Coming up in Rushcliffe

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Out and About with Wildlife Programme

Tue 2nd Aug – Late summer wildflower walk round Wilford Claypits nature reserve. Meet at 6.45pm in The Apple Tree car park of Compton Acres Contact Derek Rudge 0115 9100712

Sat 20th Aug Wildlife along the River Smite Meet 10 am at Aslockton railway station for a 10 mile long walk up the Smite. Bring a packed lunch. (Gordon Dyne 0115 8784842).

Wed 31st Aug – Bat Walk at Cotgrave Country Park Meet 7pm at car park on Holygate Lane (bring a torch). To reserve a place contact Lynn Victor, Notts Wildlife Trust, tel 0115 9588242, email: lvictor@nottswt.co.uk.

Fri 2nd Sept – Country Park Bat Walk. Meeting at 7pm at Rushcliffe Country Park`s Rangers Office for a presentation, followed by bat walk (bring a torch). To reserve a place contact Lynn Victor, Notts Wildlife Trust, tel 0115 9588242, email: lvictor@nottswt.co.uk.

You can also look at the programme going forward up till August under the Diary  tab – Out and About page

Big Butterfly Count 2016

Common blue butterfly (© Jenny Craig)

It’s summer so it’s time to get out into gardens, parks and countryside to look for butterflies and count them for this year’s Big Butterfly Count! These annual surveys are run by Butterfly Conservation and map the distribution of butterflies and moths in the UK to inform us about changes in the environment. Doing a count at one location only takes 15 minutes, then you can add your results online and see them appear on the map! The survey began on 15 July and runs until 7 August (counts can be submitted online up till the end of August). This year’s survey is important to indicate how butterflies have been affected by a run of cooler and wetter than average weather. See Big Butterfly Count website for more info, butterfly id chart, results map and free smartphone app…

Cotgrave Forest -area project

The Rushcliffe Nature Conservation Strategy Implementation Group are looking at the feasibility of running a project in and around the Cotgrave Forest area in line with the principles of Landscape scale conservation, That is not concentrating on an individual site or reserve but the wider landscape. RNCSIG are using the Cotgrave Forest as a center piece for this project as it supports populations of some more unusual butterflies and it is felt that there is potential to improve links to other wooded areas. For more about this follow this link to an article Cotgrave Forest article Jun16   and also this flyer  Cotgrave Forest Project Flyer May 2016.

If you are at all interested please get in touch.

Giving our Insect Pollinators a helping hand

At least 1500 species of insects act as pollinators in the UK including bumble bees, the honey bee, solitary bees, hoverflies, wasps, flies, beetles, butterflies and moths. There has been much in the media in recent years about bumblebee declines, with six out of 25 species of wild bumblebee having declined by up to 80% in the last 50 years and honeybee populations have also crashed. However many other pollinator species are also under pressure, for example a 70% decline in butterfly numbers. All have complex life cycles and specific needs. Most require food in the form of pollen and nectar, often quite species specific , and need a home for shelter and nest building.

Our pollinators face a range of pressures arising from habitat loss , pests and diseases, competition from invasive species, climate change and use of some pesticides. However they are vital for food production, it has been estimated that over 90% of the world’s crops are insect pollinated, but also for our wildflowers and garden plants. But a result of the way the landscape has changed over the last 50 years, not all insect pollinators can readily find the food and shelter they need. In 2014 the government set out a strategy to help pollinators. Rushcliffe Borough Council and Nottinghamshire Trust have been working with other partners to help pollinators for many years, developing wildflower meadows / blue butterfly sites on land at Wilwell Farm Cutting, Wilford Claypits, The Green Line and Collington Common in West Bridgford, The Hook, Ladybay, Skylarks, Rushcliffe Country Park, Cotgrave Country Park, Meadow Park, East Leake, as well as sites like Gotham Sandbanks and Bingham Linear Park

But everyone can play their part. So whether you are a farmer, a gardener, or a manager of urban or amenity spaces, there is something you can do to help our valuable insect pollinators.

Five simple things you can do are:

  • Growing more flowers, shrubs and trees that provide nectar and pollen as food for bees and other pollinators throughout the year. Native wildflowers are especially good.

  • Leaving patches of land to grow wild with plants like stinging nettles and dandelions to provide other food sources (such as leaves for caterpillars) and breeding places for butterflies and moths.

  • Garden grass often contains a little wildflower community, so cut grass less often and ideally remove the grass cuttings to and allow them to flower (makes for a more colorful lawn as well)

  • Avoid disturbing or destroying nesting or hibernating insects, in places like grass margins, bare soil, hedgerows, trees, dead wood or walls.

  • Think carefully about use of pesticides especially where pollinators are active or nesting or where plants are in flower.

