South Notts Local Group
Bringing the work of the Trust to your doorstep
Previous South Notts Wildlife News Items
Please be aware that links to external news sources given in articles on this page may no longer work. This is because many news sites archive or remove items which they regard as out-of-date.
Doing something for nature (added 20 August 13)
It’ll soon be the start of a new season and with it our reserve work parties will be returning, refreshed from their summer holidays… So Wilwell’s reserve warden, Gordon Dyne, takes a timely look at community involvement in South Notts nature reserves in this news article.
RNCSIG meeting report (added 21 July 13)
Rushcliffe Nature Conservation Strategy Implementation Group brings together organisations and community based activities involved in protecting and enhancing Rushcliffe’s wildlife resources. Their recent July meeting highlights include the Fairham Brook Project, Biodiversity Opportunity Mapping, non-native invasive species control, and conservation activities at Radcliffe on Trent. Download report (PDF)…
Revised Rushcliffe housing proposals may affect wildlife (added 24 June 13)
Rushcliffe Borough Council have released for consultation revised Core Strategy documents including a green-belt review and house building proposals for many areas in the Borough. Both these affect the area around Sharphill Wood on the outskirts of West Bridgford – a controversial site in earlier planning rounds. These documents are available on the RBC web site, along with details of local consultation meetings and response forms. So: see what’s planned for your area and have your say!
Nature conservation at Radcliffe on Trent (added 24 June 13)
Radcliffe on Trent parish council have purchased an area of land known as the Lily Ponds (at the base of the cliff) and are in the process of agreeing a 50 year lease for Dewberry Hill from Notts County Council. They intend that both these sites will be managed primarily for their wildlife interest, and there are proposals to create a Radcliffe Nature Conservation Group.
An unusal wildflower meadow at Keyworth (added 24 June 13)
Keyworth Parish Council have extended the size of their burial ground and the area that is not for immediate use (!) was seeded with a wildflower mix a year or so ago. Photos of it as it is today can be seen on the Keyworth Meadow website. It is certainly a wildlife friendly way of using the land until it is required for its more formal purpose!
Early summer at Wilwell (added 12 June 13)
On Sunday 9th June we had an afternoon stroll around Wilwell Cutting reserve, to see how it was recovering from last winter’s flooding and to enjoy the show of early summer wildflowers for which Wilwell is famed. Pictures from the walk…
Evening walk at Wilford Claypit (added 11 June 13)
Our second evening walk this summer was on Tuesday 4th June at Wilford Claypit, a wonderful ten-acre wildlife oasis in the fringes of the urban area. Pictures from the walk…
Pictures from Sharphill Wood walk (added 28 May 13)
We held our first evening walk of the summer on Wednesday 22nd May, joining the Friends of Sharphill Wood group we made up a party of 10 for a tour of the wood they manage: Sharphill Wood. It was a splendid early summer’s evening and the wood looked at its best! Enjoy the photo tour…
South Notts AGM (added 14 May 13)
Our local group’s annual meeting was held on 25th April 2013, and was attended by 27 members. We had a successful year, with a well-attended talks programme and welcome news on development of our reserves. Full details in our AGM report (PDF)…
Health walks in Rushcliffe (added 14 May 13)
Rushcliffe Move & Mingle is a programme of health walks at three locations in Rushcliffe. The group is part of the national Walking for Health scheme run by Ramblers and Macmillan Cancer. The Rushcliffe walks each take place once a week, are mostly in green areas and invariably items of wildlife interest are seen:
Wildlife courses in Derbyshire (added 14 May 13)
A bit outside our patch but well worth a day out! Experienced natural history tutor Debbie Alston is presenting a series of wildlife courses, including talks and walks, in conjunction with the Derbyshire Wildlife Trust and various adult educational groups. Nottinghamshire residents are welcome to attend! Course brochure… (PDF)
Meadow Park walks (updated 14 May 13)
The Friends of Meadow Park in East Leake have organised a series of spring & early summer nature walks. More info…
Bunny Wood Open Day photo-tour (added 8 May 13)
This large area of ancient woodland (mentioned in Domesday Book) is one of our prime south Notts nature reserves. Its annual open day this year was 28th April. The cold spring weather meant the bluebells weren’t in full flower but the event was well-attended, with 50-60 visitors, and, as our photo-tour shows, there was plenty to see! Take the tour…
Garden Moth Challenge 2013 (added 8 May 13)
This is a friendly and increasingly popular annual competition to see how many species of moth you can record in your garden during the year. And with more moths about now the evenings aren’t so chilly, it’s a good time to join in! More info…
