In glorious sunshine the weekend of 21/23 June saw celebrations for the 40th anniversary of RSPB Frampton Marsh, including the making of a new sculpture and a competition to spot 40 different bird species in just 40 minutes.

Twice voted Nature Reserve of the year by RSPB members, this lovely reserve just south of Boston and on the edge of The Wash was formerly a cauliflower field. Hard to believe now because the landscape has been so utterly transformed.

Seals in the Wash

There are 500 breeding pairs of wading birds at RSPB Frampton Marsh making it number one in England and in winter expect to see 30,000 birds on the reserve. This very abundance helps to make it resilient.

The Wash is the largest and most important estuary for birds in the UK, it supports over 400,000 non-breeding water birds including internationally important numbers of 14 species including redshank. Since going on an amazing boat trip into The Wash, I’ve tried to persuade everyone to try it too and see for themselves this area described as ‘one of the UK’s last great wildernesses’. As well as the birds The Wash supports the largest Harbour Seal colony in this country.

RSPB Frampton Marsh Redshank

The new café at RSPB Frampton Marsh has huge picture windows overlooking the lagoon, making this a very comfortable place to birdwatch. I sat there drinking my tea only feet away from a nesting avocet, and whilst I watched, the male and female exchanged nesting duties and a spoonbill wandered past ‘grazing’ the water. There are over a 100 volunteers helping out here and they help to make it the friendly welcoming place that it is.

RSPB Freiston Shore, just north of Boston, is Frampton’s sister site. A fellow guest reminded me that it was 22 years ago that we worked together on its development – how did that happen? Freiston Shore has just gained new funding which will support its bio-diversity and also provide some new loos. For birdwatchers and nature lovers there is much to enjoy on the Lincolnshire coast.

RSPB Frampton Marsh Avocet
RSPB Frampton Marsh Volunteers