Doffcocker: Island Hideaway

17th October 2021

Doffcocker Lodge was designated as a Local Nature Reserve in 1992 and until 2000 it was Bolton’s only LNR. The lodge it self was created in 1874 as mill lodge, although the lodge’s original purpose has long since ended it is now home to dozens of bird species and a range of habitats.

On the northern shore of the main lodge is an island which for many years has been managed for common tern, kingfisher, moor hen, coot and other birds. The problem with the island is that its western tip is eroding due to wave action and also the island’s interior becomes clogged with vegetation. Which is where BCV comes in. Every year for as long as anyone can remember we ferry volunteers over to the island where they hack and slash the vegetation down which is then used to protect the island’s exposed shores.

Erosion control 2012
Erosion control 2012

In 2012 we wrapped the sides of the island in weaved willow stems and stuffed the gap with straw (see above), now the straw has gone we dump everything we cut down behind it instead, providing a buffer to autumn and winter weather. As the willow has a habit of regrowing we harvest it and use it for willow weaving projects with local schools.

So, the birds are happy, the schools are happy, Bolton Council is happy, the island is happy and BCV is happy. Now some nautical photos.