The Nature of Rushcliffe 2012 (added 8 May 13)
Rushcliffe Nature Conservation Strategy Implementation Group (RNCSIG) brings together organisations and community based activities involved in protecting and enhancing Rushcliffe’s wildlife resources. Their annual report is well worth reading as it shows the amazing amount of work that goes on behind the scenes! There’s a comprehensive list of nature reserves and quick-reference indicators of what’s improving (and what’s not!). Download report (PDF)…
Looking for butterflies & dragonflies (added 15 April 13)
Can you spare a morning or afternoon a month from May to September to walk round the new Blotts Pit nature reserve and note butterflies and dragonflies seen? If so, we’d like to hear from you! This is part of a programme to identify what is currently found on the site and will also cover birds, flora, amphibians & various categories of invertebrates. A high level of ID skills is not essential (indeed it could be a good way of acquiring some basic ID skills!) as the most you are likely to find is about 40–50 species, and we can provide a list of the ‘usual suspects’ indicating which are common or rare. We can also arrange for someone to give you a guided tour of the site, but essentially it is a circular walk of 2-3 hours. Interested? Then contact Gordon Dyne (0115 878 4842, or firstname.lastname@example.org) for more info.
‘Lake’ Wilwell (updated 15 April 13)
Well, almost! Anyone visiting Wilwell Cutting reserve over the winter will have seen major flooding (photo, right) affecting the north end of the trackbed and the lower meadow, and making access to the southern end of the reserve difficult. Warden Gordon Dyne says, “The amount of water that has appeared is unprecedented in my experience over the last 17 years!” It has been caused by civil engineering work associated with the new tram line extension, NET Phase-2. NET’s contractors began pumping during February, and after a slow start – not helped by very cold weather in March – water levels have dropped steadily. But there are problems with water ‘ponding’ in parts of the site, and it is feared that the reserve’s flora might have suffered significant damage from over 6 months under water. Full report, NWT press release and BBC News item...
Wilwell in Spring (added 27 March 13)
Pictures from our March walk, when this year’s late spring made it seem more like a winter walk than did our January Wilwell in Winter walk! With further news on the recovery from flooding at this reserve.
Gotham Pastures Reserve Work Parties (updated 7 March 13)
This is a new reserve established in co-operation with British Gypsum and supported by NWT and RBC. Gotham Nature Reserve Trust ran several work parties in February and may run more after the spring nesting season. You will be most welcome on any such sessions! For more information please contact Gillian May on email@example.com
Winter birds at Holme Pierrepont (added 6 February 13)
Pictures from our February walk, birdwatching at Holme Pierrepont and visiting the recently-acquired site for our new south Notts NWT reserve.
Rushcliffe Wildlife Watch (added 19 January 13)
This group organises wildlife-related activities for young people (age 8–13) on the second Saturday of each month at Rushcliffe Country Park — download this leaflet (PDF document) for details of their spring programme. Wildlife Watch is the junior branch of The Wildlife Trusts and the UK’s leading environmental action club for kids, see their website for more…
New local wildlife websites (added 12 January 13)
Local wildlife expert and reserve warden at Keyworth Meadow, Neil Pinder, is pleased to announce two new wildlife websites he has created. Keyworth Meadow reserve website provides information on the Meadow’s history, natural history and how it is now managed for wildlife and as a green space for Keyworth. The Harvest Mouse website is dedicated to one of Neil’s favourite animals and Britain’s smallest (and probably cutest!) rodent...
Wilwell in Winter (added 12 January 13)
Pictures from our January walk, looking at Wilwell nature reserve in deepest winter. And catching up on the effects the NET phase 2 tram construction and the flooding are having on this reserve.
Waxwings in Tollerton (added 23 December 12)
On 21st December 2012 Tollerton was visited by a flock of well over 200 waxwings, which suddenly descended on cotoneaster bushes in residential gardens in the village during the morning, and had cleared most of the berries from them by lunchtime. More & pictures...
A Focus On Nature (added 18 December 12)
This is a new scheme for young (16 – 30 years old) people interested in the outdoors, wildlife and conservation. It aims to help keen youngsters get a foothold in the conservation ‘business’ by way of providing equipment (free binoculars, fieldguides, etc.) along with advice and mentoring from established professionals. Visit the Focus On Nature website for more information.