For more information see http://www.beesneeds.org.uk/ or http://www.wildaboutgardens.org.uk/

Ruddington Spring Fair dun good

This years Spring Fair was the best one for several years ie we made more cash ! On the day we took in just over £1,200 which is about £300 up on last year – cakes, plants and CD`s all showed a small increase, but the big boost was diversification into a tombola and into “selling” woolly badgers. And there was also the interesting sight of a very large Badger roaming the streets of Ruddington, with a minder as the badger had very poor visibility

So a great big thanks to everyone who donated stuff or time (and indeed both) and made it a good day.Indeed it is remarkable that on the day the helpers seem to work like a “hive” mind – everything seems to get done, although no one seems to be giving instructions – well not me anyway.

It is not the end of the story however – surplus plants have gone to Attenborough and will generate some more cash, along with a supply of woolly badgers (who knew there were so many ardent woolly badger knitters in Rushcliffe) and we will also be selling them localy at Summer Fetes etc. The surplus CD/DVD`s will be sold via Music Magpie and should net us over a £100 and the records will also be sold on.

On behalf of the South Notts Committe – thank you all and to the South Notts Committee – thank you – Gordon Dyne Chair SNG.

Flowers at Wilwell

This year has seen a very good number of Cowslips in flower at the site, but also at Wilford Claypits and on Collington Common. In total nearly 4,000 flower spikes have been counted. Also good news is that the number of Green Wing Orchids was up this year and whilst number are drastically down from the flooding a fourfold increase from last year suggests the population is graduly reestablishing itself..

Very soon (if not already) the Southern Marsh Orchids will be coming into bloom and I am hoping to see the Bugle again this year (a few flowered last year for the first time since the flood).

But where are all the butterflies ?

Don`t forget Wilwell Open Day on Sat 11th June.

Ruddington Spring Fair – Sat 4th June

This is our annual fund raiser and last year helped us contribute £1,500 to help support the work of Notts Wildlife Trust..Please come along this year and support us.

It is at the St Peters Rooms in Ruddington (NG11 6HA) opposite the church from 9.30 till 12.

We will be selling

  • PLANTS grown by local members#
  • CDs and DVDs (also donated
  • Vinyl records
  • Homemade cakes
  • There will also be a
  •  Cafe
  • Tombola
  • Nature Table
  • Stand about the Rushcliffe Swift Project

and we will be selling out General Knowledge Quiz sheet

 

Wilwell Nature Reserve Open Day – Wildflowers of Summer

For a summer stroll amongst examples of Rushcliffes best flora why not come to Wilwell Nature Reserve Open Day, which is on Saturday 11th June for a range of summer wildflowers including Southern Marsh Orchids, Knapweed, Ladies Bedstraw and many others uncommon to the area. Many of the flowers will be labeled and information sheets posted about the wildlife, the reserve and the, work of Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust and we will also have a nature table set up. In the past couple of years we have been doing a lot of work to control the scrub encroachment on the wildflower meadows and have opened up the railway embankment and marsh areas. Wilwell is on the B680 running between Ruddington and Wilford Village – coming from Ruddington it is on the left just before the ring road bridge and the entrance will be signed. It is one of for Notts Wildlife Trust reserves in the area, so look out for events at Bunny Wood, Skylarks and Wilford Claypits. The open day is from 10am till 4pm, car parking available. For more info about Wilwell see our web site www.southnottswildlife.com.uk

Rushcliffe Wildlife on Your Doorstep Awards

This year Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust asked for nominations in it`s Wildlife on Your Doorstep Awards and got a total of twelve eneries from Rushcliffe, more than any other area of the County. This illustrates the vibrancy of nature conservation in Rushcliffe as these nominations represent individuals and groups working at ten different local sites. Notts Wildlife Trust are delighted to announce that the winners in Rushcliffe are as follows

Individual Category – Harry Eustace (Friends of Sharphill Wood) who joined the group’s work parties as part of his Bronze Duke of Edinburgh Award, and has become a work party regular after getting his Bronze and introduced his younger brother to the work party as well. Harry is a focused and hard worker, carrying out dead hedging, maintaining the paths, coppicing and felling small trees, as well as competent in the planting and aftercare of small hedging whips.

Group Category – Holme Pierrepont Country Park Group for their work over the last year to introduce more wildlife friendly features and habitats into the park including clearing Hymalyan Balsam, creating a bird hide, making and installing bird boxes, creating a spring wildflower garden and opening up a stagnant pond.

Schools Category – Ash Lea Special School for the hard work put into creating maintaining their wildlife garden over the years The school is also supporting the Trusts work at Skylarks coming along to to carry out conservation tasks as well as survey work.

Darren Caborn Christopher Britton Steve Bishop Harry Eustace and Jessica Lowe

(Daren Carbon, Christopher Britton and Steve Bishop (Holme Pierrepont Country Park, Harry Eustace (Sharphill Wood, Jessica Lowe (Ash Lea School))

Other nominations were Derek Rudge (Wilford Claypits), Elaine Young (Friends of Gotham Sandbanks)

Tom Shields (Skylarks NR), Patsie Andrew (East Bridgford Wildlife Group),Jenny Craig (Bingham Linear Park) in the individual category and Gotham Sandbanks Nature Reserve, Stonepit Wood Group, Skylarks Sunday Group and South Notts Bird Ringing Group in the group category.