Winter Wildlife Talks

South Notts Local Group is delighted to announce it`s Winter Wildlife Talks programme will be returning again this autumn. It will be on ZOOM again this year enabling us to draw in speakers from around the country and make the talks accessible to people across Rushcliffe and elsewhere for that matter.
 
As with the venue based talks we are still looking to provide a varied range of wildlife related topics and we start on the 7th October with one about the Wildflowers of Verges and Reserves with Gerald Ponting, followed by Gardening for Butterflies on Nov 4th with Max and Christine Maughan. After that we will be going to Scotland, South Africa and deepest darkest Kirklington. For full details of the six talk programme (and details of how to book) follow this link http://www.southnottswildlife.org.uk/content/?page_id=234
 
You will need is a laptop or tablet (with an internet link) and the ZOOM app downloaded (you will not need a ZOOM account). Links will be stated on the ticket.
 
So join us on a dark evening for a taste of summer from the comfort of your own home.

Nature Conservation in Rushcliffe

Rushcliffe has had a nature conservation strategy in place since 2003 and one of the key was to try and ensure that the Strategy was more than just good intentions. So over the years the Steering Group has been supporting, promoting, cajoling and on occasion despairing of nature conservation and wildlife protection in Rushcliffe.
There is certainly more going on in the Borough now, sometimes as a result of initiatives by a committed individual/dedicated group – as evidenced for example by the Rushcliffe Barn Owl Project, Friends of Bingham Linear Park, Wild Things Keyworth (Hedgehogs), Grizzled Skipper Project and East Bridgford Wildlife Group. And behind that is the commitment of organisations such as Notts Wildlife Trust and Rushcliffe Borough Council in supporting these initiatives but also with their own activities and projects. But in the end time and commitment by motivated individuals (professional and volunteer) is a big driver for taking things further.
The current range of local actions can be gauged from the following http://www.southnottswildlife.org.uk/…/2020-RNCS… and the list of Rushcliffe sites currently classed as nature reserves http://www.southnottswildlife.org.uk/…/2020-RNCS-Nature…
Is it enough ? Clearly more can be done, indeed more needs to be done, as there have always been counter pressures from development, changes in land use and now the impacts from climate change. Probably at the moment we are, at best, holding the line.
So what are YOU prepared to contribute ?

Nature Counts and you can help with the accounting

Notts Wildlife Trust is using a new biological recording system called “Nature Count” originally pioneered by Sheffield Wildlife Trust. The idea is that people including members of the public can feed sightings into the software and subject to verification by the County Recorder for the Species it will be fed through to the Notts Biological Records Centre (keeper of the county wildlife database) and from there into the National database. In addition where it relates to Trust reserves into their database as well.

Whilst NWT are particularly interested in all records relating to their reserves, they form only a small part of our natural world. So we are interested in getting people to send in records from all over the county. Sites with Friends Groups like Sharphill Wood/Bingham Linear Park may arrange to set up a site specific input page that then becomes their site record (please contact MWalker@nottswt.co.uk about this).

But if you walk the dog there is no reason why you can`t also record what you see – rare records are important, but REGULAR records of common species are invaluable (and not that common). Firstly if everyone thinks its presence is understood, no one records it. Secondly just because someone has recorded it last year in the area, your record reinforces it`s presence this year. Multiple records matter, they build a picture. So take a notepad and pen with you walking the dog, visiting a reserve or just sitting in your garden, they all matter.

What you need for a record is

Date,

Species (a photo might be useful with rarer critters,

Numbers even if an estimate

Location (you can use either a location name, finding the location on a map search built into the software or using Grid Ref to pinpoint the record to an area).

Habitat type

Photograph of items if you are unsure of OR if it is something unusual.

You can enter a single casual record or create a list for a location. Reserves will have pre-existing lists set up for adding to.

The web site for Nature Count is https://record.nottinghamshirewildlife.org/

Hedgehogs & Rushcliffe Borough Council

You may be interested in to know that the Rushcliffe full council considered and passed the following motion at its meeting on 1 July.
This Council notes the alarming decline in number of hedgehogs and threat of extinction and pledges to:
– Adopt landscape management practices on land it owns and manages that are supportive to hedgehogs and their habitat.
– Encourage other agencies/councils operating in Rushcliffe to do likewise.
– Conduct a public awareness campaign to encourage the public to adopt supportive practices.
– Include appropriate conditions and advisory notes on planning consents to support the species.
Exactly how this is to be implemented is still to be worked out, but it is a another step forward and hopefully will supplement the local hedgehog initiatives (see https://www.facebook.com/wildthingskeyworth/ for a prime example of a local hedgehog initiative by committed locals.

