Please see this link to the 2017 Nature in Rushcliffe Report http://www.southnottswildlife.org.uk/content/wp-admin/post.php?post=1095&action=edit which looks at Nature Conservation activity in Rushcliffe and gives an interesting picture of the amount of work that is going on localy by Notts Wildlife Trust, local groups and individuals.
The Rushcliffe Nature Conservation Strategy Implementation Group (RNCSIG) is running it`s annual Rushcliffe Nature Conservation Forum courtesy of Notts Wildlife Trust and Rushcliffe Borough Council.
According the 2017 Nature in Rushcliffe Report a record 10,200 hours of volunteer time (valued at £192,000) were recorded last year and represent a phenomenal donation of time. The chances ever being able to fund anything even close to that level of activity makes you realize how important these volunteers are to maintaining the valuable habitats that support our local populations of wildflowers, insects, birds and mammals. An invaluable resource.
And this figure does not take into account the people who spend there time going out recording our wildlife, nor for the equally valuable backroom folk who run committees, fundraising, leading wildlife walks and publizing wildlife issues. Whilst Rushcliffe Borough Council does fund some activity and staff from charities like Notts Wildlife Trust do work locally, the majority of the effort is provided by people like yourself giving a bit of time, perhaps a couple of hours a month, on a regular basis,.
But we can still do more and Reserve Work Parties, such as Bingham Linear Park, Lily Ponds (Radcliffe on Trent) Meadow Park (East Leake), Sharphill Wood, Skylarks, Wilwell Cutting and Wilford Claypits (for a full list and details see www.southnottswildlife.org.uk and click on reserves tab – nature reserves) would always welcome additional help in carrying out a range of conservation tasks. including coppicing, grassland management, fence and path work, pond maintenance and very likely more. As a reward the work provides you with the opportunity of fresh air and exercise with a grand group of folk as well.
So do your bit for wildlife and get in touch. If you want more information about how you can help contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 0115 8784842.
It is very distressing to report that over the past few months we have been made aware of a number of incidents, including two we are currently investigating, of developers carrying out vegetation clearance without sufficient survey checks for breeding birds.
Whilst vegetation clearance is often agreed as part of a planning permission, responsible developers should schedule this work to take place outside the bird nesting season (indeed this is often stated as part of planning conditions) and work which has to take place at sensitive times should only be carried out following a thorough site survey by a suitably qualified ecologist.
In the recent cases it would appear that construction workers have begun clearance work without such checks, leaving themselves and the developers at risk of prosecution and reputational damage. We will continue to raise these cases with planning departments and directly with developers but we would urge any member seeing work such as vegetation stripping of long grass swards, tree felling or hedgerow clearance during the nesting season (February to the end of August) to contact the
relevant planning authority.
Speaking about this worrying issue our Head of Conservation Janice Bradley MBE said “If you see work that looks like it could be destroying nesting habitat or even good foraging habitat in the middle of the nesting season, please contact your local planning department. Don’t assume that the work has been authorised or that adequate surveys have been carried out – in our experience this is often not the case and our recent experience suggests this issue is getting worse. Planning Departments, Natural England and the Environment Agency don’t have the resources to properly monitor planning conditions so we are often left as a last line of defence. Anything we can do together to help prevent destruction of nests and to raise awareness of bad practice could be crucial in protecting birds and their young.”
A pilot trial is currently taking place to reduce the frequency of grass cutting on selected rural roads in Nottinghamshire – which could benefit natural habitats and won’t compromise safety.
The locations for the trial sites at Top Road and Springs Road in Misson, near Retford and East Bridgford Road, Main Street and Newton Lane in Newton, near East Bridgford have been chosen by the County Council and Via East Midlands in collaboration with Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust and Misson and Newton parish councils.
The selected roads will also have a speed limit of 50mph or more, and the trial is underway for one growing season only, however, the grass in the vicinity of footways and at road junctions will continue to be cut at their original frequencies. The current cutting frequency for rural roads with no footways is a single swath cut (the length can be up to 1.2m) twice a year for two years, with the full width of the verge cut every third year.
Councillor John Cottee, Committee Chairman for Communities and Place, at Nottinghamshire County Council, said: “The trial sites are being monitored through the current growing season to ensure that the reduced grass cutting frequency does not compromise safety. If safety concerns are identified, the sites will immediately revert back to the original cutting frequencies. We believe this is worth trialling for the potential environmental benefits it can bring to Nottinghamshire.”
