Mere Meadow, Bradmore

An interesting new initiative by local Bradmore residents Graeme and Eileen Radcliffe has been a while in the planning, but the initial phase has now begun with the rewilding of Mere Meadow at Bradmore. Horses have been moved to other fields in the village, public footpaths mown and the central area left to nature, whilst awaiting seeding of additional native meadow plants and flowers at the appropriate time. Care will be taken not to disturb the surrounding hedgerows, which support a variety of birds.

The next phase will be the pond and surrounding shrubs and trees. A key element will be an island in the middle of the pond to encourage wildfowl to nest and bring up their yioung in comparative safety! Another part of this project will be a small number of memory benches, so that local residents and walkers may listen to birdsong and relax and quietly enjoy the calming sound of nature.

The Radcliffe`s are fortunate to have advice on their plans from knowledgeable local residents who have studied the local bird life and evaluated the meadow and hedgerow flora, whilst another resident is a wetland specialist. But in addition they will be talking to Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust and other similar bodies to provide expert advice and potentially explore what grants may be available.

The meadow is on a public footpath and visitors are welcome. For information you can incorporate the site in a walk– either along the footpath from Rushcliffe Country Park to Bradmore and then straight down the lane opposite the exit from the footpath or from Bunny up the Green Lane to Bradmore and the meadow is on your left just before you reach the village – look for footpath gate.

This link is to an info pack produced by the Radcliffes`s Mere Meadow info pack

Moths – The underestimated pollinators

A new study published in Ecology Letters (available here) suggests that moths should be as highly valued as bees because they play a larger role in pollinating plants than was originally thought.

The research involved collecting pollinating insects on sunny summer days and during calm, warm nights at eight allotments in the Leeds area. The researchers recorded which species were caught and sequenced the DNA of the pollen that was stuck to them to find out which types of plants they had visited during their foraging.

The scientists caught 67 species of moth, compared with 20 species of bee. According to the researchers, over half of the moths analysed carried pollen, significantly more than some prior studies had indicated. They were visiting several species of plants not previously known to be pollinated by them, including redcurrants and strawberries; eight percent of the plant species analysed in the study were pollinated only by moths.

Moths accounted for up to one-third of the plant-pollinator stops, and in late summer visited as many plants as bees, indicating that moths provide an essential but previously unknown role in urban pollen-transport networks.

One observation from the research is particularly troubling: “Given that macro-moth abundance has declined by ca. 33% in the last 50 years in the United Kingdom (Butterfly Conservation 2021) our results suggest that these declines may represent a significant and previously unacknowledged threat to pollination services for both wild and crop plants.”

However, the results suggested that gardeners can help support moth populations by growing plants such as buddleia. “Pollen from the plant was the most common found on the moths’ bodies, probably in part because the bushes give them a place to hide during the day” said the researchers.

Spreading Populations

On the theme of animals ‘new’ to our area, we have recently reported on our FaceBook page sightings in Rushcliffe of Marbled White butterflies at Wilwell and East Leake, a species very seldom seen before in Rushcliffe. The NBN Atlas shows one previous record at Bingham in 2015, (although I’m fairly sure there was at least one sighting on the Bingham Linear Path last year). According to Butterfly Conservation, it is widespread in southern counties from late June through to early September, with outposts found running up through the East Midlands into Yorkshire.

Marbled White pair mating

We also shared on FaceBook a sighting at Rushcliffe Country Park of Small Red-eyed Damselfies, not previously recorded there. According to Paul Simons in The Times on 24 June “The species came from Hungary before landing at the Bluewater Shopping Centre in Kent in 1999. Since then it has moved northwards and is now found in Newcastle.”  The article also states that “Britain is experiencing a boom in dragonflies and damselflies flying over from Europe or native to the UK. Among the migrants were unusual numbers of Vagrant Emperor” and “another rare species that appeared this year was the Scarce Chaser”

A native species we also reported seen in June at Cotgrave Country Park and Ruddington was the Hairy Dragonfly. The NBN Atlas shows only three records in Rushcliffe since 2019.

