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Looking for something do this bank holiday? Why not visit the new nature reserve at Fobney Island in Reading

Published: 24 May 2013 13:301 comment

THIS Bank Holiday weekend why not explore the new Fobney Island Nature Reserve, a small patch of countryside that has been transformed into a natural paradise, buzzing with wildlife and blossoming plants.

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The reserve is now open, following conservation work last year to create a safe and natural habitat for hundreds of creatures and plants.

The car park is at the end of Island Road, off the A33.

Blackcaps and Whitethroats can be heard singing in the bushes and Greylag Geese and Mandarin ducks are basking in a spot of sunshine on the smooth water.

Families are starting to walk through the peace and quiet of the wetlands and school children are being invited to explore the reserve to learn about the wildlife.

Excursion secretary for Reading and District Natural History Society, Jan Haseler, said: "I have only had chance to do the walk once but it was fantastic. The whole habitat has been improved, what was once rough ground has been smoothed over and willows have been felled to let more sunlight in which the plants can feed off. The whole river is a lot more interesting, one of the willow trees has been cut down to fall along the bank, it has created eddies and rapids around it where Mandarin ducks have made their home, that was my favourite part of the walk I think, there are so many ducks there already."

Work on the reserve was completed in November last year, funded by Reading Borough Council, the Environment Agency, Thames Water and Thames Rivers' Restoration Trust, including new gravel beds in the river to create faster flowing rapids.

Visit http://rdnhs.org.uk or call 0118 941 4750.

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