The Hook Lady Bay

Discover the wildflowers of The Hook nature reserve next weekend on a self-guided trail. You’ll be able to stroll at your own pace and see plants labelled with their name, but also a bit about their wildlife value and how they have been used as food and medicine.
The trail will start at the Mona Road entrance, take the first path through the orchard, past the pond through the central area and then back along the edge of the wildflower meadow.
It’s strictly a lo-tech approach, with laminated signs and arrows to guide you, but we’d love to see your photos. You can email them to friendsofthehook@gmail.com or you can upload them to our Facebook page.
The signs will stay in place after the weekend for a few days if there is continuing interest.

Cotgrave Country Park Work Parties

Task Days for August
If you enjoy working out of doors and have time during the week or at weekends, these task days may be for you. We would love to see some new faces to give some support and help with the park. If you are interested mail lee.scudder@nottscc.gov.uk
There is plenty to do for all ages and abilities (children need to be with a responsible adult). It is great to be immersed in nature and wildlife, and it is good exercise too!
Dates are Sunday 1st August, Tuesday 3rd August, Sunday 15th August, Tuesday 17th August.
Task days start at Hollygate Lane car park at 10.00 a.m. and finish about 3.00 p.m. You can stay as long as you like and tea and coffee is provided.
Don’t forget our Family Fun Day in the park on Sunday 22nd August. We will need helpers for the day and please contact me in advance if you want to help.
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Sharphill Wood Work Party

Our next work party at Sharphill Wood will be on Sunday 25th July. We hope to see you there, but please let us know beforehand if possible.

Please make sure you read the detailed information on Covid-19 precautions at the end of this invitation.

When: Sunday 25th June, meeting at 09.45 until about lunch time.

Who: No experience necessary and there’s always something to do even if you can’t do heavy work. Young people aged 16 or 17 must have the written permission of a parent or guardian, and children under 16 must be accompanied. Vulnerable adults must be accompanied by their carer.

Where: Meeting point will be the entrance from Peveril Drive, 09.45, or find us in the woods if you arrive later.
http://maps.google.co.uk/maps/place?ftid=0x4879c3a7c196f583:0xac75d96c39bfb845&q=Peveril+Dr,+West+Bridgford,+Nottingham,+UK&hl=en&ved=0CA0Q-gswAA&sa=X&ei=CeETT6X2OsKz8QOa5NnzCw&sig2=zNHwjd-TlUQ0cw33fxke2g

What: We will be doing a bit more clearing of vegetation encroaching on paths, and will also take time to learn more about the building developments in the area, how these might impact the Wood, and mitigation measures that we hope will be put in place. If time and sufficient volunteers, we will also do some more path edging.

How: Relevant training will be given where necessary.

Safety: All volunteers must pay attention to the safety of themselves and others. A Risk Assessment will be prepared and will be available for inspection on the day. Please respect all decisions of the work party leader.

Other Useful Info:
·  Please wear suitable gardening clothes and sturdy footwear. Covering arms and legs might be advisable to help avoid insect bites, ticks, stings, scratches, etc..  Also the use of insect repellent might be appropriate, particularly from spring through to early autumn.
·  Also bring gardening gloves and other items listed under Covid-19 precautions at the end of this email.
·  If you could bring a pair of garden shears, that would be useful but is not essential.
·  Bring a drink. We will stop for a break mid-morning.
·  Waterproofs / sun-cream would be useful to cover every weather eventuality!
·  It is highly recommended that you ensure your tetanus vaccinations are up-to-date.
Please advise the leader of any pre-existing condition that should be taken into account in the event of a medical emergency during the work party.

Please: Let us know (by replying to this email) if you hope to attend, so that we can allocate a place and ensure an appropriate supply of tools. Also look out for any further emails in case arrangements change.

