Good news – we can re-start the volunteer work parties!
The first will be on Wednesday 28th April, with subsequent sessions following every 2 weeks. We will be working in Badgers Wood, to the south of the reserve. With fewer staff and volunteer hours last year we weren’t able to cut the rides (the grass strips either side of the path). They would benefit from a spring cut which will reduce all those vigorously growing species such as thistle, dock, nettle and cow parsley and give some of the other plants a chance to thrive. This can be quite a big job so it will depend on how many people come along as to how long it will take. We will cut the vegetation the day before so the main job will be raking and pitching.
Meet by the bike rack just over the M11 bridge at 10am. If you can only come for a couple of hours, no worries – just let us know. It is ESSENTIAL that you book/let us know you are coming as we need to carefully arrange tools and a Covid-safe work plan for the right number of people. We sadly still cannot provide drinks and snacks so please bring your own, and lunch If you are here all day. Bring gloves if you have them. We do provide tools and all training if you haven’t done anything like this before.
News from the reserve and the Wildlife Trust BCN:
- Breeding bird surveys have started and we have already got some great records – warblers are making themselves known (willow warbler, chiffchaff, whitethroat and blackcap so far) and we’ve seen a lot of farmland birds such as skylark, yellowhammer and grey partridge.
- Butterfly surveys also start in April but can only be done in warm weather so the last week has been a bit too chilly. On warmer days we’ve seen small tortoiseshell, peacock, comma and brimstone, and will hopefully see orange tips soon. We really want to see green hairstreak this year – there has been maybe 1 sighting on the reserve. If you see this small but unmistakable green butterfly please let us know asap – a photo would also help, however blurry! The caterpillars like birds-foot trefoil, and the adults males like to fly around and perch on scrub such as hawthorn, defending territories. Look out around any scrubby areas like the old railway line, south M11 bank or Badgers Wood.
- Visitors to the reserve will have noticed more signs up recently denoting conservation areas and reminding people about ground nesting birds. We have seen more people keeping their dogs on a lead where they should, which is really heartening.
- Don’t forget you can still enter the Photography Competition until 2nd May – please share!
Email Becky on TrumpingtonMeadows@wildlifebcn.org