Arrival of Middleton Hall’s newest residents….

MOORHENS and their tiny chicks are looking forward to a new luxury wetland home following a population boom at their current abode.

The number of moorhens nested by the pond at Middleton Hall Retirement Village, Middleton St George, near Darlington, County Durham,  has tripled during the past 12 months with more chicks being born this spring.

The moorhens are just some of the wildlife living in the 100 acre wooded surroundings and will soon be able to move from their pond outside of residents’ apartments to a much bigger wetland home as part of a £9m development scheme at the village.

The scheme includes building 35 zero carbon retirement bungalows,the first of their kind in the UK, with a wetland area and large duck pond designed to attract further wildlife.

The retirement village is teeming with wildlife and the moorhens’ new home is expected to be ready by August.

David Richardson, head of operations at the village, said: “The moorhens have been through a bit of population boom over the last 12 months which is showing no signs of abating with four chicks hatched just last week.

“Every time we have a new development here we think about the wildlife and the habitats in which they can thrive. The moorhens certainly seem to like it here and the residents love checking up on them. They see them as their moorhens.

“I’m sure the moorhens are going to love their new wetland area when it’s ready.”

Middleton Hall is a corporate member of Durham Wildlife Trust and has a monthly wildlife club for residents and a designated wildlife walk around the grounds.

The photograph of the moorhen chick was taken by Pat Webb, resident of Middleton Woods and keen photographer.