New home for thriving moorhens

October 2012

MOORHENS at a Middleton Hall Retirement Village are looking forward to a new luxury wetland home following a population boom at their current abode.

The number of moorhens living in the pond at Middleton Hall Retirement Village, Middleton St George, near Darlington, County Durham, (or near Yarm for the Gazette), has tripled during the past 12 months.

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 moorhens’ new home will be ready by next summer. Middleton Hall is teeming with dozens of species of wildlife and Dave Richardson, the retirement village’s  head of operations, has produced a new wildlife walk pack for residents and visitors who want to take advantage of the surroundings.

The walk includes a wheel chair friendly route through woodland with seating carved from fallen trees while the pack has fun quizzes and species lists for families to spot as they go on the one mile walk around the grounds.

Dave said: “A lot of people come here and are really interested in all the wildlife we have. The wildlife walk pack is something for all ages so it’s great for grandchildren to do the walk with their grandparents when they come and visit.

“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 I’m sure they’ll love their new wetland area when it’s ready.”

Middleton Hall has recently become a corporate member of Durham Wildlife Trust and has a monthly wildlife club for residents led by Charlie Chapel, the village’s recreation guide.