OUT & ABOUT WITH WILDLIFE – WALKS PROGRAMME

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Our Out & About with Wildlife programme inline with government restrictions.

Sun 6th June – Keyworth Meadows Open Day Walk. Meeting 9.30 am looking the flora & fauna  Keyworth Burial Ground & Keyworth Meadow Nature Reserve with Neil Pinder. Numbers maybe restricted, for full details please contact  neil.pinder@ntlworld.com for more information and to book a place.

 Sat 12th Jun – Gotham Circular Wildlife Walk. Meeting 9.30 am taking in Gotham Nature Reserve and Stonepit Wood NR and West Leake Hills (approx 4-5 miles). Numbers maybe restricted, for full details please contact Gordon Dyne on gordon.dyne@gmail.com for more information and to book a place.

From 21st June there is no legal limit, BUT walk leaders may choose to limit numbers

Tue 22nd June – An evening walk around Collington Common, West Bridgford.

Meeting 7 pm. Numbers maybe restricted, for full details please contact Gordon Dyne on gordon.dyne@gmail.com for more information and to book a place.

Sat 26th Jun – The Flora of Cotgrave Country Park with David Wood. Meeting  9.30 am. Numbers maybe restricted, for full details please contact Gordon Dyne on gordon.dyne@gmail.com for more information and to book a place.

Also see our FACEBOOK PAGE  https://www.facebook.com/SouthNottsWildlifeGroup

Wilford Fields

A few days ago went along to have a look at Wilford Fields (behind ROKO on Wilford Lane), it`s the big green “hillock” surrounded by Housing. And it was a pleasant oasis, and dog walkers aside, you would hardly know you were in an urban area. A good basic wildlife site, I identified some 30 species of wildflower during a walk round, across and generally all over.
 
Not a bad haul nothing really out of the normal, but a good number of the usual suspects. And this is important because it means that the insects that exploit the usual suspects (food, eggs etc) are also likely to be around. If the foodplant is common, then it is likely so is the predator.
 
And this brings me to the subject of grasses – I reckon there were at least 10 species of grass on site and grass is the principal component of grassland (go figure !). Consequently you will find an awful lot of insects use grass (or more likely specific species as both a foodplant and an egglaying plant – it makes sense, exploit the most common foodstuffs. You only have to look at British moths to realize that many of them do exactly that.
 
So in summary a good, useful wildlife site.
 
PS I found White Campion and Goatsbeard neither of which are common in these parts, I think.

Wilwell Southern Marsh Orchids

Counted the Southern Marsh Orchids at Wilwell, a cracking 713 (approx), the vast majority being in the middle & southern lower meadow. This is way up on last years worst ever count of just 38. A remarkable turn round even for a notoriously variable plant like SMO.
 
It has been suggested that as SMO survive as bulbs and the bulbs are able to split in two, this might explain these rapid changes, but not why. Many of the flowers were just coming into bloom so I think I caught them at peak SMO. But the flowers are very variable with some fine flower spikes, but in other cases very stunted.
 
Such little clusters of SMO`s are quiet typical of the lower meadow colony, with other plants skulking in the vegetation.
 
But the other interesting thing was, they have reappeared in the marsh area below the seat, not seen for maybe 15+ years. This is in direct contradiction of my claim that you don`t find SMO`s in really wet areas, there was a one inch layer of water across the area. Ornery little critters !
Also worth saying that at 205 flower spikes (again approx) this was the highest Green Wing Orchid count since the “great flood” decimated numbers in 2012/13.
The last couple of years has also seen the reappearance of Twayblade orchids in two (very) little populations. The original population was also lost in the great deluge, so in fairness at least one population well to the south might have always been there a green  plant hidden in the vegetation.

Petition – Nature Recovery Targets

A consortium of a whole host of nature conservation organisations both big and small are campaigning for the government targets for nature recovery to be enshrined in Legislation in order to give them some teeth. They are asking people to sign a petition, although the campaign is being organized by RSPB it is on behalf of a consortium. called the Wildlife & Countryside Petition.

Sign the petition to make nature’s recovery by 2030 law

Currently it stands at circa 189,000 signatories.

Also of interest is this video by Chris Packham and Megan McCuddy talking about the issues surrounding the problem and is an appeal to sign. Nothing that will surprise most of you I think. Indeed the first section could almost be called things we are trying to do/hope to do in Rushcliffe and is behind the thinking for the Rushcliffe Nature Conservation Strategy since 2003

See this link https://www.facebook.com/ChrisGPackham/videos/496971391545650  to a starter video, that links to the main video.

