The weekend of the 5th December saw a huge amount of activity down at the RSPB Reserve around Cliffe Pools, around 30 volunteers came along to take part in the Tree O’clock Project. This being part of a much larger scheme supported by the BBC Breathing Space project. As well as Cliffe Pools there were groups all over the country doing their best to break the world record for the number of trees planted in one hour. The weather was kind to the event and although there was a cold wind the sun shone brightly as the participants busied themselves planting their new trees. The RSPB and the volunteers on the day managed to plant just short of 800 trees. The selection of trees is very important too as the species used clearly had to be of as many uses as possible. Blackthorn, Hawthorn and Beech were used as they are common to the area while providing food and shelter for the birds and other wildlife living at the reserve. The siting of the event at and around the carpark means that as the trees and bushes grow they will provide a screen between the carpark and the birds on the lakes immediately in front of that area. As a novice on the subject of birdwatching, I am also assuming that it will allow people visiting the Cliffe Pools to be concealed from the birds so allowing a closer view. If you do get a chance for a walk over the Christmas Holidays, you could do a lot worse than a gentle saunter around this reserve, take some binoculars with you and even if, like me, you barely know the difference between a Mallard and a Pelican this is the place to begin learning. Cliffe Pools and the hard work put in By Paul (The Warden) and all the other staff and volunteers who work there to improve the place for the likes of me, while maintaining it for the Mallards, Tufted Ducks and Egrets (I can spot one of those now) deserve what ever support we can give. It is also a better place to walk around than an Airport!

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