Backwater

Scrapes 2 and 3 of Wiltshire Wildlife Trust’s ABBA project will be backwaters lying alongside Lambrok Stream. A backwater is essentially a shallow pond connected to a waterway, providing still-water habitat away from the flow and turbulence of the main stream.

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RSPB Visit

Thursday September 15th, the RSPB will be visiting the reserve. There will be a stand next to the path, somewhere near the main car park, manned by an RSPB representative, there to answer questions, discuss the organisation’s work and recruit members.

The RSPB stand set up somewhere near the sea.

The RSPB is leading a nation-wide effort to monitor and protect our birds in the face of the present climate emergency. Drop in for a chat, consider joining them: our birdlife needs all the help it can get.

Header image: immature robin photographed in the reserve by Cheryl Cronnie

Southwick Show

Volunteers from the team of conservationists who care for the upkeep of the Park had a stand at Southwick Show on Bank Holiday Monday August 29th. To the relief of the volunteers, the weather was lovely and the visitors were very supportive.

Thanks to all the contributors, we had an excellent selection of goods for people to buy – which they did and we raised £200 for the purchase of additional plants for the Park.

Joan Jones (Chairman FoSCP)

Killers

Yesterday morning, two dogs described as brown greyhound types caught and killed a tabby and white cat in the ditch that runs along between Lambrok Meadow and the blackthorn tunnel. If your dog is a hunter with a highly developed prey drive, please, please don’t let it run off-lead in our nature reserve, to hunt and kill our wildlife and the neighbourhood’s cats.

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Grass fire

Email from Ian Bushell:

Phil R reported that there was a small fire that affected part of the heritage orchard late Saturday afternoon. The Fire Services attended. Some trees singed but they should be recover. The fire appeared to start near the bench and then spread into the orchard.

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This record-breaking drought is drying up the reserve’s ponds and streams. Please help us maintain the quality of what little water is left by keeping your dogs out of the pond for the time being. Thank you

RSPB Visit

On Wednesday August 10th, and on Wednesday September 14th, the RSPB will be in the reserve. There will be a stand next to the path, somewhere near the main car park, manned by an RSPB representative, there to answer questions, discuss the organisation’s work and recruit members.

The RSPB stand set up somewhere near the sea.

The RSPB is leading a nation-wide effort to monitor and protect our birds in the face of the present climate emergency. Drop in for a chat, consider joining them: our birdlife needs all the help it can get.

Header image: immature robin photographed in the reserve by Cheryl Cronnie

Buzz

by David Feather

Donations power The Friends

On Wednesday mornings in the Nature Reserve you might be hearing some new sounds. The Friends of Southwick Country Park Nature Reserve have moved fully into the 21st century by purchasing battery powered hedge cutters and a brush cutter. We have managed to do this with financial help from Wiltshire Council Central Area Board and some thoughtful and generous donations. On Wednesday of last week, we had the opportunity to meet and thank the local couple who have paid for the training of five volunteers in the use of our new power tools.

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Three storms

There have been three named storms in a week, Dudley, Eunice and Franklin, and the reserve has taken a battering. Here are some of the pictures we have been sent.

Storm damage cleared

Mail from friendsofscp@outlook.com to Ian Bushell 19.02.2022:

Good morning,
Julie Newblé has sent me pictures of a conifer blown down near the main entrance on the Lambrok Meadow side. She says that’s the only damage on the main path. Over to you!

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Please: no motorbikes

There have been reports of motorbikes being ridden in the reserve’s fields. The tyre tracks are mostly in Corn Field and Village Green and seem to show that the bikes enter and leave by the bridge into Lambrok Close. The only motorised vehicles allowed in the park are those maintenance vehicles authorised by Wiltshire Council, and mobility vehicles.

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Great Crested Newt Pond

by Ian Bushell

The original intention was to do the work on the Iris Pond on Friday 21st January, but the Water Team’s Connor Goddard contacted me on the Tuesday afternoon to say that they were ahead of schedule and could begin on Wednesday 19th. I let the digger in through the Allotment gate right away so that it would be there and ready to start work by 8.30am the next morning. The work would be carried out by Max and James of Ecolibrium Environmental Contracting based at Melksham.

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Wolf Moon

The first full moon of the year is called the Wolf Moon, apparently after the howling of hungry wolves in midwinter. The name seems to be common to both old European and North American cultures, perhaps an indication of how shared fears of the cold and the dark have shaped otherwise disparate human societies.

This year’s Wolf Moon will be tonight at just past a quarter to midnight and, if the misty weather we have been promised by the Met Office permits, should be spectacular as the temperature falls toward zero.

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