Cheers – Gordon Dyne   Chair- RNCSIG

Action for Insects

This was pinched from a Friends of Sharphill Wood E Mail (shhhh don`t tell them, they might sue for copyright !).
Please see the Wildlife Trusts’ action guides for looking after insects in the community and your garden if you have one:
As far as Sharphill is concerned, we do leave deadwood as insect habitat, coppice or pollard trees and plant hedges as recommended. However, I will list the guide for review at our next me

Barton in Fabis Gravel Pits

This is a summary from Janice Bradley (NWT Nature Recovery Manager North), who is dealing with the County Council Mineral Extraction Plan. Land near Bartonis one of the sites allocated under the County plans for a gravel extraction unfortunately. The majority of the proposed site is within Rushcliffe,  one small area falls within the City’s boundary. The specific Planning  Application for the site is still in play, but that is now a matter of how, not if. We are currently waiting for the applicant to submit their response to the 4th Regulation 25 request, to see if they can address all the issues raised.  The fact that it has taken that many requests shows what a controversial site it is and how poor the initial application was. I remain in contact with Barton PC about it.

The Mineral Plan will require the restoration of the site to BAP priority floodplain habitats, which are listed  in the site brief, and the presumption will be to protect the Local Wildlife Sites where possible and this is where things get complicated. The issue of the LWS`s effected is still being battled out at through the application process.

ENHANCING CONNECTIONS, ENHANCING HABITATS COTGRAVE FOREST FOCAL AREA PROJECT

The principal aims of the project is to improve wildlife linkages and create stepping stones spreading out from existing areas of wildlife habitat in the target area. The project area is roughly a triangle between the A52, A46 and A606 and therefore Cotgrave Forest forms a major habitat feature in the area.

The Project is seeking to promote existing habitats such as hedgerows, headlands and green lanes, as well as creating new stepping stones, such as woodland copses and field margins. These will assist the movement of less mobile species such as small mammals, invertebrates and plants, around the area, as well as providing additional habitat in themselves.

So we are looking at farmland links between Cotgrave Forest and Roehoe Wood, Cotgrave Country Park and Cotgrave village edge woodlands and out towards Wheatcroft Wood and Dewberry Hill. And hope that by encouraging small changes that add up, we can create these stepping stones and connections for wildlife at a landscape scale.

But the Project is also interested in promoting sympathetic wildlife management within the woodland. because it is an important habitat in it`s own right, supporting a diverse range of local species and also the locally rare Purple Emperor and White Tailed Fritillary butterflies.

Gordon Dyne – Rushcliffe Nature Conservation Strategy Implementation Group (RNCSIG)

Badger Cull in Leics & South Notts

From Mike Rivett via NEXTDOOR – Badger culling. Do you know that badgers in south Notts are scheduled to be culled, even though some of them have been vaccinated against bovine TB already? If you disagree, please sign and share the petition – https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/save-badgers-in-notts-and-leics

South Notts Local Group (NWT) – The government are being tight lipped about exactly where the culls are taking place, to try and throw off disruption. But even if it the cull area does not include the Notts Wildlife Trust Badger Edge Vaccination Scheme area, the uncertainty has resulted in a significant number of farmers withdrawing from a scheme that had been NWT`s most successful land owner engagement project, running since 2015.

However the vaccination programme is continuing with the support from a dedicated group of volunteers. One of the bizarre ironies of this is that the government are simultaneously funding both the cull and the vaccination programme.

Local Nature Reserves

There are a whole cluster of nature reserves in Rushcliffe to visit over the spring and summer. Obvious candidates are Skylarks, Bingham Linear Park, Sharphill Wood, Bunny Wood, Rushcliffe CP, Cotgrave CP + smaller sites such as Wilford Claypits, Gotham Sandbanks, Wilwell Farm Cutting.

For more information you might want to follow these links For a list of local sites http://www.southnottswildlife.org.uk/content/?page_id=228

Alternatively this link is for  an RBC leaflet Nature in Rushcliffe http://www.southnottswildlife.org.uk/content/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/NatureInRushcliffe_leaflet_artwork.pdf

Another area to explore is Charnwood Forest just over the border in Leices. There is a cluster of Leic Wildlife Trust sites namely Lea Meadows, Ulverscroft and Herberts Meadow and in addition the County Council manage Outwoods, Beacon Hill, and Broomriggs Farm and of course there is also Bradgate Park and Swithland Wood. Although the footpath network is very limited in the area it is perfectly possibly to put together a days walk taking in Beacon Hill,

Ulverrscroft/Herberts Meadow, Lea Meadows, Bradgate Park and Broomriggs – although to be fair such a circuit is more about passing through. But it is a fine walk taking in National Forest plantations. Outside of Charnwood there are nature reserves at Holwell/Browns Quarry and also Wymeswold Meadow and Loughborough Big Meadow all just over the border. See LRWT web site for more info https://www.lrwt.org.uk/nature-reserves

PS not sure if exotic places like Leicetershire has left the EU, so you might need to take your passport !