We recently ran a reptile survey at Wilwell to see if the occasional Grass Snake records translated into a permenant presence. I the end we found no Grass Snakes, but did find that we had a previously unkown colony of Sloworms (a legless lizard). Sloworms are probably poorly recorded , being smaller and less obvious than snakes, growing to perhaps 40-50 cm`s. We are fairly confident it is an active population as we have found at least 10 individuals varying from juviniles to young adults and at least one older specimein.
There is however good evidence that Grass Snakes are active in the area around Wilwell (between Ruddington and Wilford) including the Golf Course and do on occasion visit the reserve.
Numerous projects have been carried out in the grounds of HMP Whatton in Rushcliffe, including creation and management of extensive wildflower areas, installation of bird feeding stations and nest boxes for birds (including swift and owl boxes) and bats manufactured in the craft workshop, shrub beds, walkways, small ponds and water gardens, bug houses, log piles and a wormery. These projects very much link to and support the biodiversity of the local area, with Bingham Linear Park and the River Smite being very close by.
The staff and prisoners are closely involved in all projects and the work closely ties in to rehabilitation, skill development and wellbeing, with the prisoner’s having an increased awareness of wildlife and the natural environment.
HMP Whatton has closely involved and engaged with external local partners on these projects, including Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust, Nottinghamshire Birdwatchers, Swift Conservation, Rushcliffe Barn Owl Project and Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Trust.
Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust organised and delivered a presentation/ demonstration event, centred on ponds and amphibians and further activity and projects are being planned for the future. The prisoner’s take part in monitoring wildlife, for instance recording bird and small mammals found in the habitat areas.
We are very pleased that HMP Whatton has received national recognition for the excellent nature conservation projects they are carrying out in the prison grounds. Their achievements have been recognised through the Ministry of Justice as they recently won the National Offenders Management Service (NOMS) Wildlife awards as outright winners in 2018. As partners, Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust was pleased to attend a celebration event at the prison in September.
Ben Driver (NWT Southern Conservation Officer)
Visit the reserve in early summer, the Southern Marsh Orchids will be in flower along with a host of other wildflowers. We will be labelling many of them up, but in addition volunteers will run several guided walks round the site and will also have the South Notts nature table out. The open Day is on Saturday 1st June from 10 am till 4 pm and the reserve can be found on the B680 on the left just before the ring road bridge between Ruddington and Wilford Village. The entrance to the car park will be signed (Post Code NG2 7UT will get you very close, but not spot on. For a map of the reserve and general location see https://www.nottinghamshirewildlife.org/nature-reserves/wilwell-farm-cutting-nature-reserve
Gordon Dyne (Reserve Warden)
The bird ringing group have published thier annual report covering thier principal rinnging sites at Attenborough and Holme Pierrepont, see SNRG Report 2018 for details. But this year the ringing group have agreed to hold an “open morning” where people can come along and see thier work (and the birds) at close hand. This is on Sundaty 18th Aug at Skylarks Nature Reserve BUT numbers are limited in timed groups and to reserve a time slot please contact Gordon Dyne on email@example.com for more details.
Please see this link to the 2017 Nature in Rushcliffe Report http://www.southnottswildlife.org.uk/content/wp-admin/post.php?post=1095&action=edit which looks at Nature Conservation activity in Rushcliffe and gives an interesting picture of the amount of work that is going on localy by Notts Wildlife Trust, local groups and individuals.
The Rushcliffe Nature Conservation Strategy Implementation Group (RNCSIG) is running it`s annual Rushcliffe Nature Conservation Forum courtesy of Notts Wildlife Trust and Rushcliffe Borough Council.
It will be on Saturday 22nd Sept at East Bridgford Village Hall, the principal themes will be around trees and woodland and for further details see the attached Nature Conservaton Forum Flyer (2)
. The forum is open to anyone in Rushcliffe involved with or interested in nature conservation and wildlife in the area.
It is very distressing to report that over the past few months we have been made aware of a number of incidents, including two we are currently investigating, of developers carrying out vegetation clearance without sufficient survey checks for breeding birds.
Whilst vegetation clearance is often agreed as part of a planning permission, responsible developers should schedule this work to take place outside the bird nesting season (indeed this is often stated as part of planning conditions) and work which has to take place at sensitive times should only be carried out following a thorough site survey by a suitably qualified ecologist.
In the recent cases it would appear that construction workers have begun clearance work without such checks, leaving themselves and the developers at risk of prosecution and reputational damage. We will continue to raise these cases with planning departments and directly with developers but we would urge any member seeing work such as vegetation stripping of long grass swards, tree felling or hedgerow clearance during the nesting season (February to the end of August) to contact the
relevant planning authority.
Speaking about this worrying issue our Head of Conservation Janice Bradley MBE said “If you see work that looks like it could be destroying nesting habitat or even good foraging habitat in the middle of the nesting season, please contact your local planning department. Don’t assume that the work has been authorised or that adequate surveys have been carried out – in our experience this is often not the case and our recent experience suggests this issue is getting worse. Planning Departments, Natural England and the Environment Agency don’t have the resources to properly monitor planning conditions so we are often left as a last line of defence. Anything we can do together to help prevent destruction of nests and to raise awareness of bad practice could be crucial in protecting birds and their young.”
on Sat 16th June 10 till 4, we will be labeling up plants of interest and also be running a few guided walks round, as well as having the SNG nature table up. The reserve is on the road between Ruddington and Wilford on the left just before the Ring Road Bridge. The entrance will be signed and there is car parking or you could use the number 3 bus.
Rushcliffe Borough Council have released the latest draft of the plan for housing and industrial land allocation in our area. A weighty tome, the key pieces of information are the maps showing land to be allocated and once these areas are allotted outline planning permission is pretty much a formality (the detailed permissions would however be open to challenge) and equally important land not allocated (except for bits and bobs) will have a presumption against being built on for the foreseeable future (unless a government ups housing targets).
Have not had a chance to look in detail, but I don`t think any obvious designated wildlife sites are directly effected, but we will need to pore over the maps. What is quite good news is that the land to the west of Sharphill Wood seems not to have been allocated so hopefully the wood will get completely surrounded, which is a worry. Of course chunks of countryside adjacent to many Rushcliffe towns and villages will be built on, but under National Planning guidelines the choice is pretty much not if, but where. In addition RBC have put in policies that should help protect designated wildlife sites and green corridors. Of course the devil is in the details and any policy on any topic always contains caveats.
Notts Wildlife Trust and Rushcliffe Nature Conservation Strategy Implementation Group (RNCSIG) will be taking a look at the allocated sites and nature conservation policies and commenting, both on issues of concern and also supporting policies etc that we think are reasonable. If you want to know more please follow this link to the RBC web site
Home > Planning and Building > Planning > Planning policy > Local Plan (the key doc is Local Plan Part 2)
But individuals have as much right to comment on the plan as groups and organizations and whilst we will limit themselves to commenting on wildlife related issues, individuals can comment on other issues of local concern. You can be sure building companies will be commenting on the local plan to try to shape it to their benefit.
There will be a Public Enquiry in due course and any comments must be in to RBC by Thurs 28th June.