Wildlife walk and mud dipping family fun on Northam Burrows

North Devon Gazette

Northam Burrows Rangers are inviting families to pull on their wellies and join them for some mud dipping adventures this February half-term.

This 'wellies advised' event will be a guided exploration of the Skern Saltmarsh area of Torridge’s picturesque Atlantic coastline country park on Tuesday, February 22.

Although marine mud and sand habitats can sometimes look a bit barren, there’s a tonne of activity going on just under the surface, said a spokesperson for the rangers.

"In the winter months, flocks of brent geese, golden plover and oystercatchers visit the Taw and Torridge rivers along with other wading birds to take advantage of the rich feeding grounds of the saltmarsh and mud flats.

"This tour will be taking a close look at the area to learn about all the creatures that call it home, both in and on top of the mud," said the spokesperson.

The meeting point will be next to Greysand car park at 2pm and there is no need to book, just meet at the blue 'here we are'Â flag that will be on display.

The rangers will also be setting up a learning station where visitors can take a close look at animals such as razor clams, lugworms and mud snails and also have a peek through the telescope at the birds that feed on these creatures.

The learning station will be accessible and suitable for all but the walk down onto the marsh will be over more challenging terrain and wellies or other similar footwear are advised.

The second event, a few days later on Thursday, February 24, will be a winter wildlife walk.

The walk will be at a gentle pace but over uneven ground so won’t be suitable for pushchairs and wellies are again advised.

The rangers will be looking at tracks and signs such as burrows, footprints and even poo!

Walkers can also expect to catch a glimpse of a variety of bird species such as oystercatchers, flocks of starlings, and if the weather is good, then there may also be skylarks singing.

If the ranger’s luck is in they may also find some harvest mouse nests as well.

The walk will set off from the new Burrows visitor centre at 2pm.

Councillor Cheryl Cottle-Hunkin, lead member for community, culture and leisure on Torridge District Council, said: “We are very lucky in Torridge to have such a wonderful variety of landscapes and wildlife right here on our doorstep and within easy access for most people.

"Our rangers always do an excellent job not only in managing and caring for the park but also organising a huge variety of amazing activities and events.

"Uncovering the creatures that live in the mud and sand in the saltmarsh definitely sounds like one not to miss!”

For both events children must be accompanied by an adult and the event duration is expected to be around two hours for each walk.