New NWT nature reserve (updated 15 November 12)
Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust are in the process of securing a 36 hectare site at Holme Pierrepont (containing most of a lake, woodland and grassland) and directly opposite the Skylarks nature reserve, in effect creating a 47 hectare site. It is also near to the Holme Pierrepont Country Park, with Colwick Park and Netherfield Lagoons over the river and The Hook just up river. The new site is part of the old TARMAC gravel extraction alongside the A52. Strictly speaking it has been purchased by the Esmée Fairburn Foundation whilst the NWT raises the long-term funding. Things are at an early stage but here is an indicative map of the site (opens in new browser window) with some of the early thoughts about how it may be developed. The existing Skylarks reserve is outlined in green; the new reserve area is outlined in red; proposed new wader scrapes, shingle bank and reed bed habitats are shown as colour patches.
Work party news (updated 4 November 12)
Most reserve work takes place during autumn, winter and spring, and this year’s session looks like it will be very busy as a result of problems caused by the wet summer: lots of clearing up to do... (See news item for 23rd October about Bingham Linear Park.) So all our south Notts reserve work parties are looking forward to welcoming new helpers! Now is the time to get out in the fresh air and help our best wildlife habitats and the species that use them. If this sort of activity appeals to you, please see our current work parties page or printable guide for latest details. Bunny Wood work party helpers kindly note that this reserve will not be running regular monthly work days this season – see the above links for timetable.
Summer Quiz: Answers now available! (added 31 October 12)
Our summer fund-raising quiz began at our Spring Fair in May and ran throughout all our summer events, with completed entries due in by the closing date of 30 September 2012. So the quizmaster has now issued his quiz sheet filled-in with the definitive answers, which you may download as a PDF document. Results: The winner of the £20 prize was Elaine Cherry from Reading with a perfect entry! The £5 random draw was won by Gillian Wilcockson from Keyworth. A big thank you to everyone who entered the competition this year. And if you weren't a winner this time, why not try next year?!
Bee TV (added 11 September 12)
Well, the peregrine falcons might have left their nest high on Nottingham Trent University’s Newton Building, but the university’s biodiversity team have a new web TV attraction: a bee hive! There are two webcams which show bee activity at the hive entrance and how bees work on the honeycombs within the hive. There’s also a photo gallery and lots of bee-facts. The hive currently houses about 20,000 bees and is part of a project on urban biodiversity.
Sand martins at Ratcliffe-on-Soar power station (added 21 September 12)
About a hundred pairs of sand martins nested this summer in an artificial sand cliff created from coal ash by workers at Ratcliffe-on-Soar power station. See this feature on BBC Nottingham local news...
Making your wildlife records count (added 13 June 11)
Many people take an interest in the wildlife they see around them, but did you know that making a quick note of what you see can make a useful contribution to our understanding of the distribution of the wildlife of Nottinghamshire? Learn how in this article on wildlife recording in Notts, and see our list of Notts wildlife recorders.
Rushcliffe promotes Notts water vole survey (added 13 June 11)
Rushcliffe Borough Council is promoting the county-wide water vole survey, which is being run by Nottinghamshire Biodiversity Action Group. See this article on the RBC web site for details of how to recognise water voles and report sightings.
Wildlife garden project (added 29 March 11)
The project team will be busy over the next few months transforming an ordinary suburban garden, here in south Nottinghamshire, into a wildlife haven. Their efforts are being filmed for a documentary, and you can see video clips on their website www.wildlifegardenproject.com, which also has their project diary — and lots of practical advice on wildlife gardening!
Hedgehog survey – volunteers required! (added 13 March 11)
A researcher at Nottingham Trent University will be investigating a possible decline in hedgehog populations in east Notts, surveying in April and again in the summer, and needs volunteers to help place and check tracking tunnels. If you’re interested, please download his project plan and contact details.
Boxing Day nature walk around Sharphill Wood (26 December 10)
Pictures from our Boxing Day winter walk around Sharphill Wood Local Nature Reserve with the Friends of Sharphill Wood, on Sunday 26th December 2010. available here.
Woodland in Autumn: Wilford Hill Wood (14 Sept 10)
Pictures from our woodland-in-autumn stroll around Wilford Hill Wood nature reserve on Sunday 12th September 2010 available here.
Giving Wildlife a Helping Hand (4 September 10)
To see how you can help preserve some of our important local wildlife habitats, read Reserve Work Parties.
