Solar Farm near Bunny Wood

A planning application has been made for a major Solar Farm adjacent to Bunny Wood nature reserve. Details can be found on the Rushcliffe Borough Council planning web site…/ Planning Ref 22/00303/FUL, the deadline for comments from the public is 1st April.
The site map (see…/Solar-Farm-plan.pdf) indicates the array runs right along the whole of the southern edge of the reserve and extends for about 1000m along the slope to the south to the Wysall Road, and represents a significant visual intrusion into the landscape. Visibility issues aside, Bunny Wood takes a lot of drainage from the top of the field, so the solar farm may also affect the site’s hydrology and ecology. It will also impact the farmland wildlife currently to be found in the open fields here, like Hares and Skylarks – even species like Golden Plover and Hen Harrier have been seen making use of these fields in recent years.
This application represents the difficult choices the planning system raises as we are all far more reliant on energy than in the past, but the production of energy, renewable or not comes at a cost. As always the planning process is open to individuals making comments.

Gardening for Wildlife

With spring coming now is a good time to think if there is anything more you can do to attract and assist local wildlife in your area. This is about wildlife friendly gardening, rather than letting the garden go wild. Here are a series of useful links on our web site that may give you some idea.
Various wildlife gardening web sites that might be helpful
In addition you might want to take advantage of Rushcliffe Borough Councils seed packet offer, mentioned in an earlier FB post.
Gardens form a significant land area in the UK. So whilst these sorts of things are not going to change the world, but every little helps and a lot of littles can end up being significant.

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.

Hedgehogs in Britain

A report ‘The State of Britain’s Hedgehogs 2022 has just been published.  Its key points are:

  • Hedgehogs in Britain have undergone a long historic decline, but differences
    between urban and rural populations are becoming increasingly apparent.
  • In urban areas, the picture is of a stable population that might be recovering,
    highlighting the importance of gardens and green spaces, and local action, in

    ensuring a future for hedgehogs.
  • In stark contrast, rural populations remain low and, in the last two decades, have
    continued to decline by between a third and three-quarters nationally. The largest

    declines are seen in the eastern half of England.

The report can be found at


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

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

In addition there is a link to the RBC leaflet Nature in Rushcliffe –

And notes on what critters to look out for over the coming months –

For our local wildlife guided walks look at our Out & About Programme

If you want to look further a field go to the Notts Wildlife Trust web site 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.

We want #NatureForEveryone

From listening to birdsong, to walks in the woods with friends, getting out in nature is great for our physical & mental health!
But 1 in 3 of us don’t have nature nearby & many of our natural spaces are at risk from decline & development.
The Government says it wants to Level Up quality of life. So join us in demanding a #LevellingUp of nature.
                                         Please sign the petition

Wildlife to look out for in the coming months

Goodness knows we could all do with some good news, so how about this? Spring is just around the corner, and nature will be emerging from its winter rest! Over the last two weeks, I’ve seen a few queen bumblebees in flight, newly emerged from winter hibernation; one came to join me as I trimmed a flowering winter clematis, exploring the flowers.
In anticipation of going out into the local area to look for wildlife, we have produced our ‘What to look for in March’ guide, with pointers on what birds, flowers and insects you might see.

Rushcliffe Nature Conservation Annual Report 2021/22

Every year the Rushcliffe Nature Conservation Strategy Implementation Group (RNCSIG) holds a form of AGM in order to keep our local nature reserves and wildlife groups in touch with what is going on in the Borough and to ratify the membership of the Steering Group. As in the previous few years we are doing this online.
Please see the attached RNCSIG AGM Report 202122, which also contains the link to a very simple Survey Monkey document for ratifying the proposed make up of the Steering Group. The deadline for voting is 27th March
Anybody involved with Wildlife or Nature Conservation in Rushcliffe is invited to participate.
Cheers – Gordon Dyne   Chair RNCSIG