Summer in South Notts


Get Out and About with wildlife in the next few weeks (see right hand column).

Fri Sept 12th – Sept Bat Walk with Lyn Victor. Meet at the Rushcliffe Country Park Environment Centre at 6.30 pm for a brief talk about bats, followed by a bat walk from 7.30 pm. Numbers limited so contact Lyn at NWT on 0115 9588242 or to reserve a space.

 Sun Sept 21st – Autumn wildlife along Bingham Linear Park with Jenny Craig (01949 838899). Meet 10.00 amTithby Road bridge.

But I am afraid Summer is waning and the time is fast approaching for our 2014/15 Talks Programme. We are starting out in October with a talk on British Moths by our very own Niel Pinder, followed in November by a talk about the Wildlife of Scilly. 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

Appeal for info from Bat Conservation Trust

Having been in communication with Government Ministers, the Bat Conservation Trust (BCT) has been assured that whilst the recent permitted development statutory instrument related to agricultural buildings does not explicitly mention protected species, that they have made it clear that those undertaking permitted development must comply with all relevant legislation such as the Habitat Regulations.  We are not convinced this is the reality as we have been made aware of instances where bat surveys have not been required because it was deemed permitted development. To enable us to go back to Government with our concerns we need a greater weight of evidence to ensure we are accurately reflecting the real situation on the ground. We would like to ask for your help with this. If you have knowledge of the way in which bats have been considered in any permitted development cases since April this year (whether good or bad) we would like to hear about it. You will find a brief set of questions here:

Skylarks – we have bought the site and work has commenced

The Trust has now officially secured the new site having completed the legal arrangements to transfer the site from the Esmme Fairburn Trust who purchased it two years ago on our behalf whilst we secured the necessary long term funding to by the site. This turned into a million pound project (now fully funded) and included an amazing £90k of public donations, our most successful funding raising effort ever and included substantail donations from local councils, wildlife groups and local people (not neccsarly members). A big thanks to everyone who pitched in.
As a thank you to individual donors Ruth Testa the sites NWT Wetlands Officer and Michael Walker (NWT Living Landscapes Officer) led a visit look at some of the work that this will fund over the next 2-3 years. The major piece of civil engineering is set to commence this week with a massive piece of earth moving to create a new area of species rich wet grassland (from existing rank grassland), using the material to create shallow reedbed and muddy margins along the lake edge and up to three islands in the lake. This will also isolate a shallow lake inlet and electro fishing will be used to make the area amphibian and invertebrate friendly. All sorts of other things will be happening (bird hides, paths, fencing, parking, small ponds etc In addition the presence of pre historic archaeology turned up during gravel extraction also means the project will include some community archaeology work and experimental archaeology projects as part of the overall funding. Curiously one of the interesting bits of the site (well it got Michael quiet excited) was an apparently mundane site drainage ditch, which has proved to be the location of several species of beetle previously unknown in Notts.
For the moment the heavy earth moving will means bits of the site (but by no means all) will be out of bounds for safety reasons).

Bird Ringing

Thanks to South Notts Bird Ringers for allowing folk to come along and have a “birds” eye view of their activity on Skylarks. 18 people came along over the morning and had a real treat. The ringers had a bumper crop of birds, with a bumper 201 in the morning including 9 recaptures – 2 of which were first ringed in 2012. The catch included Certis Warbler, Robin, Dunock, Chiff Chaffs, Goldfinch, Whitethroat, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Blackcap and a flock of Long Tailed Tits (which were all re released together in a mass fly off). One Chiff Chaf loathed to move on sat on someones hand for a couple of minutes, whilst Blue Tits showed their displeasure by pecking the handlers..Also in the haul was a Great Spotted Woodpecker



Rushcliffe Volunteer Forum Sat 27th Sept

To all you folk out there who are actively engaged with nature conservation on committees, work parties, wardening and survey work – Rushcliffe Borough Council and Notts Wildlife Trust will be hosting a Volunteer Forum and you are all most welcome to come whatever your interests and levels of involvment. The theme will be to look at the implications of Landscapescale Conservation and how it might be applied to the area in the coming years, it will also be used as an oppurtunity to look at the new Skylark reserve and our plans for it. BUT most importantly it will be an oppurtunity for like minded wildlife enthuisats to get together. If you are interested please follow PASTE this link into your browser (direct clicking dosen`t seem to work, possibly because it is so long) – this contains the booking form, but if you page down it also gives an outline agenda.

Rushcliffe Community Awards 2014

Every year Rushcliffe runs a Community Awards and invites local people to nominate individuals or groups that they think have particularly contributed to the local community in a  a variety of categories. One of those categories is Environmental work (other categories are available), so if a particular group or individual has particularly impressed you in the last year with their contribution to the Environment (which is defined in the broadest terms and not just nature conservation) then why not do something positive and nominate them by way of a thank you. For full details follow this link The deadline for nominations is Sept 26th and then a panel will decide the winning enteries in each of the categories. Over the years nature conservation has been well represented in the community awards and it would be nice to see this continue.

Wildlife Recording

One of the most useful things people can do is to record the wildlife they see around them – visiting a reserve, walking the dog or even just in their garden. Such information can provide a small but helpful contribution to the bigger picture in the area. Often people go for the more obvious groups perhaps on birds or butterflies, but some go for more specailist categories including in one instance the very esoteric plant galls !

For a full report on wildlife recording please follow this link.


Ruddington Spring Fair

A big thanks to all the people who grew plants, donated DVD`s, records and cakes and the trusty stalwarts who turned up to help on the day. Overal we took in £923 (including donations and, quiz sheets etc) however a member is organising the sale of CD`s via Music Magpie and that should bring in over £200 and there are still record sales via E Bay to be sorted so we hope for a final figure of over £1,200 before expenses a similar figure to last year. 

In effect  we have had a decline in sales on the day, but that has been counteracted by growth online (very modern). The decline is particularly noted in plant sales and the cafe, this seems to be related to a gradual drop in footfall over the years. Things like sales of cake and DVD`s have held up and sale of records on the day is up (probably due to specailist collectors who don`t buy plants, but might eat cake !).

Still the point of the Fair is not just the amount of money that we raise, but that it can be used to help Notts Wildlife Trust provide matched funding and help NWT release project funds, so the money is worth significantly more than the headline figures. Again a big thanks to everyone who lent a hand.