Co Op Community Funding

Very happy to announce that last week we had three new projects funded, so if you are a Co Op member please consider choosing one of these as your funding option (BEVS and Skylarks are Rushcliffe based projects).

  1. Infrastructure for conservation grazing at Foxcovert Nature Reserve (linked to Gedling Local Group) – (we will receive approx£2,000 for this in Dec 2018)
  2. Green Rangers youth volunteering at Skylarks Nature Reserve (linked to the Keeping It Wild Youth Group) –  (we will receive approx£2,666 for this in Dec 2018)
  3. Badger Edge Vaccination Scheme (NWT) –  (we will receive approx£5,166for this in Dec 2018)

Also, we now have the final figures raised through the four current/previous projects – these being:

  1. Skylarks Nature Reserve – tools and reserve improvements (NWT city group/Keeping it Wild) – (we received £1284.00 for this in April 2017)
  2. Wild Science – educating kids about nature (Attenborough Education Programme – linked to Beeston Wildlife Group) – (we will receive £2362.84 for this in Dec this year)
  3. Keeping it Wild roadshow of events (NWT) –  (we will receive £1802.91 for this in Dec this year)
  4. Pondemonium! Wilford’s Wetland Wonders (linked to South Notts Local Group) –  (we will receive £1958.05 for this in Dec this year)

So that’s at least £17,000 income from the Co-op in total spread over two years – a very good reason to like the Co-op at the moment!!!

Grizzled Skipper Work Parties

Please find a link for the NottsBAG Grizzled Skipper Practical Work Poster 2017-18_V1  which will work on habitat management for this locally rare butterfly (South Notts is it`s most northerly colonies. Obviously the venues are still being decided but mostly are in the Rushcliffe and immediately adjacent areas. If you are interested in helping this, please get in touch with Chris Jackson for further details.



Barton in Fabis Gravel Pit – NWT Planning Response

Attached is the Notts Wildlife Trust response to a planning application for gravel extraction at Barton in Fabis Barton in Fabis proposed Quarry NWT Response Redacted October 2017. Although in the long term (10 – 20 years down the line) it will result in the creation of a lake (set to become a relatively common habitat along the Trent valley  because of gravel extraction). But it will also cause damage to  and loss of a number of designated Local Wildlife Sites. The totality of these LWS`s across Rushcliffe is about 5% of the Boroughs area.

NWT feels that such scarce habitat should not be sacrificed today in the hope of achieving some sort of mitigation decades down the line, as the creation of a rich complex habitat of plants, invertebrates etc will take decades to evolve. The sowing of a species rich grassland mix is just the start of a long process. It is also worth noting that there is no guarantee the site will end up as a “proper” nature reserve.

Where for example the East Leake gravel pit was extended a few years ago, across farmland, the Trust took the view that it would not represent a significant loss of habitat and therefore concentrated on achieving  the best possible habitat mitigation. But again the ponds created will return to the landowner who may then do with them as he wishes, they become wildlife habitat NOT nature reserves.

Every Child Wild at Rushcliffe Wildlife Watch Group

Wildlife Watch is the junior branch of The Wildlife Trusts and the UK’s leading environmental action club for kids. There are 150,000 Wildlife Watch members around the UK and hundreds of local Watch groups where young people get stuck into environmental activities. Taking part in Wildlife Watch is an exciting way to explore your surroundings and get closer to the wildlife you share it with.

The Rushcliffe Wildlife Watch Group meets every second Saturday of the month (except august) at the Education Centre in Rushcliffe Country Park. Sessions generally run from 11:00am through to 1pm and always involve some fun and games, which are usually outside in the Country Park- weather permitting. The Watch is appropriate for children from age 8 to 13, though we do have some younger ones in the group and our activities are always tailored to be inclusive.

The children are really enthusiastic have recently built a monster Bug Hotel in the Country Park. Earlier in the year they made bird boxes, discovered about the ‘Jurassic’ Country Park and at our most recent session ‘went wild’ in the country park, hugged a few trees, made some noise and played the ‘smelly sock game’ – ugh you may think – but actually quite brilliant.

At our next session on Saturday October 14th, we are really excited, as we have ‘Hawks of Steele’ coming to visit and they will be bringing some amazing birds of prey to the park. This will be a great opportunity to get close to some of our wonderful raptors and to learn all about them. Then on November 11th, we have the Notts. Fungi Group coming over for a ‘Fungi Foray’. We will be introduced to a great variety of mushrooms, toadstools and other fungi and will be great fun as we are bound to discover lots of weird and wonderful specimens. Finally for 2017, our meet on December 9th is ‘Party Time’.

And the best thing about joining Wildlife Watch is that you’ll be helping to care for the wildlife where you live! Isn’t that great?

So, if you would like to see what it is all about, come along to one of our advertised sessions, or contact Geoff East, one of the group leaders by e-mail or phone on 07804 297041. Alternatively, call Lynn Victor at Notts Wildlife Trust on 01159 588 242.




Rushcliffe Service Level Agreement – Interim Report 2017

Notts Wildlife Trust recently produced an interim report for 2017 on the Rushcliffe Borough Council Service Level Agreement that helps fund NWT work in Rushcliffe. I thought members might be interested in it so if you are please follow this link.

Janice Bradley (NWT Head of Conservation) commented “ It struck me that whilst we often discuss particular projects and issues, we rarely report on the day to day conservation work that carries on in the background, quietly protecting and conserving our habitats and species. So I thought it was interesting to see the latest Rushcliffe SLA report from Ben, which provides a great summary of our wide-ranging conservation work in the Borough.

