Protecting Peatlands

This is from the Wildlife Trusts  Peat Officer, Ailis Watt

I think we’re all peatland advocates here – with eyes open to their beauty and worth, but much of this amazing habitat has been under attack in the UK and abroad for many years in a bid for the perfect garden compost! Last year, the UK Government announced plans to finally ban the sale of peat products in England and Wales by 2024. This is promising news and a step in the right direction, but why wait? We want to see an immediate ban!

public consultation is currently running on this, closing on the 18th March. To make it as easy as possible for everyone to have their say, we’ve created a simple form for sharing opinions with the Government directly, backing our call for a ban. We’ll be pushing this e-action later this week so keep an eye out for further details,


Work at Sharphill Wood

As part of the mitigating measures to protect the wood, you will have seen that the housing developers have erected a fence around the wood. This prevents access by deer that can damage newly planted trees and motorbikes that damage the paths. At our request, at 3 unofficial entrances to the wood that are not Rights of Way, we asked that dog-friendly stiles be installed. Within the last few days, however, all 3 have been vandalised and we have reported this to Rushcliffe Borough Council and the Police. We will continue to do our best to protect the wood from mindless vandalism by reporting these incidents and we will seek to rectify the damage, which might include blocking off the entrances entirely. If you should see any incidents of anti-social behaviour or vandalism, you can report these to the Police and Fire non-emergency number 101 or
Rushcliffe Borough Council: or 0115 9819911.

Discovering Scotland’s Western and Northern Isles

A twelve hour car journey, broken by croissants warmed on the engine, and then coffee by a river watching dippers: that was the introduction to Thursday night’s wildlife talk “Discovering Scotland’s Western and Northern Isles” by Nick Martin.
The journey took us initially to Skye, followed by South Uist, Benbecula, North Uist, Harris, Lewis and finally the Shetland Isles. Supported by some wonderful images, Nick brought the different landscapes alive – the brooding Black Cuillin mountains; lochs, lochans and tarns; unbroken expanses of moorland dotted with crofter cottages, occupied and derelict, and tractors abandoned in the field where they broke down for the last time; the glorious machair, bursting with all manner of wildflowers, including orchids, 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. Seals and otters all featured, but it was the range of birds that was so striking: smaller birds like twite, corn bunting, stonechat, meadow pipit and skylark, waders such as ringed plover, redshank, oystercatcher and curlew, seabirds that included puffin, guillemot and storm petrel, whooper swans, black- and red-throated divers, terns and fulmars, and predators including bonxies, merlin and white-tailed eagle. All were beautifully illustrated with Nick’s photos, many taken using his car as a mobile hide. The most memorable sequence of images was, perhaps, a white-tailed eagle on Skye, hunting alongside the boat, taking a mackerel and the herring gull that originally caught it – a different version of ‘surf and turf’ perhaps?
Thanks again Nick for a wonderful talk.
Join us for our next Wildlife Talk on Thursday 3rd March: “Kirtlington’s Hedgehog Superhighway” when Stephen Powles will describe how his brother, Chris, inspired the villagers of Kirtlington to take an interest in their hedgehogs and how they went on to create a “Hedgehog Superhighway” of interconnected gardens.
The talk starts at 7pm, is online via ZOOM and costs £3 per device (including booking fee). Please visit for more info and how to book.