First warden in two decades

David BeardsleyTHE dunes nature reserve has its first full time guardian in two decades.

David Beardsley, who grew up not far away, is the seasonal warden for Natural England. 

He said: "It’s the first time since 2003 that the reserve has had a full time warden, so I thought I would take the opportunity to try and inform the community of what the reserve has to offer, and some of the things visitors can do to help conserve the wildlife that inhabits it.

"As most of you will know, Winterton Dunes is a wonderful place to be, with its vast, open and undulating landscape, you really get the sense of being somewhere truly wild, and is just the perfect place to escape for a while. Our dune-heath habitat, along with pools scattered around the site attracts an array of wildlife, including birds such as stonechat, skylark and nightjar, but also a variety of dragonfly/damselfly species, adders, lizards and the fantastic natterjack toad.

"We are currently in the middle of the bird breeding season and it is vital that any birds attempting to raise young are given space, to avoid nest damage or disturbance -  birds may abandon their young if disturbed. The steps you can take to avoid this are to keep to the marked paths and keep dogs on a lead or at least under close control. We want people and their dogs to come and enjoy this fantastic place, but if they can make these steps, I fervently believe that the dunes can be of immense value to both wildlife and people. Your co-operation is very much appreciated."