The report illustrates really well how our SLA conservation and education work,  paid for by RBC, complements our core-funded land advisory and planning work, our reserve management, our major externally funded projects for Badger Vaccination and at Skylarks,  and of course the sterling work of the South Notts Local Group.  You can see from the report that the volunteer time committed by the SNLG members for walks and talks, and other volunteer activities, such as the Bunny Wood RMC, are greatly valued by RBC.  This is now our 12th year of this SLA, which is renewed every 3 years, and the fact that it has still continued, despite heavy LA cuts, shows the value of the strong and productive relationship built up between RBC officers, Ben (and Gaynor and myself before) and the SNLG over many years. Seen together, this shows the range of conservation delivery in this Borough, further increased in this current quarter (Jul-Sep) by the Wetlands Landscapes for All funds that are being spent at the Hook and Skylarks.”

For the full report please follow this link

Whats on a Twig ?

Tim Williams, lover of obscure and curious wildlife, used his microscope to take a selection of shots from a single twig I got from Wilwell. Not a special twig just a dead twig. If thats what on one small twig about the size of a pencil it makes you appreciate how vibrant and diverse the whole reserve is. He identified five different species of fungi, lichen etc living on that one small twig. It makes you wonder how much diversity a thorough study might throw up on just one site. Biodiversity is not just birds and butterflies fundamental to a healthy ecosystem will all these unsung heroes” making a living on twigs and stones, high in trees, underground, in marshes and on hard ground – life gets everywhere.

Photos of Tim`s little “menagerie” can be found here  

Moth trapping in Cotgrave Forest

Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust carried out a moth trapping evening at Cotgrave Forest on 4th August 2017. The event was hosted by one of the woodland owners. Neighbouring owners were invited along and the evening was supported by two local naturalists/ ecologists, Neil Pinder and Mike Hill.

The event yielded a total of 27 species, which is good given the recent unsettled weather. Although no particular rarities arrived at our moth trap, the diversity in colouring and patterning of the moths was outstanding. This ranged from the mainly yellow Brimstone moth to the quite large and numerous Large Yellow Underwing, both of which came to our trap early on. We also saw the Blood-vein and Peach Blossom; the latter arrived at the sugar mix we painted on a nearby fence post. Both have very beautiful markings. Further information on
the moths mentioned can be found on the UK Moths website  ttps://

Cotgrave Forest is one of the ‘focal areas’, identified by
the Rushcliffe local nature partnership (RNCSIG). We are currently working up a project focused on Cotgrave Forest and it sourroundings. As part of this, we are offering support to woodland owners in managing their sites for wildlife and will be offering a free woodland training course for them in the autumn.

Ben Driver, Southern Conservation Officer, Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust

Wildlife News in Rushcliffe

Wilwell – Ash Die Back has now been confirmed at Wilwell, as the site is mainly ash saplings this will not have a significant impact on the site. We have recorded Greater Bittercress for the first time and the return (after and absence of 20 years) of Black Horehound. Curiously we also have an aberrant Common Centuary (with some plants having flowers with 5 petals (normal) and 6 petaled flowers and Creeping Cinquefoil some with 5 petaled flowers, but others with an unusual 4 petaled flower. The Southern Marsh Orchid count was some 1,000 flower spikes.

Cotgrave Wood – Butterfly Conservation are running a weekly transect survey along the woodland ride and are regularly recording some great butterflies including Purple Emporer, White Letter Hairstreak and Purple Hairstreaks (all woodland specialists and locally rare) as well as the usual suspects, such as Ringlet, large Whites and Commas.

Lings Farm – A group of Bee Eater birds appear to be nesting at the Lings Farm, East Leake. These birds are rarely seen in the UK (although have been known to nest) and have caused quiet a bit of interest amongst the birding community. Lings Farm is part of an an active gravel extraction site and NWT have been working with CEMEX on the restoration plans for 20 years to ensure that the sort of habitat work we had to “back engineer” into Skylarks is created as part of the sites restoration.

Red Kites over Rushcliffe – there have been a number of sightings of Red Kites over Rushcliffe recently and hopefully thois means they are extending their range and will become a more common sight, as the Buzzards have. Keep your eyes pealed..

Bingham Linear Park – Jenny Craig reports the marbled white butterflies have returned to Bingham Linear Park – 7 seen at one time this is the most seen on one day!

Sharphill Wood – John Elwell reports that of the 7 nest boxes in the wood four were succesful with a total of 10 Blue Tits and 9 Great Tits fledging.

Rushcliffe Country Park – the count of Southern Marsh Orchids by the lake was a cracking 650 flower spikes, not bad considering it was unkown on the site a few years ago.

Reserve Work Parties

All our local nature reserves are set within a highly managed landscape and without controlled intervention most would eventually turn into woodland, squeezing out species rich grasslands and other rare habitats. Even small woodlands need some care and attention. In Rushcliffe we have an active nature conservation community that in effect contribute something like £200,000 worth of person time to the local conservation effort. But these groups can always use more help.

We are starting to move to the start of the Work Party season, and the following sites all have active volunteer work parties – NWT Reserves – Wilwell and Wilford Claypits and Friends Groups at Bingham Linear Park, Sharphill Wood, The Hook (Lady Bay), Gotham Nature Reserve, Radcliffe on Trent Conservation Volunteers,  Costock Nature Reserve, Cotgrave Country Park, Springdale Wood (East Bridgford) and the Green Line (West Bridgford).

All our local nature reserves are set within a highly managed landscape and without controlled intervention most would eventually turn into woodland, squeezing out species rich grasslands and other rare habitats. Even small woodlands need some care and attention. In Rushcliffe we have an active nature conservation community that in effect contribute something like £200,000 worth of person time to the local conservation effort. But these groups can always use more help.

Go to the Reserves tab at the top of the page and select Reserve Work Parties from drop down for further details.