The winter weather has not been kind to the Friends and all over the Park the ground has been very boggy and waterlogged. When it has stopped raining, we had to endure bitter icy cold winds blowing from the east. However, we are a hardy bunch and only missed one session of volunteer work and that was due to Countryside Team staff illness!
Surprisingly, once we find a sheltered spot we can work well and keep warm. Again, we have been tidying around our magnificent oak trees clearing away scrub and bramble and already the signs of Spring can be seen. Snowdrops in particular have been seen all around the Park and the daffodils are appearing and beginning to bloom.
Trish and Clive
Sarah and Suzanne
Frank and Andrew
The volunteers joined the annual Great British Spring Clean this year and we gathered on Saturday, 10th March. The weather was poor and the Friends were joined by Councillor Horace Prickett.
We managed to collect 10 bags of rubbish including a worn out rubber tyre. The depressing thing about collecting litter is that a week later it all needs doing again and it is very hard to understand why people throw litter, doggy poo bags etc. in an area they like to use for leisure. As I have mentioned before our volunteers regularly pick up litter and are very grateful to the many members of the public who also collect rubbish when they are using the Park. It is good to know there are many “FRIENDS” of the Park who feel like we do and want to keep this amenity clean for all.
This article has also been published in Southwick Village News.
In 2016, a pair of tawny owls nested in the owl box in Sheep Field and reared these two owlets. The parent birds returned in 2017 to inspect the box, but it obviously didn’t meet their standard and they left.
This year a pair of barn owls is hunting across the park, roosting in one of the park’s oak trees and, we hope, looking for a nest site. We have asked the Countryside Team to help us clean the nesting boxes in the hope that the barn owls will stay.
One of the perennial jobs around the Park is collecting litter. Most weeks sees one of the Friends with litter picker and rubbish sack in hand. All sorts of rubbish is found especially during the winter months when the foliage dies back and it is easier to spot.
Last spring DKG, our in-house photographer, found a bluetit’s nest in a hole in one of our veteran oaks. A couple of days later, he set up a hide, hoping to photograph the parent birds bringing food to their young.
In the spring of 2013, some 500 slow worms were translocated from a development site in Holbrook Lane, Trowbridge, to three sites in Southwick Country Park. Leo Wirtz, the then-leader of the Countryside Team, and his deputy Ali Rasey, set up the move with Windrush Ecology, who were the environmental consultants at the Holbrook Lane site.