PLEASE NOTE THE FOLLOWING CHANGES TO ARRANGEMENTS TO TAKE ACCOUNT OF COVID-19

  • Please stay away if you or anyone in your household has any Covid-like symptoms or are required to self-isolate. Those classed as clinically vulnerable should give careful consideration to their attendance.
  • You must bring your own gardening gloves – we are unable to provide these for hygiene reasons. Note that some tasks may require thorn-resistant gloves. Please bear in mind that gloves may become contaminated, so take precautions and either wash them or leave them to quarantine after the work party.
  • Please consider any areas of your body that need protection against branches, etc., including your eyes – we are unable to provide eye protection for hygiene reasons.
  • Please consider bringing your own first aid kit, although we will have one available. In the unfortunate event of an accident, we may ask you to self-administer first aid, where feasible, although we will have face masks available if we need to come close.
  • We will try to minimise sharing of tools, wheelbarrows, etc., but wipes will be available for cleaning between uses. We also recommend bringing your own wipes to minimise sharing of the dispenser.
  • We recommend bringing hand sanitiser and using as appropriate, particularly before eating/drinking and at the end of the work party – we will have some available but it is better not to share the dispenser.
  • If you can bring your own tools relevant to the tasks in hand (see above), that would help to avoid sharing.
  • We will not operate a signing-in sheet, by means of which you would normally acknowledge that you have been shown the risk assessments for the tasks in hand and the personal protection equipment (PPE) available to ensure your safety while performing those tasks. In lieu of this, when you book a place we will send you the relevant information by email.
  • Please maintain social distancing (from each other and from members of the public) at all times.

 

No Mow’ summer pollinator sites now trialling across Rushcliffe

Rushcliffe Borough Councils Grounds Maintenance contractors Streetwise are now leaving selected areas on Borough land unmown to help create natural corridors to support and enhance local wildlife.

All trial areas are on land that the Council is responsible for:

  • Gotham Road, East Leake
  • Miss Machin’s field, Edwalton
  • Stamford Road allotment entrance, Gamston
  • Abbey Circus, West Bridgford
  • Abbey Park, West Bridgford
  • The Hook, around the play area, Lady Bay

All sites feature signage stating ‘please excuse the weeds, we are feeding the bees!’.

This sustainable management of the open spaces helps to not only mitigate the impact of climate change but supports the Council’s Carbon Clever initiative and its commitment to become carbon neutral by 2030. The land management changes have also been brought about by requests from residents and ward councillors, asking the authority to change the way it manages public open spaces during the summer months in order to provide the better environments for insects and animals

No mowing or herbicide spraying will now take place at the sites until the end of September and if successful will see them and other potential sites not mowed over summer in future years.

RBC Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Communities and Climate Change Cllr Abby Brennan said: “We’re very pleased to launch this wonderful project that will further enhance biodiversity across the Borough. We’re keen to protect our environment in line with our corporate priorities wherever we can and these sites will now be monitored to see how they help wildlife and habitats to thrive. If successful, we’ll consider other sites too and we want to hear residents’ views on how we manage our open spaces so please have your say in our consultation.”

The online summer pollinator survey is also now available for residents to give their views on how these spaces are managed until September 30.

The newly managed sites with the ‘No Mow’ areas often have paths cut through them and circles to provide areas for people to sit or children to play. This creates a more varied greenscape, providing a wider range of recreational and social opportunities as well as benefitting more species, and make a more interesting natural environment.

It’s with the aim for residents to see more grass swaying in the breeze and hear the buzz of insects feeding on wildflowers. If weeds become an issue at the sites alternative methods of removal will be considered that will not affect habitats.

Residents can also get involved if they have their own summer pollinator site on land not managed by the Council and would like to put up a sign acknowledging it as another pollinator area.

They should email to let the authority know of the site and can download the Council’s ‘No Mow’ signage to get involved or find out more.

Sharphill Wood Annual Bird Report 2021

Sharphill Wood is a 24-acre wood standing on a hill to the south of West Bridgford and clearly visible from many points in the city. It is owned by Rushcliffe Borough Council and is a designated Local Wildlife Site with mature ash, oak, large-leafed lime and beech. The wood is popular with local walkers; information boards at the two entrances show the rights of way. It supports a wide range of flora and fauna. Bird and plant surveys, as well as woodland management, are undertaken by The Friends of Sharphill Wood. (see www.sharphillwood.org or search Facebook for our page).

Attached is a link to the 2021 Sharphill Wood Bird survey SharphillBirdReport2021