The cameras will provide an insight into the lives of the species on the reserve, with cameras set up by the heronry nests, in an owl boxes, on the edge of the reservoir and more. Due to current Covid restrictions, the footage will currently only be posted on Cheshire Wildlife Trust’s social media channels, providing a chance for people to follow stay at home orders but still see what is happening in their favourite local greenspace.
On the doorstep of the Peak District, Trentabank reservoir and the surrounding conifer plantations of Macclesfield Forest are owned by United Utilities and supply the town of Macclesfield with drinking water. Although a working environment, Trentabank and the forests are a haven for wildlife, and the Trust manages a small area of woodland with commanding views across the reservoir.
Best known for its heronry (thought to be the largest in the Peak District with up to 20 breeding pairs), the reserve is also a great place to seek out ravens and birds of prey. Stately red deer are shy residents of the forest, but can often be seen drinking from the reservoir in early morning.
Changing water levels occasionally expose the reservoir banks, which become a popular feeding ground for small wading birds including common sandpiper, green sandpiper and little ringed plover. Flocks of crossbills are regularly seen feeding in the tree tops, whilst in winter, visitors including goldeneye and goosander join the resident water birds.
Adam Linnet, Wild Communities Officer for Cheshire Wildlife Trust said:
“I am incredibly excited to finally share this project with everyone. Whilst we are limited to an online only presence at the moment, it should still provide a great chance for us to tell the stories of the wildlife on site via our social media channels, whilst giving people an in-sight into several species that can be difficult to see on the ground. Personally, I am hoping we can bring people species such as pied flycatchers, which is one of my favourite species and one that started my conservation career. Hopefully this project will provide us with a chance to highlight the wonderful wildlife that lives here in the Forest and showcase the work we are doing with our partners at United Utilities and Peak District National Park Authority to protect it.”
Rob Hudson, Woodland Officer for United Utilities said:
“We are excited to be working in partnership with Cheshire Wildlife Trust and the Peak District National Park on this scheme to give everyone a window into the important habitats and species that Macclesfield Forest supports. The scheme has involved lots of careful planning and hard work by Adam’s team to deliver, and complements a wider programme of work to protect and enhance the heronry and the wildlife it supports. This is one of several important projects we are delivering for biodiversity across the entire forest to improve a range of priority habitats and to benefit the myriad of important species these ecosystems support”
The Trentabank wildlife cameras have been made possible thanks to hard work and a generous donation from a supporter. If you would like to support their work to bring wildlife back, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org or make a donation through the website.