The value of SINCs in Rushcliffe (4 September 10)
Have your say on nature conservation in Rushcliffe (29 Jan 10)
The Rushcliffe Nature Conservation Strategy Group (RNCSIG) have been reviewing the strategy for the next five years. They are now moving to a phase of wider consultation and are asking interested members of the public for their comments. You can see the draft Rushcliffe Nature Conservation Strategy (2010-2015) on Rushcliffe Borough Council’s web site, which also provides contact details if you wish to comment on the strategy.
Rushcliffe Community Awards (25 Nov 09)
We’re pleased to announce that Margie & Jeff Richards, long-term Notts Wildlife Trust members in south Notts, won the Protecting and Enhancing our Environment award this year! South Notts wildlife reserves were well-represented with award nominations for volunteers at Keyworth Meadow, Sharphill Wood, Wilwell Cutting and Bingham Linear Park. More details on the Rushcliffe council website. The awards were announced just too late for our Winter Newsletter, so there’ll be full details in the spring issue.
Remember, remember… (27 Oct 09)
…To check your bonfire for hibernating wildlife! If you’re having a bonfire for Halloween, Guy Fawke’s Night or just to clear autumn leaves, please search it before setting alight. Hedgehogs, frogs and other animals regard a heap of firewood as an ideal shelter to hibernate in. Ideally store firewood etc. away from your bonfire site and then move it into place immediately before burning.
Bad news for Sharphill Wood! (25 July 09, updated 18 September 09)
Unfortunately the secretary of state at the department of communities and local government has approved a proposed housing development next to Sharphill Wood local nature reserve, overturning Rushcliffe’s rejection of the planning application. Reports: on the BBC, in the Evening Post and from Rushcliffe Borough Council. Background: Notts Wildlife Trust policy briefing on Sharphill housing development. On the plus side there will be some compensation from the Community Park that will be created, with additional woodland and species-rich grassland, around the wood and funded by the developer. Details of the Community Park: Green Infrastructure Biodiversity Managment Plan and the Community Park Map.
Bad news for Sharphill Wood! (7 July 09)
Unfortunately the secretary of state at the department of communities and local government has approved a proposed housing development next to Sharphill Wood local nature reserve, overturning Rushcliffe’s rejection of the planning application. Read reports on the BBC and in the Evening Post.
Conservation success at Predannack Farm (7 July 09)
We know this is outside our area – Predannack Farm is in Cornwall – but the amazing increase in biodiversity there that has been brought about by land management for conservation is a real good-news story for wildlife. And it gives us hope for our own biodiversity projects! Read more and enjoy the photo gallery.
RSPB Nature Count week, 8—14 June 2009 (31 May 09)
This is works like Garden Birdwatch – where you count the numbers and types of birds you see in your garden over an hour during the week – but this time they’re asking about garden habitat (lawn, flowers, shrubs etc.) and other wildlife you see (hedgehogs, squirrels, frogs etc.). The results will tell us a lot about the state of wildlife in British gardens – so please take part if you can! Details and results form on the Nature Count web site.
Winter birds in south Notts (15 April 09)
This winter’s cold weather and northerly winds brought some interesting garden visitors, including yellowhammers and flocks of field fares. Here are some photos...
Wildlife affected by poor summer in 2008 (25 Jan 09)
Cold wet weather in 2008, from Easter through ‘summer’ into the early autumn, had a serious affect on wildlife throughout most of Britain. Birds had a difficult breeding season and a poor flowering season affected butterflies. See press release from National Trust.
Awards update (26 Nov 08)
Unfortunately the Friends of Bingham Linear Park were pipped at the post by Flintham’s Growing Greener project in the Notts Wildlife Trust Green Guardian Awards, see the awards report on the NWT website. But Willwell Cutting Work Party received a Rushcliffe Community Partnership Award, with Sharphill Wood, Keyworth Meadow and Cotgrave Country Park volunteers also being nominated, see the Environment section of the report on Rushcliffe’s website.
Sharphill Wood gets regular work party (26 Nov 08)
The Friends of Sharphill Wood are now running regular monthly work parties on this new local nature reserve. They are held on the fourth Sunday of every month, 10am – 4pm. See the Work Parties page for details of how you can help!
Sharphill Wood development rejected (25 Aug 08)
Rushcliffe Borough Council has turned down the latest plan for a residential development in the area around Sharphill Wood local nature reserve. The proposal was to build about 1,200 houses plus infrastructure. But it’s possible the developers may appeal the decision.