Wilwell Nature Reserve Photo Album

A book concerning the history and present day wildlife of Wilwell Farm Cutting Nature Reserve, Ruddington’s Hidden Valley, has been given to the Ruddington Library. The book was compiled by Tim Williams one of the Nottinghamshire Wildife Trust volunteers and presented by Gordon Dyne the warden of the reserve. It will be available permanently for reference.  The book contains photographs illustrating the sites early days from 1895 as an important railway line connecting the industrial north of England to the metropolitan area and beyond to the proposed Victorian Channel tunnel which began construction in 1882. 

 Today its 20 acres has a wide variety of natural habitats where wild orchids thrive in two wild flower meadows. Many types of birds live in the hawthorn scrub and marsh areas support willow and rushes. Badgers have constructed several sets and squirrels chase among the tree tops. The Reserve is of interest at any time of the year. 

You can request to see a copy at the library or Ctrl & click on this link to see the online version of Tim`s Wilwell Photo Album

Cotgrave Forest Focal Area

The butterflies of Cotgrave Forest in Rushclife, Nottinghamshire include a number of woodland rarities such as Dark Green Fritillary. White Letter Hairstreak, Purple Hairstreak and Silver Washed Fritillary. (not to mention at least 21 other species of butterfly found in the area). Because of this the area around the Forest and Cotgrave has been identified under the Rushcliffe Nature Conservation Strategy as one of our primary foci for concerted nature conservation development.

The objective is to develop a Landscape Scale conservation outlook linking the Forest with the wider countryside through improved wildlife corridors along hedgerows and green lanes and looking at creating woodland copses to create “stepping stones” across to adjacent woodland areas, but also looking at the possibilities for other wildlife friendly features such as ponds, wildflower meadows, road verges etc. The mantra of the vision for this area is Better, Bigger and More Connected.

To make this happen a Focal Area steering group is exploring contacts with Cotgrave Forest woodland plot owners, Woodlands for Sale, adjacent farmers, but also looking to reach out further to other woodland owners, the Highway Agency, Cotgrave Country Park, local golf courses, solar farms etc etc. The long term hope is to link up with the larger, more extensive Trent Valley Living Landscape Project being developed by Notts Wildlife Trust.

If you want to know more please contact gordon.dyne@gmail.com or you can go to www.rushcliffe.gov.uk/environmentandwaste/countryside/natureconservation/ for details of the Rushcliffe Nature Conservation Strategy.

Wildlife on Your Doorstep Awards

These are run every year by Notts Wildlife Trust to recognise local efforts to promote wildlife and nature conservation around the county. This year the following people and groups were nominated for the Rushcliffe area Derek Rudge (Wilford Claypits), Stonepit Wood Group, South Notts Bird Ringing Group and the Grizzeled Skipper Project.

But the well deserved winners were

Jenny Craig – Jenny is one of the mainstays of the Friends of Bingham Linear Park for many years, both in the administration where she acts as the groups secretary, but also on the practical side where she leads the monthly site work party, leads a programme of site walks in the summer, is an active recorder of the sites butterfly populations (as well as providing analysis of the results). Jenny is the sort of person who is the cornerstone of good local practical conservation.

Gotham Sandbanks Nature Reserve Trust – Gotham Sandbanks is part of one of a handful of SSSI`s in Rushcliffe and includes a range of interesting and uncommon (for the area) wildflowers, such us harebell, greater knapweed, ladies bedstraw, common centuary, hoary plantain, common restharrow and over the last 10 years some 83 other types of flora, plus at least 11 species of grass. The site was gradually deteriorating with taller grasses and scrub encroaching on the remaining fragment of species rich grassland within the sandbank itself. But funding from Higher Level Stewardship was obtained to allow the Trust to put up stock proof fencing around an extended area of the species rich grassland. In the winters of 2013 and 2014 local volunteers put in a great effort brushcuting the open grassland in both years and clearing the area of encroaching scrub and clearing the fence lines, with the fencing going in during 2014. Whilst all this was going on there has been survey work carried out recording flora, birds, butterflies etc, as well as getting the local school involved in outdoor activities. This is all the start of a long process, but in the last 4 years far more has been achieved by the Nature Reserve Trust than was thought possible.

Volunteer Opportunity – working with crayfish in Nottinghamshire.

