Notts WT Work Party dates

Here are dates for Notts Wildlife Trust volunteer work parties in the southern half of Notts coming up in the next few weeks including a couple in the Rushcliffe area. Click on the links for more details.

Attenborough

Monday 4th July – Delta – Balsam work

Tuesday 5th July – Delta – Balsam work

Friday 8th July – Delta – Balsam work

 

Monday 18th July – Delta Meadow

Tuesday 19th July – Delta Meadow

Friday 22nd July – Delta Hide – Meadow work

Attenborough Women’s Group

Saturday 16th July – Delta – Balsam work

Attenborough Sunday Group

Sunday 10th July – Butterfly Patch

Sunday 24th July – Location TBC

Tuesday Group

Tuesday 5th July – Kimberley Meadow – Hay work

Tuesday 12th July – Teversal Pastures – Common Standards Monitoring

Tuesday 19th July – Dukes Wood – Meadow management

Tuesday 26th July – Location TBC

South Notts Group

Wednesday 6th July – Skylarks – Path work

Wednesday 20th July – Skylarks – Meadow management

 

Beaver Reintroduction Project  

The opportunity to find out more about Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trusts exciting new Beaver Project up at the Idle Valley Nature Reserve with our Northern Nature Recovery Manager Janice Bradley. This illustrated talk was originally given as part of South Notts Local Group (NWT) AGM.

Janice explains the rationale behind the reintroduction and why it is being done at there. Supported by lots of images and videos, Janice gave us an up-to-the-minute picture of progress, including some resourceful behaviour by the resident Longhorn cattle, and the apparent universal appeal to other animals of beaver scent! At the end she took a number of questions from audience members.

Viewing the talk costs £3 (incl booking fee) via Eventbrite, follow this link to purchase link to talk https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/talk-recording-beaver-reintroduction-at-idle-valley-nature-reserve-tickets-371200198787 and. You can then access the talk via YouTube, accessible till the end of Sept.

Funds raised will be donated by SNG to support the Beaver Project.

Winter Wildlife Talks Programme 2021/22

Each winter, South Notts Local Group presents a programme of six monthly talks by a mix of wildlife experts and enthusiasts, who share their knowledge, experience and enthusiasm.  Each year’s programme is varied, interesting and enjoyable, and the 20221/22 programme which concluded earlier this month was no exception. We learned about discovering wild flowers in Hampshire, encouraging butterflies in Derby, seeing big game in the Kruger National Park, finding places and wildlife in the Scottish Highlands, experiencing the flora and fauna of the Scottish Islands and helping hedgehogs in Oxfordshire.

In October, Gerald Ponting took us through the seasons in different habitats looking at the diverse flora to be found around his Hampshire home, ranging from road side verges to chalk downlands, by way of the Winchester South Park and Ride, and shared a fascinating mixture of plant name etymology, references to centuries-old herbals and extracts from Chaucer, Shakespeare and many more.

In November, Max and Christine Maughan reminded us that butterflies are not just beautiful, they are also important for our future: without them and fellow pollinators like bees, hoverflies and other insects, there will be no food. Our gardens are a vital source of pollen and nectar, so effective planting with easy to grow and maintain butterfly-friendly flowers and shrubs to give a flowering season from late winter to late autumn will attract and help sustain butterflies and many other insects.

In December, Barbara Meyer took us on safari in South Africa, mainly in the Kruger National Park, covering a wide mix of animals, including the ‘Big 5’ – a term coined by the hunting community to reflect that amongst all of the animals hunted, these were potentially the most dangerous, as “they can fight back” – lion, rhino, leopard, buffalo and elephant.  Based on her extensive experience, Barbara’s advice on maximising your chances of seeing animals in South Africa was simple – use reputable organisations and experienced guides.

