OUT & ABOUT WITH WILDLIFE – WALKS PROGRAMME

Featured

Our Out & About with Wildlife programme inline with government restrictions.

Sun 6th June – Keyworth Meadows Open Day Walk. Meeting 9.30 am looking the flora & fauna  Keyworth Burial Ground & Keyworth Meadow Nature Reserve with Neil Pinder. Numbers maybe restricted, for full details please contact  neil.pinder@ntlworld.com for more information and to book a place.

 Sat 12th Jun – Gotham Circular Wildlife Walk. Meeting 9.30 am taking in Gotham Nature Reserve and Stonepit Wood NR and West Leake Hills (approx 4-5 miles). Numbers maybe restricted, for full details please contact Gordon Dyne on gordon.dyne@gmail.com for more information and to book a place.

From 21st June there is no legal limit, BUT walk leaders may choose to limit numbers

Tue 22nd June – An evening walk around Collington Common, West Bridgford.

Meeting 7 pm. Numbers maybe restricted, for full details please contact Gordon Dyne on gordon.dyne@gmail.com for more information and to book a place.

Sat 26th Jun – The Flora of Cotgrave Country Park with David Wood. Meeting  9.30 am. Numbers maybe restricted, for full details please contact Gordon Dyne on gordon.dyne@gmail.com for more information and to book a place.

Also see our FACEBOOK PAGE  https://www.facebook.com/SouthNottsWildlifeGroup

Sharphill Wood Work Party

Our next work party at Sharphill Wood will be on Sunday 27th June. 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 27th 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.
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 more work on path edging and trimming encroaching vegetation along the paths using scythes. 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. Bring gardening gloves and other items listed under Covid-19 precautions at the end of this email.
· To minimise sharing of tools, we ask people to bring their own where possible. On this occasion a lopper may 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.
Contact john.r.elwell@outlook.com

Road Verge Managment

The grass cutting regime for road verges is quite a controversial topic, for some it is not enough, but within the nature conservation movement it can be a source of quite despair when a verge is mown at the height of the flowering season – not jut the loss of the picturesque, but the loss of potential seeds and food sources for insects, birds and mammals.
Here is our understanding of how verge management is split up and what are the current mowing policies in the Rushcliffe area
 
Highways England Verge Management on Trunk Roads (A453, A52, A46)
 
• Visibility zones = 3 times pa
• Amenity areas = 8 times pa
• Swathe, Signs, lamp columns and wildflower and open grassland = annually
 
County Council Verge Management (all other A Roads + B and minor roads)
 
Rural verges have a one metre cut along the road edge twice per year (wider on bends and junctions), with a full width cut once every three years on a rotation.
 
Urban verges are cut five times per annum, although we do know of at least one verge were NCC have agreed to just do a visibility cut for the first two cuts to allow the wildflowers to seed.
 
Parish councils sometimes take responsibility for verges in villages.
 
On occasions house owners/landowners choose to mow verges in front of their property, hence you may see random intensively mown stretches of verge.

Wilford Fields

A few days ago went along to have a look at Wilford Fields (behind ROKO on Wilford Lane), it`s the big green “hillock” surrounded by Housing. And it was a pleasant oasis, and dog walkers aside, you would hardly know you were in an urban area. A good basic wildlife site, I identified some 30 species of wildflower during a walk round, across and generally all over.
 
Not a bad haul nothing really out of the normal, but a good number of the usual suspects. And this is important because it means that the insects that exploit the usual suspects (food, eggs etc) are also likely to be around. If the foodplant is common, then it is likely so is the predator.
 
And this brings me to the subject of grasses – I reckon there were at least 10 species of grass on site and grass is the principal component of grassland (go figure !). Consequently you will find an awful lot of insects use grass (or more likely specific species as both a foodplant and an egglaying plant – it makes sense, exploit the most common foodstuffs. You only have to look at British moths to realize that many of them do exactly that.
 
So in summary a good, useful wildlife site.
 
PS I found White Campion and Goatsbeard neither of which are common in these parts, I think.

Wilwell Southern Marsh Orchids

Counted the Southern Marsh Orchids at Wilwell, a cracking 713 (approx), the vast majority being in the middle & southern lower meadow. This is way up on last years worst ever count of just 38. A remarkable turn round even for a notoriously variable plant like SMO.
 
It has been suggested that as SMO survive as bulbs and the bulbs are able to split in two, this might explain these rapid changes, but not why. Many of the flowers were just coming into bloom so I think I caught them at peak SMO. But the flowers are very variable with some fine flower spikes, but in other cases very stunted.
 
Such little clusters of SMO`s are quiet typical of the lower meadow colony, with other plants skulking in the vegetation.
 
