CABINET CALL: This week by South Holland District Councillor Peter Coupland
Part of the local Drainage Board’s activities relating to land and drains in their control is the work carried out on wildlife conservation.
The wildlife habitat in and along the main drains of South Holland is varied and is monitored and encouraged to ensure preservations and growth.
Bat, tree sparrow, owl and kestrel boxes are installed across the district to encourage nesting.
Grass snake habitats are provided and an ‘artificial’ otter holt has been constructed with trail cameras to see if otters can be tempted to breed under observation.
Special eel-friendly passes are being installed at pumping stations to help preserve already falling numbers.
The cutting of drain banks is kept to a minimum to keep disturbance down to small birds, animals and invertebrates.
Over 200 registered sightings of water voles have been reported this year at many locations across the district.
Vertical earth berths have been constructed to encourage nesting for sand martins (the smallest bird in the swallow family) and the sites are well-used by this migrating bird.
The numbers of sand martins have fallen over the years and Drainage Boards have taken these steps to help by forming these nesting sites.
Orchid growth along with other wild flowers are preserved along with many isolated areas of main drains.
Sightings of mink are common along our drains and are being monitored. Their numbers appear to be increasing.
It’s worth remembering that some of your council tax goes to financing the Drainage Boards so a little of it goes towards wildlife conservation, which is a good thought for all I think.