RUSHCLIFE WILDLIFE WATCH VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITY

The WATCH group based at the Rushcliffe Country Park are appealing for additional volunteers to help them ensure the group can offer a wide range of activities and help young people to have fun, enjoy the outdoors and develop an awareness of the environment around them. For more information, please contact Lynn Victor, Wildlife Watch organiser, on 0115 9588242, or email : lvictor@nottswt.co.uk.

For more details follow this link http://www.southnottswildlife.org.uk/content/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/Watch-Vol-Poster-Rushcliffe-2018-1.pdf

£2,000 DONATION TO TRUST

Due to our fundraising efforts over the past 12 moths South Notts has made two donations to Notts Wildlife Trust. One of £1,900 is to provide a badly needed equipment store at Attenborough for the Southern Reserves Team which will be soon based Attenborough, but operating across the reserves in south Notts including Rushcliffe.

The second is of £100 to support the continuing work of the Keeping It Wild Group which is aimed  at people aged between 13 and 25. This donation represents our belief that this is a really important initative and how much we are impressed with the verve and enthusiasm of the groups members.

Record Year for Wildlife Volunteering in Rushcliffe

According the 2017 Nature in Rushcliffe Report a record 10,200 hours of volunteer time (valued at £192,000) were recorded last year and represent a phenomenal donation of time. The chances ever being able to fund anything even close to that level of activity makes you realize how important these volunteers are to maintaining the valuable habitats that support our local populations of wildflowers, insects, birds and mammals. An invaluable resource.

And this figure does not take into account the people who spend there time going out recording our wildlife, nor for the equally valuable backroom folk who run committees, fundraising, leading wildlife walks and publizing wildlife issues. Whilst Rushcliffe Borough Council does fund some activity and staff from charities like Notts Wildlife Trust do work locally, the majority of the effort is provided by people like yourself giving a bit of time, perhaps a couple of hours a month, on a regular basis,.

But we can still do more and Reserve Work Parties, such as Bingham Linear Park, Lily Ponds (Radcliffe on Trent) Meadow Park (East Leake), Sharphill Wood, Skylarks, Wilwell Cutting and Wilford Claypits (for a full list and details see www.southnottswildlife.org.uk and click on reserves tab – nature reserves) would always welcome additional help in carrying out a range of conservation tasks. including coppicing, grassland management, fence and path work, pond maintenance and very likely more. As a reward the work provides you with the opportunity of fresh air and exercise with a grand group of folk as well.

So do your bit for wildlife and get in touch. If you want more information about how you can help contact gordon.dyne@gmail.com or 0115 8784842.

Grass cutting trial could benefit Nottinghamshire wildlife

A pilot trial is currently taking  place to reduce the frequency of grass cutting on selected rural roads in Nottinghamshire – which could benefit natural habitats and won’t compromise safety.

The locations for the trial sites at Top Road and Springs Road in Misson, near Retford and East Bridgford Road, Main Street and Newton Lane in Newton, near East Bridgford have been chosen by the County Council and Via East Midlands in collaboration with Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust and Misson and Newton parish councils.

The selected roads will also have a speed limit of 50mph or more, and the trial is underway for one growing season only, however, the grass in the vicinity of footways and at road junctions will continue to be cut at their original frequencies.  The current cutting frequency for rural roads with no footways is a single swath cut (the length can be up to 1.2m) twice a year for two years, with the full width of the verge cut every third year.

Councillor John Cottee, Committee Chairman for Communities and Place, at Nottinghamshire County Council, said: “The trial sites are being monitored through the current growing season to ensure that the reduced grass cutting frequency does not compromise safety. If safety concerns are identified, the sites will immediately revert back to the original cutting frequencies. We believe this is worth trialling for the potential environmental benefits it can bring to Nottinghamshire.”

Mark Speck, Northern Conservation Officer at Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust, said: “This pilot trial will allow broadleaved plants the opportunity to flower and, crucially, set seed.  There will be an increased amount of pollen and nectar source for insects and arguably an attractive appearance to our roadside verges. Before the advent of herbicides and fertilisers, flower filled meadows were a familiar sight in Nottinghamshire. Sadly 97% of species-rich grasslands in the county have disappeared since the 1930s.

“This means that our road verges have become a vital refuge for wildflowers. With careful management grasslands can thrive in the county once again with beautiful wildflowers and grasses supporting butterflies and a wealth of other wildlife. We fully understand that motorist and pedestrian safety will be an important consideration when undertaking the trial.”

Newton Parish Council chairman James Fisher said:  “We are pleased to be asked to take part in this trial, for this one growing season, and to see whether there are any ecological benefits for our village.”

Dr Mandy Walker, Parish Clerk at Misson said “”As long as nature can be encouraged to thrive without compromising safety, which is our parish council’s main concern, then it will be a wonderful thing to see the beautiful colours of a variety of English wildflowers among the long grasses at the roadsides.”

Any Parish Council in the county interested in participating in future trials can contact Highways contract manager Martin Carnaffin for more information martin.carnaffin@nottscc.gov.uk.

Rushcliffe Resident Free Tree Scheme 2018

Rushcliffe Borough Council have announced a free tree scheme for 2018 for residents in Rushcliffe, applications for up to 2 free trees will be accepted via their Surveymonkey form https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/DHFQSLK from June 2018. The trees will be issued from stalls in Bingham, West Bridgford or East Leake in November (dates to be arranged). Please note, the planting location for the trees must be in the Borough of Rushcliffe. All the trees are two years old and approximately 60-90cms (2 to 3 feet) high.