Hairy Dragonfly (f)

Kinoulton Swift Project

Kinoulton Swift Project are having another swift evening on 10th July at St Luke’s church, Kinoulton. Big emphasis on insects and the churchyard, as well as the colony in the tower. Swifts 61% occupancy, 25 breeding pairs so far; 10 nests with 3 chicks, 7 with 2 chicks. We have 16 nests on camera in the nave.

Attaching a flyer for the evening. Alan Wilkins Kinoulton Swift Project flyer

Rushcliffes Big Green Book –

This is a directory of nature-based activities and Green Spaces in Rushcliffe, and is for social prescribers and healthcare workers who want to find activities for their patients, as well as individuals who are looking for an activity to get involved in. Besides using to to give yourself and family ideas of opportunities localy, if you know of any local group/activity that would seem to fit the bill please encourage them to put themselves forward for inclusion, the more the merrier. The BGB is online on

Hedgehog Monitoring

A partnership of organisations are looking to set up a National Hedgehog Monitoring Programme pilot, a three year project is starting currently. The pilot is looking for sites to be included in the project and it would be great to have a number of sites from Nottinghamshire included in this work. If you think you or your organisation have a site that could be used in this pilot or that you may be interested in getting involved as a volunteer please contact Lauren Moore

 Researchers from NTU Brackenhurst are collaborating with PTES, ZSL, University of Durham and various other partners on a National Hedgehog Monitoring Programme pilot.

 In brief, the survey would cover an area of 1km in which a grid of 30 motion-detection cameras would be set up by members of the team or project volunteers. The cameras will be recording 24-hours a day for 30 days, once every year (3-year pilot). The data files will then run through a piece of software that first removes all non-target data (inc. human activity, vegetation movement, bright sunshine bleaching etc.), before the data is then uploaded to MammalWeb, where the files will be individually checked, and all species identified (not just hedgehogs). The hedgehog data will be sent to the data boffins to undertake statistical analysis on population estimates. The biological records (all species) will be made available to the relevant LERCs.

 Fundamentally, the aim of the project is to produce robust hedgehog population estimates. However, it is anticipated that a broad range of other species are likely to be captured and therefore the project will also help us to gain additional biological data on Nottinghamshire’s wildlife. The project has been trialled in London and is set to continue. NTU are therefore hoping to base their surveys in rural / semi-rural locations. However, all sites will be considered. This is therefore a shout out to any partners / landowners In Nottinghamshire, who would be happy to take part in the trial and are willing to provide access to suitable sites.

 For more information, please contact Lauren Moore


Nottinghamshire Dormouse Survey

This season, the Nottinghamshire Dormouse Group will be attempting to undertake a county-wide dormouse survey to attempt to determine if there are any ‘natural’ dormouse populations in Nottinghamshire. As far as we are aware, there have never been any surveys undertaken in the county to determine the presence / likely absence of dormice. Our understanding of their status in Nottinghamshire is based on an assumption made from information gleaned in 1885 by Naturalist George T Rope.

 In other counties, there is a requirement for to undertaken presence / absence surveys to inform any planning application that has the potential to impact on any habitats that have the potential to impact dormouse habitat (hedgerows, scrub, woodlands etc). However, this is not the case in Nottinghamshire and consequently, we do not have any ‘modern day’ data on their status. We have already identified 20 priority woodlands. These are all ancient woodlands and appear to still have some level of landscape connectivity, which is crucial.  

The following google sheet also list all of the woodlands, in addition to some spare woodlands (in case our preferable woodlands are not available).  Specifically in Rushcliffe they are interested in finding who owns Gotham Wood (SK522292) which is on Wood Lane (nr Gotham) on the other side of the shallow valley opposite Stonepit Plantation, Cottagers and Gotham Hill Wood.

If anyone knows the landowner, please let Lorna know Also, if there are other woodlands that partners think may have potential to support hazel dormice, please do add them to the list. Ideally, we are wanting ancient woodlands with an element of landscape connectivity, be that hedgerows or nearby pockets of woodland.

