Peter

2012 Diary

  • September and October: Duke of Edinburgh’s Award students began working on the Wildlife Conservation Area.
  • Sunday 16th September: Sixteen people attended a ‘Foraging and cooking wild plants’ session run by Celia Cox.
  • Saturday 8th September: We had a stall at Oliver’s Battery Fête.
  • Tuesday 24th July: Strimming of the paths around the Wildlife Conservation Area.
  • Sunday 15th July: ‘Big Butterfly Count‘. We did surveys over a fifteen-minute period while the sun was shining (well just about – at least it did not rain). Quite a few species seen, including Ringlet, Meadow Brown, Gatekeeper, Marbled White, Red Admiral.
  • June: The very wet weather (yet another record for June since records began) has resulted in vigorous plants growth, in particular the shrubs, which will need pruning in the winter. The group have bought leather gauntlets and pruning shears ready for the job to be done. Some plug plants of native chalk downland plants were planted in the grassy area as an experiment to see if they could thrive. If they do manage to grow despite the surrounding grass then next year more plants will be planted as seeding appears to be a slow process, from past experience. The plants were donated by Rebecca Hare as they were surplus to requirements at the school.
  • May: All the paths and the main grassy area were strimmed. The area just inside the gate, which was reseeded with annual cornflower mix in the autumn, was a riot of coloured flowers. The red poppies, blue cornflower and pink corn cockles were set off by the sea of white and yellow corn chamomile flowers. Many slow worms have been seen this year but no grass snakes have been spotted yet.
  • Thursday 24th May: AGM at the Wildlife Conservation Area. 2012 Minutes (pdf)
  • Tuesday 24th, Friday 27th and Monday 30th April: Digging out Spanish bluebells again.
  • Saturday 17th March: Work party at the Wildlife Conservation Area. We cut the grass on the wildflower meadow and pruned back some buddleias.
  • Wednesday 8th February: Talks at Hampshire Wildlife Trust Winchester Branch, Badger Farm Community Centre.
    The group gave giving a short talk about the Wildlife Conservation Area. David Askew also gave a talk about Bee Keeping.
  • Sunday 29th January: Big Garden Bird Watch in the Wildlife Conservation Area.
    We also saw what winter has done to the plants and discussed what we want to do this year. Some pruning and general maintenance of plants.

Conservation Area Views in 2012

Photographs by: Peter land

June

The new area of wildflowers inside the gate. Poppies, Corncockles, Cornflowers, Corn Chamomile.

July

The meadow overgrown with Hogweed after a long very wet spell.

2011 Diary

  • Thursday 20th October: Installation of chalkboard for species recording.
  • Monday 10th and Tuesday 11th October: Clearance of area inside the gate again for seeding.
  • Friday 23rd September evening and Saturday 24th morning, repeated on Sunday 25th and Monday 26th Bank Holiday: Trapping and releasing small mammals. Investigating which small mammals live in the Wildlife Conservation Area. We have put out mammal traps at this time of year for the past two years. Last year we caught only voles. The previous year we caught only mice.We set out the traps as late as we can, then empty them the next morning. “Hotels” are created with dry bedding and food to make sure the animals do not die in the traps. We then set the traps on runs in the grass. There has never been a fatality yet. We can do this on successive nights in different areas within the CA. This time, On Friday we caught a wood mouse. On Sunday we were more successful and caught three wood mice.
  • Saturday 10th September: Oliver’s Battery Fête. We had a stall with the theme ‘hidden neighbours’.
  • Monday 29th August: Another Moth Evening at the Wildlife Conservation Area with Tim Walker, at short notice. Nineteen species of moth were identified.
  • Sunday 28th August: Haymaking and Picnic at the Wildlife Conservation Area.
    Among those who joined us was County Councillor Charlotte Bailey. We began by raking up the grass from the meadow which had been cut a few days before, using three special hay rakes. We saw a few butterflies as well as the nuts, fruits and berries which are doing very well this year. We finished with a picnic.
  • Saturday 27th August: Strimming at the Wildlife Conservation Area. This had been postponed by the rain earlier in the week. The main meadow area was cut. The grass was noticeably less dense than previously.
  • Tuesday 2nd August: Strimming at the Wildlife Conservation Area. Some paths were cut.
  • Saturday 30th July: Butterfly walk to Yew Hill, jointly with Butterfly Conservation. Quite an impressive count of butterflies seen – 21 species. Some members returned the next day to see Chalkhill Blues, Small Heaths, Gatekeepers, Marbled Whites etc, and also Common Blues, Commas and Red Admirals at the Wildlife Conservation Area.
  • Wednesday 27th July: Night walk for bats and glow worms, Shawford.
    Some of us gathered for a pre-meeting drink in the Bridge. We then made our way to the bridge for 9pm. Quite a successful look for bats along the River Itchen. We then walked to the south and up to the Down, but were not successful looking for glow worms.
  • Saturday 11th June: Moth evening at the Wildlife Conservation Area. Tim Walker brought a generator to run his moth trap. A very good turnout, and quite a few species seen despite the fairly cool evening. We finished slightly early due to a lamp failure.
  • Monday 6th June: Strimming at the Wildlife Conservation Area. We cut most of the long grass below the path.
  • Friday 27th May: Wild flower seeding of the cleared area at the Wildlife Conservation Area, just inside the gate from the Rec.
  • Monday 16th, Wednesday 18th and Wednesday 25th May: Work parties at the Wildlife Conservation Area. Digging up long grass by the gate, ready for seeding.
  • Sunday 15th May: Work party at the Wildlife Conservation Area. Digging out brambles.
  • Monday 9th May: AGM at the Wildlife Conservation Area.  2011 Minutes (pdf)
  • Friday April 22nd (Good Friday, and Earth Day): Edible and Medicinal Wild Plants – A talk about edible and medicinal plants at the Wildlife Conservation Area.

Moth Evening June 2011

Photographs by: Peter Land and Norma Goodwin

Identification mainly thanks to Hants Moths and UK Moths

On Saturday 11th June we had a moth evening. Tim Walker brought a generator to run his moth trap.

The group gathered around a mercury arc lamp, waiting for moths to arrive.

We had a bulb failure about 11pm, so packed up and headed home.

2010 Diary