In January, Gordon Hamlett shared his experiences in writing a guidebook to the birdlife, wildlife and majestic beauty of the Scottish Highlands. It was a fascinating insight into his creative process in describing effectively such an enormous and diverse area, and some of the problems encountered in moving from idea to book, including: designer’s sleepless nights; proof reading; the difficulty of making location information useable, and the ethical issues around potential disturbance of birds, particularly rarer species.

In February, Nick Martin took us to Scotland’s Western and Northern Isles, bringing alive the  different landscapes – brooding mountains; lochs, lochans and tarns; unbroken expanses of moorland; the glorious machair, bursting with all manner of wildflowers and the many bays and beaches, some of which would not look out of place on a tropical island. These all formed the background against which Nick described the abundant wildlife, from seals and otters through an incredibly wide and varied range of birds, large and small.

In March, Stephen Powle talked about hedgehogs, animals that have lived in Britain for around half a million years but which have in the last decade suffered a catastrophic decline, and which need all the help we can give them. Stephen offered a series of tips on how to help them, and went on to describe a community effort, led by his brother Chris, that has made a real difference in the Oxfordshire village of Kirtlington, including the creation of hedgehog-friendly spaces in gardens, school grounds and churchyard, all  linked by a ‘Hedgehog Superhighway’.

Each talk was different, all were interesting and all were enjoyable, and it was both a pleasure and a privilege to engage with such knowledgeable and enthusiastic speakers. Using Zoom as the broadcast medium proved effective, allowing speakers to share many excellent and varied images, and dialogue between speakers and viewers.  We all learned new things, including: how aspirin got its name; to beware baboons in a particular car park in the Kruger; to avoid riot police training on a Scottish nature reserve; if your tractor breaks down in the field, leave it and get another, and – perhaps most memorably – hedgehogs can climb stairs!

 

We are currently developing the 2022/23 Winter Wildlife Talks Programme, which promises to be equally varied, interesting and enjoyable, so please keep watching for an announcement on the Programme and booking arrangements here and on our Facebook page.

Get Out and About with Wildlife.

As the weather gets better and spring sneaks in take the opportunity to visit some of our local nature reserves. You have the well known ones like Skylarks, Sharphill Wood, Cotgrave Country Park and Bunny Wood, but remember there are others like Bingham Linear Park, Wilwell, Wilford Claypits, Springdale Wood etc.

The following link to our web South Notts Wildlife contain details of the accessible reserves in the area http://www.southnottswildlife.org.uk/content/?page_id=228

and includes links to web sites and reserve leaflets, where available.

In addition there is a link to the RBC leaflet Nature in Rushcliffe – http://www.southnottswildlife.org.uk/content/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/NatureInRushcliffe_leaflet_artwork.pdf

And notes on what critters to look out for over the coming months – http://www.southnottswildlife.org.uk/content/?page_id=1640

For our local wildlife guided walks look at our Out & About Programme http://www.southnottswildlife.org.uk/content/?page_id=231

If you want to look further a field go to the Notts Wildlife Trust web site https://www.nottinghamshirewildlife.org/ and look at reserves across the county and other wildlife activities.

But what ever you do get out and about with wildlife, you know it makes sense.

Green Line Work Party

he Green Line will be having thier first working group of 2022 this Sunday (the 9th) starting at 10am for about 2 to 3 hours. We will meet at the Whitcliffe Gardens (Ludlow hill) entrance. We will be working around the site of the old footbridge about 100m to the North.
We’ll be outside so masks aren’t needed, but we can’t offer gloves due to the restrictions.
We look forward to seeing as many of you there as possible.
Need any more info contact cs.notts@gmail.com
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Grizzeled Skipper Project

A report from Chris Jackson about activities of the Grizzeled Skipper Project

I would like to say a great big thank you and well done to all of you for your help in taking forward the Grizzled Skipper Project this autumn. After a long break due to Covid-19, it has been really good to see many of you over the last couple of months.

