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 firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
Under the ausoices of the Nottinghamshire Amphibain and Reptile Group (NARG) we are putting out an appeal for records of amphibains and reptiles seen in Rushcliffe. These can be posted online ( https://groups.arguk.org/nottsarg ) and will add to our understanding of these species distribution within Rushcliffe and the county. All that is required is date, species, number and location and a photo if possible (particularly important if it is something very unusual like an adder, sloworm or common lizard). And of couse records of the young ie tadpoles etc are equaly good evidence of presence.
Although you might think your few records from a garden pond say are not important, they can contribute to a much bigger picture confirminmg presence in an area and contributing to a better view of abundance.
For more infornation about the survey and reptile and amphbians in Rushcliffe see 2019 Rushcliffe Amphibian Survey final -v2