers digging out some of the vegetation

The surrounding land has fairly low-intensity grazing, with some great hay meadow communities and represents some of the most suitable habitat for breeding cranes in Somerset. 

 Starting to look good!

Many many thanks to the Stradlings of Cossington, Natural England, Somerset County Council, English Heritage, The Parrett Consortium of Drainage Boards and our wonderful volunteers for all their help making this project a reality.  

We hope the cranes will find it over the next few years- but if they don't - it will still make a wonerful bit of wetland habitat for breeding ducks, water rails, possibly spotted crakes, reedbunting, water voles, and a whole host of wetland invertebrates and plant communities.  

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Damon’s role is to act as the hub of the project - making sure everyone involved knows what is going on and that it is all running smoothly. He is also responsible for project community awareness work in Somerset, construction of the release enclosure, and running the post release monitoring work in Somerset.  Damon works alongside the RSPB reserve teams in Somerset.