There are three species of vole in Britain: the short-tailed or field vole, the bank vole and the water vole, which is the largest of the three and by far the rarest. Water voles (Arvicola amphibius) have experienced one of the most rapid and serious declines of any British wild mammal ever…Continue reading “Water Voles”
Has anybody heard our chiffchaffs yet? This is the time of year when they come back from the Mediterranean and Africa to nest in the park and their unmistakeable call is a welcome sign that spring is here. Message or email us if you have heard them .
All these pictures were taken in the park by DKG.
Research has concluded that 42% of people are scared of spiders.Read on for a little reassurance
The lesser celandines (Ficaria verna) are in flower. Celandines are the floral equivalent of the swallow, they appear around the same time and mark the coming of spring. In fact the word celandine comes from the Greek name for swallow: chelidon. One of its local names is spring messenger; others are brighteye, butter and cheese, frog’s foot, golden guineas and, less romantically, pilewort because it was once used to treat haemorrhoids.Continue reading “Lesser Celandine”
The Eurasian collared dove, Streptopelia decaocto, seems ubiquitous: one of the park’s noisiest and most common species. But it wasn’t always so.How come?
Blackthorn (Prunus spinosa) is the earliest of our native flowering trees.Continue reading “Blackthorn”
Crocus vernus photographed in the park by Clive Knight. Crocuses are not native to Britain; they were brought here from central and southern Europe, North Africa, the Middle East and China, in the 15th century.
Of the 18 species of bats native to Britain, 13 have been identified in Southwick Country Park, in Southwick Court, and in the green fields between Trowbridge and Southwick. The thirteen includes the rare and endangered lesser horseshoe bat, a Priority Species in the UK Biodiversity Action Plan, and the internationally protected Bechstein’s bat, one of the rarest mammals in the UK.Read on to see how proposed development will harm the bats’ habitat
At this time of year, the reserve’s blue tits are looking for nest holes in our old trees. The ash tree at Fiveways harbours a nest every year and the newly fenced oak near at the bottom of the Arboretum seems to have attracted more than one pair already.
Here is a video of a female blue tit building a nest while, outside, the male guards the site from marauders and thieves.
Video from The Nest Box
Header picture by Simon Knight
Mail from Simon Tesler, on the full extent of the H2 sites.Continue reading “H2 development sites”
A full moon in February is known as a Snow Moon; this year’s Snow Moon will occur at the weekend, on February 27th.Continue reading “Snow moon”
The sex life of a primrose
Primroses have an interestingly complicated reproduction system.Continue reading
FoSCP members, Ian and Pat, walk in the park with Pat’s dogs early on Sunday mornings. Pat, our champion litter picker, picks up the rubbish other park-goers have left behind, while Ian surveys the fields and woods for first flowerings, new species and the occasional damage, and reports back to HQ. Here is last Sunday’s bag:
“…Bullfinch in the hedge near Stoat Oak, native Daffodils in flower and Stinking Iris leaves at bottom of Kestrel Field near to the pond…”
[1[ Bullfinch (Pyrrhula pyrrhula);  Native daffodil (Narcissus pseudonarcissus); the flowers , seeds  and strap-like leaves of Stinking Iris (Iris foetidissima)
by David Feather
Unfortunately, what is clear about the proposed development at H2.6 and the other two proposed housing sites (here and here) in the South of Trowbridge Community Area is that the original studies done for the Wiltshire Housing Site Allocation Plan (WHSAP) proposals were woefully inadequate. Now Wiltshire Council is involved in a poorly evidenced defence of the selection of this site and others in the area, and the developers are taking full advantage of this fact.Continue reading “Lambrok at Risk”
Dog’s mercury (Mercurialis perennis) is one of those mysterious, usually nameless, plants that is hardly ever noticed. It forms dense carpets on the woodland floor and beneath old hedgerows but appears to most passers-by as just background for the bluebells and primroses.Continue reading “Dog’s mercury”
- We know of 13 different species of otter in the world but only the Eurasian otter (Lutra lutra) is native to Britain.
Birdlife in an Old Oak
By Ian Bushell
I nipped up to the park this morning to see how the contractor was getting on with the chestnut fencing around the Oak we have been clearing in the Arboretum, near the entrance. Spring is just around the corner and some of the lives that the old Oak supports were evident.Continue reading
A goat willow’s flowers, or catkins, known as pussy willow because they look like furry grey kittens’ paws, appear in February, one of the earliest signs of spring in the park.Continue reading
By Ian Bushell
News of Southwick Country Park achieving Local Nature Reserve Status reverberated in high places!Continue reading “SCP on the Beeb!”
Weird facts about robinsContinue reading
by Simon Tesler
As you will have seen, revised plans have been submitted by developers for the proposed 180-house estate on the land between Southwick Court and Trowbridge’s southern edge (known as H2.6).Continue reading “Mail from Southwick Court”
There has been a pair of mallards seen on the big pond during the week.Continue reading “Mallard”