Trees available this year are:

Field Maple (Acer campestre) – grows  to 20m, partial shade

Wild Cherry (Prunus avium) – grows to 30m, full sun

Organisations and schools are recommended to request trees from the Woodland Trust, please visit their free trees scheme website https://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/plant-trees/free-trees/. Farmers and landowners can obtain trees from https://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/plant-trees/large-scale/

SNG Nature Table at Summer Fetes

This year we will be taking our nature table to East Bridgford Horticultural Show (30th June 11 till 4), Ruddington Summer Fayre (Sat 21st July 12 till 6), Lark in the Park (Wed 1st Aug 10 till 4) and Skylarks Nature Reserve Festival (Thurs 23 Aug 10 till 4). If you are there look us up.

Spotlight on Gresham Marsh

We are currently working in partnership with Rushcliffe Borough Council and the Environment Agency on a project to get a once much-loved but now somewhat neglected nature reserve back into good management condition. The site, known as Gresham Marsh is located behind Embankment Primary Care Centre on Wilford Lane and on the right of Gresham Park Road as you drive up to Emmanual School from the mini-roundabout.

Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust used to manage the site as a nature reserve, grazing it with our sheep. Sadly, due to limited resources and issues with livestock safety we have been unable to do this for many years. However, we are now currently working with the land owners (Environment Agency) and Rushcliffe Borough Council with the aim to get it back into good condition for wildlife and for people. We are currently engaging with nearby schools and colleges, health centres, groups and other organisations nearby, which may have an interest in the land and could potentially help look after the site.

Although some may consider that the site has become very overgrown, it is still a very important remnant wetland habitat, supporting much wildlife interest such as marsh, reed swamp, grassland and scrub habitats. It is of importance to breeding birds in the summer, wading birds in the winter and it used to support several species of scarce wetland plants and the charismatic water vole, which sadly hasn’t been recorded here since the 1980s.

At the current time there is a lack of resources to look after the land but we are hoping to address this by forming a new ‘friends group’ to help involve the local community with care of the site and to enhance its wildlife value. Such a group would provide valuable resources in terms of carrying out work on the ground and possibly bring in much needed funds. A renewed focused on the site will also help secure its long-term future.

We would love to hear from any nearby groups or individuals who could help. If you are interested in supporting such a project please contact Ben Driver, Southern Conservation Officer on 0115 9588242 or emailbdriver@nottswt.co.uk.

Who are Keeping it Wild and What do we do?


  Keeping It Wild is the youth group of Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust for 13 to 25 year-olds. We started in 2016 as Young Roots Steering Group and then we received Heritage Lottery Funding to officially become Keeping It Wild! That funding allowed us to take part in lots of conservation and educational activities and get branded clothing like our Toad Patrol high vis vests (pictured). Last summer we even went away for a week to visit other Wildlife Trusts and see new wildlife including beavers and horseshoe bats! Now the funding has finished, we do lots of fundraising events in order to be self-sufficient. We have sold handmade Christmas decorations at Maggie’s at the City Hospital and at Attenborough nature reserve, put on a nature trail at Idle Valley Spring Fair and we had a stall at Green Up Day in Sneinton Market Place (pictured).

We also put on events to connect people with nature – we hosted a bushcraft day in Seller’s Wood and a family games event at Woodthorpe Meadow. During Nottingham’s Night Light we put on a silent disco for the public where participants wore light up headphones that played nature sounds to show them what we are missing in the city. Our mission is to connect young people to nature through our activities and to raise awareness of the importance of Nottingham’s green spaces. This year, we were part of the Creating a Buzz campaign, which included creative workshops with local poets and photographers focusing on nature in Nottingham, and a debate in the Council House with a panel of experts and around 100 local school children (pictured). We are also planning on shout our manifesto to parliament in London!

In the future, we are going to be trusted to manage our own nature reserve! We will be looking after Woodthorpe Meadow in Sherwood and hosting more events there to encourage local people to visit the reserve. We are also looking to raise awareness of our group so we can recruit new members and increase our fundraising opportunities, and we are looking for our own space to meet!

Want to join us ? Contact us on Facebook via @willow fox or via Laura Bacon on  lbacon@nottswt.co.uk or dropping a text or what’s app on 07711886414

We are the Future protecting Wildlife!

South Notts Local Group AGM

This years AGM saw the endorsement of the following people as the Local Group Committee – Gordon Dyne (Chair), Jacquie Glen (Secretary), Valerie Holt (Treasurer), Judith Booth, Neil Glen , Margie Richards, Cath Lovatt and Chris Overton. Attached are links to the

Groups annual report  http://www.southnottswildlife.org.uk/content/?attachment_id=1047

and annual accounts http://www.southnottswildlife.org.uk/content/?attachment_id=1048.

The AGM was followed by an inspirational talk by the Keeping It Wild team, a wildlife Youth Group for people between 13 and 25. Originally set up in October 2016 around the Skylarks nature reserve project out reach, it is now and active vibrant group within Notts Wildlife Trust (in the same manner as Local Groups and WATCH Groups). They are actively engaged in the management of Woodthorpe Meadow, in promoting public engagement with wildlife, but also in getting out and enjoying our natural environment. Although they get some support from the Trust they are largely self financing, so also carry out fund raising