We recently ran a reptile survey at Wilwell to see if the occasional Grass Snake records translated into a permenant presence. I the end we found no Grass Snakes, but did find that we had a previously unkown colony of Sloworms (a legless lizard). Sloworms are probably poorly recorded , being smaller and less obvious than snakes, growing to perhaps 40-50 cm`s. We are fairly confident it is an active population as we have found at least 10 individuals varying from juviniles to young adults and at least one older specimein.
There is however good evidence that Grass Snakes are active in the area around Wilwell (between Ruddington and Wilford) including the Golf Course and do on occasion visit the reserve.
The attached article looks at the work of the Grizzeled Skipper project along the East Leake section of the Nottingham to Loughborough line in promoting and expanding the habitat for the nationaly important Grizzeled Skipper butterfly. Rushcliffe is one of the most northerly outposts of this creature and they are particularly assocaited with railway lines, as there are further colonies along the Bingham to Melton line (and branch lines). The whole project is a great example of practical conservation at work and there are plans to expand into the Vale of Belvior. Article for GCR newsletter Feb 2019
For a good few years now Rushclife Borough Council have been funding us under a Service Level Agreement to undertake additional work in Rushcliffe in terms of engagement, practical conversation etc. Follow this link Service level agreement report Jan -Dec 2018 for the 2018 report which gives quite a good idea of the range of work undertaken with Friends Groups, schools and landowners. It is fair to say even without SLA funding NWT would have undertaken some of this work from core funding (such as membership income), but a specific funding stream allows our Southern Conservation Officer (Ben Driver) to allocate more time to the area. And when you add on reserve management on our own reserves (not funded by RBC) you get some idea of the range of work undertaken. The Rushcliffe SLA is unusual in Nottinghamshire and I think only one or two Boroughs do anything similar.Service level agreement report Jan -Dec 2018
Please find the new Spring to Summer programme for Rushcliffe Wildlife Watch Wildlife Watch programme Spring to Summer 2019. Based at Rushcliffe Country Park WATCH Is for children between 8 and 13 years old.
Even if they don`t come to WATCH they can still participate in ‘30 days wild‘ in June. 30 Days Wild is all about doing a ‘random act of wildness’ each day during June to bring you closer to nature. Our 30 Days Wild web page has information about last year’s activity and a few blogs to inspire you to get involved. This will be updated as we go through the campaign. So, we would like to encourage all of you to sign up online here: https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/30DaysWild.
In addition to our regular programme, you will notice that we have a very special event in August during the school holidays. The Wilder Woodland Gathering at Skylarks Nature Reserve is a free family event starting at 1:00pm and going through till 7:00pm and there will lots of fun activities running right through. So put the date in your diaries now so as not to be disappointed on the day!
We look forward to seeing you all on Saturday 11th May at 11:00am. Don’t forget your coats and wellies in case it is a bit wet as we will have lots of fun out in the park.
On Thursday 25th April South Notts Local Group held it`s Annual General Meeting see this link for a copy of the Annual Report 2 2018-19 SNG LG Report and the SNG Accounts 2018-19. The South Notts committee will be as follows – Gordon Dyne (Chair), Jacquie Genn (Secretary), Valerie Holt (Treasurer), Margie Richards, Neil Glenn, Judith Booth, Cath Lovatt, Chris Overton and Martin Price
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 email@example.com 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