 Thank you – Lorna Griffiths MRes BSc (Hons) ACIEEM  (City Nature Recovery Officer)
Tel: 0115 958 8242

Speak up for grassy and flowery road verges

Road verges form a significant wildlife resource in Rushcliffe, as well as providing interconnectivity for a variety of species – whether it is the wide tall grass and Cow Parsley verges in the south of Rushcliffe or pretty daisy/dandelion flower dotted verges. All have a value for a variety invertebrates, small mammals and birds etc, as well as looking grand.

The Highways Agency are responsible for mowing trunk roads (A453, A52, A46) and have a complex mowing policy involving six different categories !.

But the all other  A rand rural B roads and minor rural roads are the responsibility of Notts County Council, apart from verges in villages (Parish Councils). The standard NCC regime is a 1.2  meter wide cut along the road edge twice per year, with a full width verge cut once every three years, but visibility areas at junctions etc are cut more frequently. In addition NCC manage some small verges designated as Notified Road Verges with a single annual cut (not a cheap otion). There are three NRV`s in Rushcliffe that are part of this programme and they are signed.

With all the talk of No Mow May it is worth remembering that, yes some verges will get mown in May, BUT they shouldn`t then get mown again for at least a couple of months. During that time low growing flowers such as Dandelion, Speedwell, Self Heal etc etc will get a chance to flower in areas where they are not having to compete so much with the more vigorous plants such as Cow Parsley , Red Campion and the taller grasses. But these more denser growth areas can support a different range of insects and provide cover for small mammals. These variations in habitat are important, providing opportunities for different species. So overall this is not a bad regime and reasonably inline with Plantlife guidance on a compromise mowing regime.

But it is fair to say that not everybody see it that way, some see it as untidy or as cost cutting. The point is people do write in and complain, getting councillors attention. So it is incumbent on fans of flowery, abundant roadsides to also write into councillors praising verges that are looking good, grumbling about verges cut in their prime, making the case for restraining the mowers or to julp up and down if you think  a verge is being over mown.

But whilst it is County Councillors who can most influence mowing policy, Rushcliffe councillors will also get adverse comments about verges and will discus them with their county counterparts, so we would advocate contacting both your Borough Councillors and County Councilor

Whether you are pleased with how verges look, or feel they could do better stand up and be counted for wildlife friendly road verges.

Gordon Dyne (RNCSIG)

County Council Verge Management (all other A Roads + B and minor roads)

Rural verges have a 1.2 meter cut along the road edge twice per year, with a full            width cut once every three years. Visibility areas at junctions etc are cut more  frequently.

Selected Notified Road Verges are managed with a single annual cut in late summer/autumn with arisings removed.

But Parish councils often take responsibility for verges in villages.

On occasions house owners/landowners choose to mow verges in front of their property

Highways Agency Verge Management on Trunk Roads (A453, A52, A46)

Generally speaking grass is divided into visibility, amenity and swathe, along with wildflower and open grassland management.

  • Visibility = 3 times pa
  • Amenity = 8 times pa
  • Swathe = annually
  • Signs, lamp columns etc.
  • Wildflower =  annually
  • Open grassland – full cut every 5 years


Government bow to pressure on Environmental Laws

The UK Government had been forging forward with a ‘sunset clause’ on the Retained EU Law Bill that would bulldoze hundreds of important laws that protect nature and people at the end of the year. But this week they have announced it will scrap the ‘sunset clause’ and keep many of these vital environmental laws. This in part is a result of passionate postcards, emails and tweets by committed supporters to MPs raising the alarm organized by various NGO`s such as The Wildlife Trusts, National Trust and RSPB (and promoted locally).
The Wildlife Trusts are not congratulating the Government for its decision to stop doing something it should never have even thought about in the first place. Given the urgent need to address the nature and climate crisis, they should be strengthening protections, not ripping them apart.
This is a huge shift from the Government, but we are concerned that some laws are still to be binned, whilst the Bill will continue to allow future Ministers, not Parliament, to revoke important laws at whim, whenever they want to.

A Bulldozer in it`s native habitat