Ballannette is a natural wetlands area and has been gradually developed so as not to disturb the native and visiting birdlife regularly seen in the area. Recent development of lakes and a wildflower meadow have now been completed.
Ballannette is farmed using environmental and ecological methods which includes a complete ban on chemicals. Fields are cut for hay at the latest possible date so as not to affect nesting birds. Many rare plants have appeared and are flourishing in the undisturbed environment. Over 120 species of wildflowers have been identified in the region. Since 1997 hundreds of trees and shrubs have been planted; some of which are now over 30ft in height and are now able to sustain tree-nesting birdlife providing cover and berries.
Many species of birds and insects are found at Ballannette. Rare birds such as Choughs, Lapwing, Tufted Ducks and Snipe are regularly returning. Ballannette has also become a home to many Moorhens and Coots. Other regular visitors include Ravens, Hen Harriers and two families of Barn Owl. Experts regularly visit Ballannette to observe the different species of Dragon Flies and Butterflies which are now beginning to appear in abundance.
Parking is not allowed within the reserve. You can either park on Bayr Balley Meanag (Road of the Middle Farm) or Clay Head Road. The GPS coordinates of both can be found below. Another two caches in the series, Clay Head GC26NAK and Laxey View GC513RT can be found close to the parking area at Clay Head.
The cache is a small air-tight sandwich box and should be easy and straight-forward to find. Please be extra careful when searching for the cache so as to avoid damaging any flora and fauna or disturbing the wildlife. Also, keep geohounds on a lead and away from the ponds on the south side of the track during summer (breeding season). Fresh drinking water (for geohounds and their pet humans) is available at the reserve's noticeboard and also on the Raad-ny-Foillan path between the reserve and Clay Head. Please replace the cache exactly as found, and as usual, WATCH OUT FOR MUGGLES!
If the weather's nice when you're there, take a seat on one of the benches around the ponds, relax and take in the peace and tranquility. Happy caching!