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Crane Academy

Have been working the last couple of weeks with a great bunch of resilient crane volunteers to finish off the release enclosure / crane academy on the Levels and Moors.   Electric fencing is now all up, two 40 x 40 m top nets are sewn together, and one of the two netted pens is fully fitted out. Footbridges have been constructed, shade netting hung, post anchors driven in and tightened up, and chicken wire mesh all hung around the perimeter.  The dry weather has been on our side - but the heat has been less than helpful!  The purpose of the academy is to provide a predator proof 'exclosure' where the young birds can aclimatize (following transportation from WWT Slimbridge)  in safety , and forms a very important role in "anchoring" the birds in the Levels and Moors prior to full release later in the autumn. Initially the young cranes will go within one of two netted aviaries, and then soon explore the larger 2ha exclosure. They will spend a total of around four weeks within the academy , but may well continue to roost or use it on occasion througout the autumn. There is a fair bit still to do - all gates to go on, bridges to go in place, second top net to go up, but we are getting there  - thanks to the dedicated team of crane volunteers. A huge huge thank-you to you all  -  we really couldn't do it without you!


 


  Electric fencing on outside of exclosure


 Volunteers working on the chicken wire mesh


 Sewing together one of the 40m x 40m 'top nets'


 The top net all fitted onto one of the two aviaries


 

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Damon’s role is to act as the hub of the project - making sure everyone involved knows what is going on and that it is all running smoothly. He is also responsible for project community awareness work in Somerset, construction of the release enclosure, and running the post release monitoring work in Somerset.  Damon works alongside the RSPB reserve teams in Somerset.