Mark Speck, Northern Conservation Officer at Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust, said: “This pilot trial will allow broadleaved plants the opportunity to flower and, crucially, set seed. There will be an increased amount of pollen and nectar source for insects and arguably an attractive appearance to our roadside verges. Before the advent of herbicides and fertilisers, flower filled meadows were a familiar sight in Nottinghamshire. Sadly 97% of species-rich grasslands in the county have disappeared since the 1930s.
“This means that our road verges have become a vital refuge for wildflowers. With careful management grasslands can thrive in the county once again with beautiful wildflowers and grasses supporting butterflies and a wealth of other wildlife. We fully understand that motorist and pedestrian safety will be an important consideration when undertaking the trial.”
Newton Parish Council chairman James Fisher said: “We are pleased to be asked to take part in this trial, for this one growing season, and to see whether there are any ecological benefits for our village.”
Dr Mandy Walker, Parish Clerk at Misson said “”As long as nature can be encouraged to thrive without compromising safety, which is our parish council’s main concern, then it will be a wonderful thing to see the beautiful colours of a variety of English wildflowers among the long grasses at the roadsides.”
Any Parish Council in the county interested in participating in future trials can contact Highways contract manager Martin Carnaffin for more information email@example.com.
Rushcliffe Borough Council have announced a free tree scheme for 2018 for residents in Rushcliffe, applications for up to 2 free trees will be accepted via their Surveymonkey form https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/DHFQSLK from June 2018. The trees will be issued from stalls in Bingham, West Bridgford or East Leake in November (dates to be arranged). Please note, the planting location for the trees must be in the Borough of Rushcliffe. All the trees are two years old and approximately 60-90cms (2 to 3 feet) high.
Trees available this year are:
Field Maple (Acer campestre) – grows to 20m, partial shade
Wild Cherry (Prunus avium) – grows to 30m, full sun
Organisations and schools are recommended to request trees from the Woodland Trust, please visit their free trees scheme website https://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/plant-trees/free-trees/. Farmers and landowners can obtain trees from https://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/plant-trees/large-scale/
on Sat 16th June 10 till 4, we will be labeling up plants of interest and also be running a few guided walks round, as well as having the SNG nature table up. The reserve is on the road between Ruddington and Wilford on the left just before the Ring Road Bridge. The entrance will be signed and there is car parking or you could use the number 3 bus.
This year we will be taking our nature table to East Bridgford Horticultural Show (30th June 11 till 4), Ruddington Summer Fayre (Sat 21st July 12 till 6), Lark in the Park (Wed 1st Aug 10 till 4) and Skylarks Nature Reserve Festival (Thurs 23 Aug 10 till 4). If you are there look us up.
There will be a Swift Open Evening at St. Luke’s Church, Kinoulton, on Thursday 21st June from around 7.30pm until it goes dark. All welcome but it would be good if folk could let me know so that we have enough coffee/tea/bikkies for all. We hope to have aerial displays of screaming swifts around the tower as well as views of the birds on their nests via the TV screen in the church. Perhaps bats and a glorious sunset as well if we’re really lucky. Please contact Carol Collins, 0194981798 or firstname.lastname@example.org at the beginning of June, by which time we should have decided on dates and times.
We are currently working in partnership with Rushcliffe Borough Council and the Environment Agency on a project to get a once much-loved but now somewhat neglected nature reserve back into good management condition. The site, known as Gresham Marsh is located behind Embankment Primary Care Centre on Wilford Lane and on the right of Gresham Park Road as you drive up to Emmanual School from the mini-roundabout.
Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust used to manage the site as a nature reserve, grazing it with our sheep. Sadly, due to limited resources and issues with livestock safety we have been unable to do this for many years. However, we are now currently working with the land owners (Environment Agency) and Rushcliffe Borough Council with the aim to get it back into good condition for wildlife and for people. We are currently engaging with nearby schools and colleges, health centres, groups and other organisations nearby, which may have an interest in the land and could potentially help look after the site.
Although some may consider that the site has become very overgrown, it is still a very important remnant wetland habitat, supporting much wildlife interest such as marsh, reed swamp, grassland and scrub habitats. It is of importance to breeding birds in the summer, wading birds in the winter and it used to support several species of scarce wetland plants and the charismatic water vole, which sadly hasn’t been recorded here since the 1980s.
At the current time there is a lack of resources to look after the land but we are hoping to address this by forming a new ‘friends group’ to help involve the local community with care of the site and to enhance its wildlife value. Such a group would provide valuable resources in terms of carrying out work on the ground and possibly bring in much needed funds. A renewed focused on the site will also help secure its long-term future.
We would love to hear from any nearby groups or individuals who could help. If you are interested in supporting such a project please contact Ben Driver, Southern Conservation Officer on 0115 9588242 or email@example.com.