- Events at Spynes Mere
Thu 22nd Aug 13
Work Party : Island management task
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Spynes Mere is a wetland nature reserve of 14 ha, created from restored sand workings by WBB Minerals who lease the site to the Wildlife Trust.
Before sand was extracted the area was farmland. Spynes is a very old word, in use before the Norman Conquest to describe the area. It means summer fattening pasture, and is correctly pronounced spines, like the spine of a thorn.
Today, Spynes Mere comprises three lakes, which flow into the Redhill Brook.
You can walk around the reserve, following the footpath routes. Please keep your dogs on the lead and clear up their mess.
The biggest lake is home to many waterbirds. They are at their greatest numbers in winter, when tufted duck, gadwall, mallard and the occasional pochard ducks can be found, together with mute swans, little grebes, coot, moorhens and greylag geese. See if you can spot the grey gadwall ducks quite literally mug the coots when they bob back up the surface having dived for waterplants to feed on. The gadwall is a dabbling duck and so can’t dive, but has learnt to pinch food off diving birds like coot.
In spring and summer, look out for young waterbirds. Spynes Mere is particularly good for breeding little grebe. Look out for the young grebes, like stripped humbugs, riding on the back of their parents.
Please do not feed the waterfowl. This litters the reserve, attracts vermin, causes problems to the ecology of the reserve, and starts to create a dependency on human feeding by what are wild birds.
Listen out for the songs and calls of sedge warbler and reed buntings hidden amongst the swampy vegetation. That squealing pig you can hear could be the cry of the secretive water rail hidden amongst the reeds.
Spynes Mere is not just good for birds. In warm sunny weather, the site is alive with dragonflies and damselflies, patrolling their territories and egg laying on the water. Of the larger dragonflies, the green and blue of the southern hawker is characteristic of the reserve in high summer, patrolling its territory up and down, mixing with a myriad of damselflies over the water surface of the lakes.
Download The Nutfield Marsh map (including Spynes Mere nature reserve) here.
Spynes Mere is located south of Bletchingly Rd and west of the M23 motorway, Merstham. The nearest car park is found in Mercers Country Park, off Nutfield Marsh Rd, Nutfield.
Download the Spynes Mere reserve board here.
Grid reference : TQ 307 524
Habitat : Wetland