Winter Wildlife Talks Programme 2022/23

Following our extremely varied and successful Talks Programme last winter, preparations are well advanced for this year’s Programme, which will once again be online using Zoom. We can currently confirm the Programme as follows:

6th October                  Winter wildlife in Finland

3rd November              Birds of Cornwall

1st December              Yellowstone and the Grand Teton National Parks

5th January                   Stories of our British Mammals

2nd February                tbc

2nd March                    Life in the Undergrowth

Full details will be published in the coming weeks so, for now, book the dates in your diaries for another varied and entertaining set of talks, which you can join from the comfort of your own home, cup (or glass) in hand!

Proposed Environment Act

Along with other Wildlife Trusts across the country, NWT is asking: Do you want to see a better future for nature?

For the past 50 years, habitat loss has led to a drastic decline in nature. Wildlife populations are the lowest they have ever been, and once-common species could be lost forever. By helping nature’s recovery, we can halt the decline in nature, and create a wilder future.  But current UK Government plans would mean less nature in England in 20 years’ time. This is not good enough.  We cannot allow the nature crisis to continue.  Demand more for nature.

Show the UK Government you want a wilder future by supporting our call for ambitious species abundance targets in the Environment Act by signing our petition.

To find out more, and to sign the petition, visit NWT’s webpage at https://www.nottinghamshirewildlife.org/nature-deserves-better

In a similar vein, Friends of the Earth are organising a separate, but similar, ‘Have your say on the Environment Act targets’ consultation, which can be found at https://action.friendsoftheearth.uk/target/env-bill-targets-consultation?refsid=2054&utm_source=email_share&utm_campaign=%5B2050%5D&utm_medium=share

Let’s make our voices heard!

Wildlife to look out for in the coming months

Goodness knows we could all do with some good news, so how about this? Spring is just around the corner, and nature will be emerging from its winter rest! Over the last two weeks, I’ve seen a few queen bumblebees in flight, newly emerged from winter hibernation; one came to join me as I trimmed a flowering winter clematis, exploring the flowers.
In anticipation of going out into the local area to look for wildlife, we have produced our ‘What to look for in March’ guide, with pointers on what birds, flowers and insects you might see.

Discovering Scotland’s Western and Northern Isles

A twelve hour car journey, broken by croissants warmed on the engine, and then coffee by a river watching dippers: that was the introduction to Thursday night’s wildlife talk “Discovering Scotland’s Western and Northern Isles” by Nick Martin.
 
The journey took us initially to Skye, followed by South Uist, Benbecula, North Uist, Harris, Lewis and finally the Shetland Isles. Supported by some wonderful images, Nick brought the different landscapes alive – the brooding Black Cuillin mountains; lochs, lochans and tarns; unbroken expanses of moorland dotted with crofter cottages, occupied and derelict, and tractors abandoned in the field where they broke down for the last time; the glorious machair, bursting with all manner of wildflowers, including orchids, and the many bays and beaches, some of which would not look out of place on a tropical island.
 
These all formed the background against which Nick described the abundant wildlife. Seals and otters all featured, but it was the range of birds that was so striking: smaller birds like twite, corn bunting, stonechat, meadow pipit and skylark, waders such as ringed plover, redshank, oystercatcher and curlew, seabirds that included puffin, guillemot and storm petrel, whooper swans, black- and red-throated divers, terns and fulmars, and predators including bonxies, merlin and white-tailed eagle. All were beautifully illustrated with Nick’s photos, many taken using his car as a mobile hide. The most memorable sequence of images was, perhaps, a white-tailed eagle on Skye, hunting alongside the boat, taking a mackerel and the herring gull that originally caught it – a different version of ‘surf and turf’ perhaps?
 
Thanks again Nick for a wonderful talk.
Join us for our next Wildlife Talk on Thursday 3rd March: “Kirtlington’s Hedgehog Superhighway” when Stephen Powles will describe how his brother, Chris, inspired the villagers of Kirtlington to take an interest in their hedgehogs and how they went on to create a “Hedgehog Superhighway” of interconnected gardens.
 
The talk starts at 7pm, is online via ZOOM and costs £3 per device (including booking fee). Please visit http://www.southnottswildlife.org.uk/content/?page_id=234 for more info and how to book.

Cotgrave Country Park

New dates for volunteering opportunities with the Friends Group are confirmed.
Tuesday 15th February
Sunday 20 February
Meet up at the Hollygate Lane Car Park at 1000 and look out for Lee in his big white van!
There’s always lots that needs doing within a 220 acre Country Park, and its healthy exercise too!
See it as one of your New Year resolutions ticked off – care and conservation for the local environment and a new fitness regime rolled into one!
Alan. Chairman

Local Group Committee

South Notts Local Group needs you – the  committee is looking to recruit one or two new committee members to join us in promoting wildlife, nature conservation and the work of Notts Wildlife Trust in the Rushcliffe area. We would be especially interested in hearing from anyone who has particular skills in social media and the like. The committee holds six meetings a year. If you would like to know more please contact Valerie Holt ( v.holt1@ntlworld.com ).

Decembers Wildlife Talk

In our December talk, Barbara Meyer took us ‘On safari in South Africa’. A keen amateur wildlife photographer, Barbara turned professional with a view to raising funds, through her work, for wildlife conservation and research.
 
Her extensive knowledge, gained through years of experience, was evident as she introduced us to South Africa’s wildlife, particularly that in the Kruger National Park. We met the ‘Big 5’ – a term coined by the hunting community to reflect that amongst all of the animals hunted, these were potentially the most dangerous, as “they can fight back” – lion, rhino, leopard, buffalo and elephant. We saw antelopes including nyala, kudu and waterbuck, hippos, giraffe, ostrich, baboon and many more animals, all brought to life in Barbara’s images taken on safari.
 
Barbara shared advice on maximising your chances of seeing animals in South Africa – use reputable organisations and experienced guides – and regaled us with accounts of locations and encounters. One of the more memorable locations is a car park where baboons try to get into arriving vehicles searching for food, and rangers fire their rifles into the air to discourage them. As Barbara said, it can be interesting returning a damaged hire car with the excuse “it was the baboons that did it”!
 
Thanks again to Barbara for an interesting and informative talk.
 
Join us for our next talk on Thursday 6th January, when Gordon Hamlett gives us ‘Molotovs and Merlins (Birdwatching in Scotland)’, looking at the trials and tribulations of writing his best selling book ‘The best birdwatching sites in Scotland’.
 

Wildlife Talks

COMING SOON – Our online Winter Wildlife Talks programme starts on Thur Oct 7th with a talk on Flowers of Road Verges and Reserves by Gerald who pent two years photographing the Nature Reserves and flower-bedecked roadsides, all within eight miles of his home in the countryside to the south of Winchester.
Talk is online via ZOOM and cost £3 per device (incl booking fee) via https://www.nottinghamshirewildlife.org/…/2021-10-07…

What to look out for in Sept/Oct

Summer’s almost ended, and (meteorological) autumn is nearly here. Flowers and leaves may soon be gone for the year, and our summer visitors leaving but the coming two months offer the prospect of lots of birds coming in for the winter to join our resident species, and there will still be plenty of insects to look out for. To find out more, follow this link: http://www.southnottswildlife.org.uk/content/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/month-ahead-sept_oct-2021.pdf