Notts Biodiversity Action Group are currently running a project in Bulwell to support our native white-clawed crayfish (a LBAP species).  The project, at Bulwell Hall, is seeking to control and eventually eradicate signal crayfish from two fishing ponds at this site.  Bulwell sits within the River Leen catchment and this is currently one of the best catchments for white-clawed crayfish in the East Midlands. Signal crayfish (as well as other American crayfish species) carry crayfish plague which causes mortality in the native white-clawed crayfish when it comes into contact with infected individuals.

As a result this is an incredibly important project to try to stop the signal crayfish from spreading into the wider River Leen catchment. In order for the project to work we require the assistance of a large numbers of volunteers.  The volunteers will help with emptying the traps, recording the catch and then sterilising and returning the larger male crayfish. We will provide gloves, life vests, waders (as close to your size as possible) and other equipment. If you are interested in getting involved and are free on any of the dates below then please feel free to contact Chris Jackson at biodiversity@nottscc.gov.uk

 Saturday 6th May, Tuesday 9th May, Friday 12th May, Monday 15th May, Thursday 18th May, Sunday 21st May, Wednesday 24th May, Saturday 27th May, Tuesday 30th May, Friday 2nd June, Monday 5th June, Thursday 8th June, Sunday 11st June, Wednesday 14th June, Saturday 17th June, Tuesday 20th June, Friday 23rd June, Monday 26th June, Thursday 29th June

 More details about crayfish in Nottinghamshire can be found on the NottsBAG website (there is a leaflet at the bottom of the projects and publications page – I’m afraid it may be slightly out of date due to recent survey work).

Using your ears’ bat detector workshop

On 15th May 20176.30pm – 10.00pm, This introductory bat detector workshop involves an evening classroom session followed by a practical field session starting around dusk. Bat sounds are broken down into four elements in order to train people’s sonic memory and aid species identification using a heterodyne bat detector in the field. The focus is on pipistrelles, noctule, serotine and Daubenton’s bat as these illustrate a range of different bat sounds. The workshop will be led by Lisa Worledge, Head of Conservation Services at the Bat Conservation Trust .  There will also be infromation about how you could help with the National Bat Monitoring Programme and our Echolocation Location project.

For more details and to book please visit nottsbatgroup.org.uk/events/?event_id1=38

CO OP Community Funding for Wilford Claypits

The Co Op community fund is supporting a Notts Wildlife Trust project at Wilford Claypits Nature Reserve, but how much money is given depends on Co Op members opting to give their 1% charity donation (based on spending on own brand products at the Co Op when using their membership card) to the project. If you are already a Co Op member you can select a project to support by going to https://www.coop.co.uk/membership/local-community-fund and logging in through “select your local cause”. This page will display three projects closest to you, and of course you can chose to support them. However beneath those three there is the option to look further afield. Under Distance select 15 miles (unless you are close to Wilford Claypits) and under Cause Category choose Environment.

If you are not currently a Co Op member, but use the Co Op regularly (and want to support local projects) go to

https://www.coop.co.uk/membership for details of how the scheme works for both membership (5%) and charity discounts (1%).

Supported projects change every six months and we will keep you updated with other opportunities.

Rushcliffe Service Level Agreement

For many years now Rushcliffe Borough Council has been supporting Notts Wildlife Trust in carrying out nature conservation related work around the Borough. Particularly in helping to set up and support Friends of Groups, wildlife education visits and running the successful Rushcliffe Nature Conservation Forum.  In helping to fund this work Rushcliffe created a model that NWT would like to encourage all local councils to follow and indeed some have.

As part of Service Level Agreement NWT produces an annual report of both its work funded by RBC, but also outlining its other work locally such a management of it`s own nature reserves, as well as the activities of the South Notts Local Group promoting an interest in wildlife and nature conservation.

A copy of the report is posted here and it gives a great insight into the variety of work, often unsung, that Notts Wildlife Trust undertakes locally Service level agreement report 2016 (1)

Out and About with Wildlife 2017

See the Out and About Wildlife walks section has now been updated with Rushcliffe wildlife related walks through to August 2017. Some are site visits, others are looking at specialist groups, all are led by local people with an interest and knowledge of our local wildlife.

Click on the Diary Tab for more info.