Song thrush

A song thrush singing from its perch right at the top of one of the reserve’s oak trees, photographed by Ian Bushell.

Song Thrush (Turdus philomelos) recorded by David Bisset (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0)

Cuckoo flower

Scientific name: Cardamine pratensis
Family: Brassicaceae
Common names: lady’s smock, milkmaids
Habitat: damp grassland
Conservation status: least concern, common and widespread.

Wood spurge

Scientific name: Euphorbia amygdaloides
Habitat: old woodland
Conservation status: common

Header image and image [1] taken in the reserve by Clive Knight.

“Shed not a clout till may be out…”

It’s not, as many believe, an instruction to keep your coat on until June; it’s telling you to take your cardigan off as soon as the may is in blossom, which has been known to happen as early as April.

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Organised events in the reserve

On Saturday, we heard from several sources that there was a tent pitched in Kestrel Field. As camping is not allowed on Council land, Clive went to take a look and reported:

It looks like there is an organised marked course around the reserve; orienteering? I’ve seen lots of people running round, many said hello as they ran past. All finished now, tent gone. I think it was a recording point.

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Somebody lost a pair of prescription sunglasses in the reserve today. If you found them, email me at and I will make sure they get back to their owner.

Ragwort update from Wiltshire Council:

Wiltshire Council is asking the public to avoid using Southwick Country Park on 5th/6th May due to the spraying of Magneto herbicide to control ragwort. The work will take place on Thursday 5 May and possibly extend into Friday 6 May, depending upon the weather. There will be notices posted in the reserve to keep you updated.

Ragwort can cause serious liver damage to livestock if ingested, so landowners/occupiers have a responsibility to prevent it from spreading to neighbouring farmland. For the last few years it has been controlled in the Park by hand pulling, but this year it is clear there will be too much to pull out by hand with the resources we have.

We ask that the public avoid the Park on 5th/6th May while the spraying is taking place, and apologise for the inconvenience that these works cause.

Access to Hope Nature Centre is unaffected by the works.

Long-tailed tit

by Simon Knight

This past weekend I had an amazing afternoon in the park watching a pair of hardworking, caring and protective parents. It was one of the best wildlife moments that I have had this year. As you can see from the pictures, the parents were long-tailed tits who, in my opinion, win the award for ‘cutest bird’. 

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There are cowslips (Primula veris) flowering in the reserve, beside the path through Simpsons, at the top of Village Green and the bottom of Kestrel Field.


Identifying small brown birds

Sun 24/04/2022 09:39 From Suzanne to Ali and Ian
Good morning,
This is another of the pictures sent by Cheryl Cronnie, who is a photographer rather than a ornithologist. Is this a twite?

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