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 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.

What value is your walk?

by David Feather

Did you realise that by taking walks through our lovely semi-wild nature reserve, you were saving the Country money? I didn’t and I bet you didn’t, unless you read an article in the Guardian last week.

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Real or fake?

A lot of people buy artificial Christmas trees in the belief that it benefits the environment, but environmentalists and energy analysts disagree. We need only look at a single element of the hundreds of thousands of artificial trees that will be put up and decorated this Christmas: they are all made of plastic.

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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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More about the otters in Lambrok Stream

Simon Tesler’s video of an otter hunting in the moat at Southwick Court is powerful evidence not only of Lambrok Stream’s biodiversity, but its importance as a wildlife corridor that runs from the River Biss right up through and beyond Southwick village.

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“Nature is our home”

At the beginning of the year the UK Treasury commissioned and published for the very first time a full assessment of the economic importance of nature. Professor Dasgupta, the Cambridge University economist who carried out the assessment, concluded that our prosperity has come at “devastating cost” to the ecosystems that support us. “Nature is our home,” he said, “good economics demands we manage it better.”

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Christopher’s bench

There is a new bench by the pond, dedicated to the memory of Christopher Kinsey, the son of Rich and Rosie Kinsey. The bench of seasoned English oak was designed, made and carved by Christopher’s brother, Steve; he and Rich installed it themselves last week.

Our condolences go to the Kinsey family with our thanks for this beautiful new seat and its simple message in these troubled times: Hope.

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