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By Newsdesk
Farming
Spring signs

THE COMMUNITY group which owns Lochmaben’s Castle Loch and Nature Reserve is urging locals to keep eyes and ears open for the first signs of spring this month.

Castle Loch Lochmaben Community Trust said this week that the chittering of birdsong will make a “welcome return as temperatures begin to rise”, and told visitors to look out specifically for blackbirds, thrushes, blue tits and finches, which are all returning to the area following winter migrations.

“You might also hear the drumming of a great spotted woodpecker on a nearby tree,” the Trust added. “With a bit of luck, you’ll be treated to a flash of black and white feathers, complete with a bright red rump, as it flies by. The males also have a red patch on the back of their head. They are a regular visitor to the peanut feeder at Lochfield Cottage.”

In an update about the condition of footpaths around the loch following heavy rainfall last week, they added: “All paths and boardwalks are clear and passable at the moment but after all the rain the water level is rising and might cover the boardwalk by the castle again.

“Remember there is an indicator post on the loch side at Lochfield Cottage showing if passable – if the water is at or past the point where the marker enters the ground the boardwalk will be flooded. The paths are also a bit muddy and boggy in places, so outdoor footwear or wellies is recommended – not your best white trainers! When we can resume the volunteering sessions we will check the paths and patch any problem areas.”

Find out how to get involved with the trust at www.castleloch.org.uk.

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