Rush to country park as first chick hatches

Rushmere herons. Photo by Paul Searle
Rushmere herons. Photo by Paul Searle

Rushmere Country Park in Heath and Reach has welcomed its first heron chick of the year.

The heronry, located amidst the stunning scenery of the country park and easily viewed from the aptly named Herons View Visitor Centre’, has been a hive of activity over recent weeks with herons finding a mate, building nests and laying eggs.

Heron Watch

Heron Watch

This can all be viewed in close-up, thanks to some modern technology and Greensand Trust volunteers. State-of-the-art remote cameras beam live footage of the nests, complete with raucous sounds, into the Visitor Centre.

Kate Tuck, of the Greensand Trust, said: “This really is an opportunity to see these stunning birds and their chicks in close up. Friendly ‘Heron Watch’ volunteers are on hand to help everyone enjoy the experience through high powered telescopes and binoculars.”

With recent improvement works largely complete the Heron Watch will extend into early summer, with the Trust putting on a range of events to help people enjoy the site:

> Rushmere Spring Challenge, March 28 to April 12: Grab a quiz sheet (£2) and see if you can answer the questions.

> A Family Egg Hunt on April 5, 10am-2pm: Booking essential, £3 per person.

> Meet the Herons on April 7, 2pm-3.30pm: Includes finger puppet making and poetry writing, suitable for children aged around 8-10 (must be accompanied), booking essential.

Jonathan Woods, countryside access development team leader at Central Bedfordshire Council, said: “This is yet another reason to go and explore Rushmere this Easter, the Heron Watch is really exciting and there is so much more to see and do. It is a real hit with the family.”

For more information, email Kate Tuck on visitorservices@greensandtrust.org or call 01525 234260, or visit the website www.greensandtrust.org

The country park is currently being featured on Sky TV, with the brand new game show Wild Things airing on Sky 1 on Sunday evenings.