Walks and Talks in Rushcliffe

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Our next walk in the Wildlife Out and About programme is on Sat 3rd Jan – Winter Bird walk from Skylarks Nature Reserve with Neil Pinder (0115 9144896). Meet 9 am at the Skylarks “totaliser” sign gates on the right past the Holme Pierrepont Centre on Adbolton Lane. For full details of Out & About follow this link

Our next talk is Thurs 8th Jan – PlantLife – Speaking up for Plants by Gill Butler-Orli looking at the work and projects of the charity promoting an interest in wild flowers, plants and fungi. The talks are same day (Thursday), same venue (Methodist Church, West Bridgford, same room, same time (7.30 pm) and same price (£2.50 incl tea & biccies), indeed only the talks are different. For full details of the programme and location venue follow this link to the WILDLIFE TALKS PAGE

Autumn also means the start of the Work Party season. If you are interested in making a practical contribution to local nature conservation there are a lot of local reserve work parties in Rushcliffe and they are great way to get outside and make a regular contribution to helping preserve our wildlife habitats. The current list is attached here RESERVE WORK PARTIES or go to the Monthly Diary record

Keep our bees buzzing!

Bee feeding and pollinating

Bee feeding and pollinating

Butterfly feeding and collecting pollen

Butterfly feeding and collecting pollen

Insect pollinators are vital for fruit crops – from apples to blackberries – commercial and in the wild – and for our garden and wild flowers to set seed. Some fifteen hundred species of insects act as pollinators in the British Isles, including various bees, wasps, hoverflies, butterflies, moths and beetles. Most have suffered serious declines in numbers since the second world war; for instance, it is estimated that at least twenty of our native bee species have become extinct during this period! These declines are likely to be linked to changes in our landscape and patterns of land use since the 1940s. In early November 2014 the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs launched its National Pollinator Strategy “to protect pollinating insects which support our food production and the diversity of our environment” – planned actions to reverse the decline of the last 70 years. If you have a garden or allotment you can help:

  • Simply grow more flowers! Native species are best and plants which flower early and late in the season are particularly helpful to insects emerging from or preparing for hibernation.
  • Leave at least one patch of your garden to grow wild. This might look a bit scruffy to you, but it will provide habitat for your pollinating insects to breed, lay eggs and raise their young.
  • Cut your lawn less often and let the grass grow longer to allow nectar-rich plants such as clover to flower and feed pollinators.
  • Miner bee leaving nest burrow

    Miner bee leaving nest burrow

    Avoid disturbing places where pollinating insects may be nesting or hibernating. Most apart from honey bees live in the wild and hibernate or nest in holes in trees, walls, rotting wood or by burrowing into loose soil – careless garden tidying in winter can destroy next spring’s pollinators!

  • Avoid using pesticides. Check your garden regularly so you can spot problems while they can be controlled by physical methods – hoeing; removing infected plants or parts of plants. If you have to use a pesticide keep quantity used and area covered to a minimum.

See the Bees’ Needs website for more on this topic.

Rushcliffe Community Awards

In the Environmental Category I am pleased to say that Gotham Nature Reserve Trust was “best in class”, a tice little reward for 2-3 years of hard work at Gotham Sandbanks and they are now well on the way to turning this site round (it was gradulay scrubbing over).

Also shortlisted where The Hook at Lady Bay and Tom Shields for his work at Skylarks.

As ever the Rushcliffe nature conservation sector had a good showing and other nominations included Sutton Bonnington Community Orchard, East Bridgford Wildlife Group, Jenny Craig (of Bingham Linear Park) and South Notts Bird Ringers.

Congratulations to all. If you are interested some of these sites have web sites, so follow this to our our web link page.

 

DANES Insect Exhibition

DANES (Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire Entomological Society) are holding their annual Insect Exhibition on Sat 15th Nov at Derby University, this is the societyes Centenary Year. Those who have been before will know it is a splendid event for all things insecty (and a few things that aren`t). It is FOC and for more information follow this link to the DANES web site http://www.danes-insects.org.uk/

 

Introduction to Winter Tree Identification

This is a free course for Rushcliffe volunteers and residents supplied in partnership with Rushcliffe Borough Council.

Rushcliffe Country Park  on Saturday 15th November 2014 – 11am – 3pm

This course would be particularly suitable for any new conservation volunteers, who may be helping out with winter scrub removal. It would also be of interest to anybody who would like to improve their tree/ shrub survey skills. To reserve a place please phone Ben Driver or Claire Sambridge at Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust on 0115 958 8242 or book via email to info@nottswt.co.uk (please put ‘Rushcliffe Winter Tree Id Course booking’ in the subject line).