During our first 5 work parties of this winter period, we have focused much of our effort on sites in the East Leake area and I am very pleased with our efforts and hope to see good results when we visit these sites in spring to see the butterfly on the wing. Your work has involved clearing scrub to open up or maintain open areas, clearing ballast piles that have been created to encourage egg laying and also planting up areas with two of the foodplants (agrimony and creeping cinquefoil) which some of you have been good enough to grow on in your greenhouses, from locally collected seed.

In the New Year we won’t get started again until Sunday 23rd January when we will be moving across to the south-east of the county and working at a great site close to Flawborough. We then have a further four work parties planned to take place across sites in south Notts. If you are able to join us your help would be very much appreciated and essential to the success of the project.

Sunday 23rd January 2022 – Flawborough Triangle

Wednesday 2nd February 2022 – Saxondale Disused Railway Spur

Sunday 13th February 2022 – Flawborough Footpath

Wednesday 23rd February 2022 – Staunton Quarry

Wednesday 2nd March 2022 – Newstead Old Coal Stocking Yard

Grizzeled Skipper – Jim Asher

Interested in helping, contact Christopher.Jackson@nottscc.gov.uk

Grizzeled Skipper Work Parties are back

After last winter, without any volunteer work parties, I am very pleased to tell you all that we are back up and running and hoping to get the counties grizzled skipper sites back into tip top condition in time for the 2022 flight season.

Below are the dates that have been arranged and the sites on which we will be undertaking the work.

Sunday 31st October 2021 – GCRN, Lime Sidings to Barnstone Tunnel – hay raking & removal

Wednesday 17th November 2021 – Grange Farm, Normanton on Soar – scrub clearance

Sunday 21st November 2021 –  GCRN, East Leake Station Cutting – scrub clearance and egg laying site maintenance

Wednesday 1st December 2021 – Granby Disused Railway – scrub clearance and egg laying site maintenance

Sunday 12th December 2021 – GCRN, Lime Sidings to Barnstone Tunnel – scrub clearance and egg laying site maintenance

Sunday 23rd January 2022 – Flawborough Triangle – scrub clearance

Wednesday 2nd February 2022 – Saxondale Disused Railway Spur – scrub clearance

Sunday 13th February 2022 – Flawborough Footpath – scrub clearance

Wednesday 23rd February 2022 – Staunton Quarry – scrub clearance

Wednesday 2nd March 2022 – Newstead Old Coal Stocking Yard – scrub clearance.

(all work parties will start at 10am and will finish between 3pm and 3.30pm)

You will notice that the first work party will soon be upon.  On Sunday 31st October (next Sunday) we will be heading across to the Great Central Railway at East Leake and working on the cutting just to the north of Barnstone Tunnel. The grassland in the cutting was cut recently and the main aim of the work party will be to clear the arisings and also to maintain the ballast piles that we have created in the cutting and that have proved to be ideal sites for egg laying for this butterfly species.  If you are able to join us next weekend than please let me know and I will send you meeting instructions early next week.  christopher.jackson@nottscc.gov.uk

Chris Jackson – Nottinghamshire Biodiversity Action Group

Bat Boxes at Cotgrave Country Park

Cotgrave CP Friends Group were successful in receiving funding from Rushcliffe B.C. to purchase Bat Boxes to put up in the Country Park to provide nesting and hibernation sites for the bats we know fly through the park. These have been made by Notts Bat Group volunteers, a great local charity who have run Bat Walks for us this year.
NBG will be helping our volunteers to put up about 30 boxes in the woodland in the park this Sunday 10 October starting from 1000am. If you want to hold a ladder , lift a box, or are just curious then why not pop down and see us?
All the boxes will be numbered and then can be surveyed by NBG trained recorders over the coming years.
Our Friends Group will also be putting up our Gazebo on the “Fun Day Field” alongside Ginger and Blue Coffee. Come and talk to us and why not become a member of our group to help us do more great things to preserve and improve the Park.