Respect nesting birds at Rickmansworth Aquadrome

Press ReleaseUpdated: 28 April 2023Leisure, parks and culture

The public are being asked to respect nesting birds which are sitting on their nests at Rickmansworth Aquadrome this spring.

Mute swans and mandarin ducks have both been identified as nesting in Three Rivers District Council’s 41-hectare local nature reserve situated at the northern end of the Colne Valley Regional Park in Rickmansworth.

The Aquadrome’s two lakes are home to a large variety of birds which also includes herons and moorhens. Now council officers are asking people to take extra care around the nesting birds. To help protect the birds, their eggs and their young, the council is asking people to keep their distance and dog walkers to keep their pets on a lead or under very close control when lakeside until 1 June. This will give the birds the best chance to raise their young.

Jess Hodges, the council’s community biodiversity officer, said: “If you see a bird on the ground and it doesn’t move away as you might expect, don’t get too close and give it some space as it may be sitting on a nest. If people or dogs get too close this could cause the bird to panic, get stressed and even abandon the nest along with its eggs or young.”

Officers explained that different birds build their nests in different ways. For example, mute swans build large nests at ground level, these nests can sometimes be up to three meters in diameter.

Meanwhile, unlike mallard ducks who nest on the ground near water, mandarin ducks build their nests in holes within trees which are not always near water and can be relatively high up. Once the ducklings are ready, the female mandarin ducks have to convince their ducklings to make the jump from their nests.

Jess added: “Many birds can be protective of their nests and eggs as they try to keep their young safe. It is very important for both people and dogs to not get too close.”