Caerlaverock news

Tranquillity even on a rainy day

Tranquillity even on a rainy day

Working and living on site, it's safe to say that currently I spend most (if not all) of my time on WWT Caerlaverock grounds. And now it's summer (despite what the weather may suggest) a lot of my time is spent in our wildflower meadow conducting butterfl

17 July 2024

Wetland Word of the Week 20

Wetland Word of the Week 20

This week's wetland word is...... CRIFFEL. Criffel is the name for the hill that dominates our skyline. It is solitary and imposing. It's name is suspected to come from the Norse 'Kraka-fjell' or 'Krakkaval' meaning 'Raven’s Hill', despite it actually b

15 July 2024

Nature's approval: The Wilder, Wetter Caerlaverock Diaries no.4

Nature's approval: The Wilder, Wetter Caerlaverock Diaries no.4

Years ago, drains were laid in many parts of the reserve to remove water from the fields to make it easier to farm the land. A gallant attempt but it’s very hard to force nature to be something that it isn’t. Even though the field drains were working,

10 July 2024

Wetland Word of the Week 19

Wetland Word of the Week 19

Our wetland word today is... ... bitterie which means sand martin in Scots. The word comes from 'bite the bank' because this is the technique they use to remove material from the sandy cliffs to excavate their nests. Sand martins are a summer visitor to t

8 July 2024

Marvellous Moths

Marvellous Moths

As I stroll down the Saltcot Loaning one morning, heading down to check on the sheep, something fluttering catches my eye. It lands gracefully on a leaf so I can get a closer look at it. It’s a moth – a common carpet to be exact. I take a (fairly dece

7 July 2024

What have we seen this week?

What have we seen this week?

We are into July now and have been experiencing a lot of mixed weather, from pouring to bright sunshine in a matter of minutes. The wet weather hasn’t discouraged our buzzing insects though. Meadow brown, ringlet and speckled wood butterflies have been

4 July 2024

Wetland Word of the Week 18

Wetland Word of the Week 18

This week's word is... ... pond, a pool of water in a depression made naturally or artificially. Collectively, they support more species, and more scarce species, than any other freshwater habitat. Creating a pond is one of the most important things

1 July 2024

Wetland Word of the Week 17

Wetland Word of the Week 17

This week's wetland word is... ... gled, meaning red kite in Scots. Although maybe not the first bird you think of when you think of Caerlaverock, the red kit or gled is a conservation success story so we want to shout about it! After going extinct in

24 June 2024

A new recruit flying in

A new recruit flying in

Hi, everyone. I’m Rebekah and I have just started as the new reserve warden alongside Charlie. I first became interested in conservation through volunteering as a young ranger with the Lake District National Park and with Eden Rivers Trust based in

20 June 2024

Wetland Words of the Week 16

Wetland Words of the Week 16

Our newest wetland word of the week is... ... Comlongon. I'm sure you have heard of Caerlaverock Castle but have you heard of Comlongon Castle? Located north of the reserve, it was a tower house built in the 16th century that was then extended with a baro

17 June 2024

A beast of a beetle

A beast of a beetle

The life of a fish fry can be a stressful affair. Between death from the dive bombing tactics of kingfishers to the endless pursuits from other larger fish, they have little time to rest in this relentless freshwater ecosystem. Now imagine that on top of

14 June 2024

Wetland Word of the Week 15

Wetland Word of the Week 15

For our 15th installment of wetland word of the week, we have chosen... ...flocht, a Scots word meaning 'bird on the wing'. It is related to another word, flochter, which means to allow yourself to feel joy freely, perhaps as a bird does while flying.

10 June 2024

The 2024 tree sparrow season so far

The 2024 tree sparrow season so far

Tree sparrows are a farmland bird and a focal species for us here at WWT Caerlaverock. Their numbers have declined over the last few decades due to the intensification of farming causing them to become a red listed species. They lack the sexual dimorphism

7 June 2024

Wetland Word of the Week 14

Wetland Word of the Week 14

The wetland word this week is... ... burn. Up here in south west Scotland, this is what we call a small river or large stream.! It's also used in north east England, parts of Ulster, Kansas, Australia and New Zealand. Feature image by Shannon Clifford

3 June 2024

How we survey natterjack toads

How we survey natterjack toads

We welcomed Amphibian and Reptile Conservation to lead some natterjack toad survey training at WWT Caerlaverock in May. At the training session, we were introduced to the species ecology and identification, methods of surveying and the importance of co

1 June 2024