In this the final article looking at Hockenhull Platts we take a brief look into the future.
The Roman Bridges saw their fair share of attention in 2013 and its great to see they have been cleaned up after the vandalism. I spoke to David Cummings, the Warden of the Platts, and he was clearly pleased with the outcome but did say that it may be some time until the lichen recovers.
However, there is still uncertainty as we go into 2014. There is still concern about the long-term impact of the lake that has been created next to the River Gowy, adjacent to the Platts. On one hand the expanse of water may attract new species of flora, insect, mammals and birdlife. On the other hand it does have the potential to damage the fauna and flora of the area, especially the recently spotted otter.
David's long-term aim for the Platts is to continue to manage the reserve as it is.
This will include continued use of the Dexter cattle grazing to encourage greater diversity of fauna and flora. In addition, to the consideration to replace the fallen poplar trees, the plan is to also monitor the health of the other trees in the area. If you have walked down to the Platts over the last year or so you will have no doubt noticed the number of dead trees along the path. David will also be monitoring the health of some species that clearly had a hard time last year including the water vole and owls. Over the next year I'll be providing quarterly updates on the Platts ' watch this space for more!