But the other interesting thing was, they have reappeared in the marsh area below the seat, not seen for maybe 15+ years. This is in direct contradiction of my claim that you don`t find SMO`s in really wet areas, there was a one inch layer of water across the area. Ornery little critters !
Also worth saying that at 205 flower spikes (again approx) this was the highest Green Wing Orchid count since the “great flood” decimated numbers in 2012/13.
The last couple of years has also seen the reappearance of Twayblade orchids in two (very) little populations. The original population was also lost in the great deluge, so in fairness at least one population well to the south might have always been there a green  plant hidden in the vegetation.

Petition – Nature Recovery Targets

A consortium of a whole host of nature conservation organisations both big and small are campaigning for the government targets for nature recovery to be enshrined in Legislation in order to give them some teeth. They are asking people to sign a petition, although the campaign is being organized by RSPB it is on behalf of a consortium. called the Wildlife & Countryside Petition.

Sign the petition to make nature’s recovery by 2030 law

Currently it stands at circa 189,000 signatories.

Also of interest is this video by Chris Packham and Megan McCuddy talking about the issues surrounding the problem and is an appeal to sign. Nothing that will surprise most of you I think. Indeed the first section could almost be called things we are trying to do/hope to do in Rushcliffe and is behind the thinking for the Rushcliffe Nature Conservation Strategy since 2003

See this link https://www.facebook.com/ChrisGPackham/videos/496971391545650  to a starter video, that links to the main video.

Cheers – Gordon Dyne   Chair- RNCSIG

Action for Insects

This was pinched from a Friends of Sharphill Wood E Mail (shhhh don`t tell them, they might sue for copyright !).
Please see the Wildlife Trusts’ action guides for looking after insects in the community and your garden if you have one:
As far as Sharphill is concerned, we do leave deadwood as insect habitat, coppice or pollard trees and plant hedges as recommended. However, I will list the guide for review at our next me

Barton in Fabis Gravel Pits

This is a summary from Janice Bradley (NWT Nature Recovery Manager North), who is dealing with the County Council Mineral Extraction Plan. Land near Bartonis one of the sites allocated under the County plans for a gravel extraction unfortunately. The majority of the proposed site is within Rushcliffe,  one small area falls within the City’s boundary. The specific Planning  Application for the site is still in play, but that is now a matter of how, not if. We are currently waiting for the applicant to submit their response to the 4th Regulation 25 request, to see if they can address all the issues raised.  The fact that it has taken that many requests shows what a controversial site it is and how poor the initial application was. I remain in contact with Barton PC about it.

The Mineral Plan will require the restoration of the site to BAP priority floodplain habitats, which are listed  in the site brief, and the presumption will be to protect the Local Wildlife Sites where possible and this is where things get complicated. The issue of the LWS`s effected is still being battled out at through the application process.

ENHANCING CONNECTIONS, ENHANCING HABITATS COTGRAVE FOREST FOCAL AREA PROJECT

The principal aims of the project is to improve wildlife linkages and create stepping stones spreading out from existing areas of wildlife habitat in the target area. The project area is roughly a triangle between the A52, A46 and A606 and therefore Cotgrave Forest forms a major habitat feature in the area.

The Project is seeking to promote existing habitats such as hedgerows, headlands and green lanes, as well as creating new stepping stones, such as woodland copses and field margins. These will assist the movement of less mobile species such as small mammals, invertebrates and plants, around the area, as well as providing additional habitat in themselves.

So we are looking at farmland links between Cotgrave Forest and Roehoe Wood, Cotgrave Country Park and Cotgrave village edge woodlands and out towards Wheatcroft Wood and Dewberry Hill. And hope that by encouraging small changes that add up, we can create these stepping stones and connections for wildlife at a landscape scale.

But the Project is also interested in promoting sympathetic wildlife management within the woodland. because it is an important habitat in it`s own right, supporting a diverse range of local species and also the locally rare Purple Emperor and White Tailed Fritillary butterflies.

Gordon Dyne – Rushcliffe Nature Conservation Strategy Implementation Group (RNCSIG)

Badger Cull in Leics & South Notts

From Mike Rivett via NEXTDOOR – Badger culling. Do you know that badgers in south Notts are scheduled to be culled, even though some of them have been vaccinated against bovine TB already? If you disagree, please sign and share the petition – https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/save-badgers-in-notts-and-leics

South Notts Local Group (NWT) – The government are being tight lipped about exactly where the culls are taking place, to try and throw off disruption. But even if it the cull area does not include the Notts Wildlife Trust Badger Edge Vaccination Scheme area, the uncertainty has resulted in a significant number of farmers withdrawing from a scheme that had been NWT`s most successful land owner engagement project, running since 2015.

However the vaccination programme is continuing with the support from a dedicated group of volunteers. One of the bizarre ironies of this is that the government are simultaneously funding both the cull and the vaccination programme.