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
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).
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/
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.
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.
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.
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