The Woodland, Flora & Fauna Group held a fund raising open day in an area of countryside in Sayers Common on 6th May with the kind permission of the landowners. The day was exceptionally warm, the bluebells in the woodland were at their best and the refreshments provided afterwards by the owners were excellent. Many people attended and took part in the guided walks around the woodland and surrounding fields to witness the nature conservation work undertaken by the group over many years.
The fragrance of the bluebells permeated the woodland as the attendees toured the woodland pond, observed bat boxes and tawny owl box in the area, saw frog breeding ponds and dormice investigation tubes, peered under reptile mats and witnessed the barn owl boxes in surrounding fields. There was also a friendly cuckoo calling loudly in the woods which added value to the experience.
All attendees appeared to enjoy the afternoon and found it rewarding. They also generously contributed donations towards our work and have succeeded in boosting our funds considerably. It appears to have been a valuable experience for all and one which we are very grateful to the landowners for allowing and working hard to help make it a success.
The bluebells were magnificent and their aroma filled the woodland.
Attendees begin to gather around the woodland pond…
…to appreciate the work done to clear it….
…and then proceed on a walk through the woodland admiring the natural beauty as they proceed.
Here they pause beneath a barn owl box to learn about the group’s work…
…before returning back to the refreshment area where the landowners had provided some delicious food and drink to end an enjoyable day.
Our group is progressively investigating all local woodlands to discover whether they have a dormouse presence. This was started many years ago and has been progressing each year with a further one or two woodlands annually having temporary dormouse tubes fitted. Where a presence is found permanent boxes will be fitted. This year, having fitted some boxes already in previously researched locations, we have continued the investigation and included a further two woodlands in the project. Approximately 50 tubes have been installed in each woodland and these will be checked throughout the summer and autumn. A dedicated team of volunteers have been undertaking the work and choosing the most suitable mounting locations in each area. The task takes a lot of time for both the installation and subsequent monitoring but will hopefully result in assisting the species to survive as they are now endangered.
Volunteers mount dormouse investigation tubes in more woodlands.
Following the discovery of a dormouse presence in local woodlands as a result of an investigation using dormouse tubes, permanent wooden boxes have been fitted. This investigation has been going on for many years to establish how many of our local woodlands still retain a dormouse population as the species is in serious decline. They mostly now only exist in the south-east of England. Once the presence was known grant funding was obtained and boxes purchased. These were painted with wildlife friendly paint to extend their life as they are very expensive and labelled with the group name and a box number. A volunteer working party then mounted them in two woodland locations. They will be checked monthly each year from April until November and the findings recorded. It is hoped that a number of woodlands will be found to have a population remaining and then measures to assist their survival can be implemented in these locations
Dormouse boxes were mounted in woodlands by a team of volunteers.
The locations chosen were carefully selected and mapped for easy identification on return visits when the undergrowth will be increasingly thick.