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Cash boost for river bird sanctuary

PUBLISHED: 09:26 18 April 2008 | UPDATED: 09:30 12 August 2010

AN £8,000 grant has helped secure the habitat of herons at a park. Improvement works to help the resident bird population at Heron Island in Kelsey Park, Beckenham were paid for by the Sita Trust, which provides funding for community projects. Countr

AN £8,000 grant has helped secure the habitat of herons at a park.

Improvement works to help the resident bird population at 'Heron Island' in Kelsey Park, Beckenham were paid for by the Sita Trust, which provides funding for community projects.

Countryside and Parks Officer, Nick Hopkins, said: "The restoration project allows us to protect this important colony's habitat.

"Heron Watch was held on April 5 and was a great opportunity for the public to see these elegant birds in action and at the same time learn more about their ecology.

"More than 400 people attended and we hope our visitors went home inspired to create their own spaces for nature."

"The grey heron is the largest European heron which eats a diet of mainly fish. So far this season, there have been 30 'active' nests on the island with approximately 45 chicks.

"The chicks will leave the nests after nine or 10 weeks."

Funding was used to prevent erosion of the island's habitat and the project also included the use of matting planted with aquatic plants such as Yellow Flag Iris to act as a soil stabiliser.

A number of trees were planted to act as a future home for the heron population. Heron Watch was run in conjunction with the Friends of Kelsey Park and members of the Bromley Royal Society for Protection of Birds (RSPB) local group. To find out more about joining the Friends of Kelsey Park group visit www.bromley.gov.uk or call 020

8313 4471.

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