Frosty mornings

Over the years we have been sent many images of frosty mornings in the park. Here are a few of them.

Lambrok Stream by numbers

David Feather’s post yesterday highlighted the problems that planning application 20/00379/OUT will create for Lambrok Stream. The access road for the planned development will have to cross the stream and, no matter how many changes are made to the design of the bridge, we do not see how that can be done without damage to the Lambrok’s biodiversity.

Here are some relevant numbers:

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Pigeon post

Pigeons are known to have been domesticated for more than 5,000 years. They are mentioned in cuneiform writing on clay tablets dug up in Mesopotamia and in hieroglyphics on the walls of ancient Egyptian tombs. There is a growing belief among archaeologists that pigeons were, in fact, the first birds to be domesticated, more than 10,000 years ago,

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We have both greater and lesser spotted woodpeckers on our species lists but it is many years since the single sighting of a lesser spotted woodpecker in the park. Here is a video from the BTO to help you tell the difference between the two.

Header picture: greater spotted woodpecker in the reserve photographed by DKG

The return of neonicotinoids

On 1st September 2020, the EU’s ban on the use of neonicotinoid pesticides came into effect but investigators have found that eight EU countries and the UK have since exported neonicotinoids to other nations with weaker environmental regulations. These are unacceptable double standards: the companies that produce these dangerous chemicals are prioritising their profits at the expense of our environment.

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Since the 1960s, the number of Eurasian blackcaps that overwinter in the UK has got bigger and bigger. It’s no longer a rare sight to see them in the reserve in the middle of winter. The blackcap (Sylvia atricapilla) is one of the rare species that sings all year round. Listen out for them:

Recording: Blackcap by Alexander Henderson (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)

Cop 26 does not appear to have reached an agreement that will limit global heating to 1.5°C. The really frightening thing is that we all know what has to be done but the people who make the decisions are not listening to us.
Here is Sir David Attenborough on the simple matter of saving our planet:

A beautiful photograph from Ian Bushell of the pollarded oak tree by the footbridge between Cornfield and Sleepers.

Occasionally, while we are clearing the undergrowth in the reserve’s copses, we find the secret places, among the ivy and blackthorn, where somebody has hidden their plastic bags full of dog poop.

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First frost

Last night brought the year’s first frost to many parts of the country.

Video: Timelapse of frost forming on European beech leaves ©Alastair MacEwen/
Header image: frosted leaves by DKG

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