Wapley Bushes Local Nature Reserve, near Yate and Chipping Sodbury, South Gloucestershire.

The Nature Reserve is run by the Wapley Bushes Conservation Group, a small group of volunteers.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

More butterflies at Wapley

Peacock butterfly - named after the eye-shaped spots like those on a peacock's tail.

Painted Lady butterfly - an immigrant that flies in from North Africa. Adults cannot overwinter in UK and return south for the winter.

Small White butterfly - its caterpillar is very fond of cabbage. Small and large whites are often called "cabbage whites".

All photos taken 25 July in the small patch of rough ground on the left as you enter the Lower Meadow. The meadows will be cut shortly - take a look now if you want to see them.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

A good time for insects

It's peak season for insects at Wapley Bushes Local Nature Reserve.

All photos taken 23 July.

Meadow Brown butterfly on vegetation next to the top pond

Bee on thistle

Dragonfly in the woodland ride - very hard to photograph on the wing

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Discover the nature where you live

Nature lovers are invited to join a walk to explore the wildflower meadows, riverside grasslands and woodlands of St John’s Park estate in Chipping Sodbury.

The walk, which will be led by Mary Wood from Avon Wildlife Trust, takes place on Tuesday 21 July from 7pm.

South Gloucestershire Council has employed the Avon Wildlife Trust to renew the management plan for these open spaces so please come along to discover the wildlife and discuss how the areas should be managed in the future.

Anyone interested in joining the walk should meet at the bridge over the River Frome on Wickwar Road at 7pm.

If you need any further details please contact Chris Giles at South Gloucestershire Council on 01454 863725.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

A little experiment, on a stormy day at Wapley

We're experimenting with Chirbit audio blogging.

A stormy day at Wapley - click here:

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Report from work morning 5 July - lots achieved!

Starting to repair the dead hedge
- driving the uprights in

Filling up between the stakes to build the dead hedge

Our main task was to rebuild a delapidated dead hedge that protects a sensitive part of the woodland. We gathered a variety of material. Much of it came from a fallen bough, which we cut up and carried down to the workplace.

We also collected young trees we had cut down a while ago when coppicing in the Western Wood, and we took out some self-sown young ash that have appeared in the Upper Meadow.

We sharpened stout lengths of wood and drove them in as uprights, then filled in between them with heavy boughs as a foundation and then lighter branches on top.

Dead hedging is a traditional woodland management practice, and it works well with coppicing - in future we intend to use the coppiced wood as soon as we cut it. Previously we've left it to decay as habitat for insects etc, but it was too ready a source of firewood and much of it disappeared.

We had one more task to do before we finished. The diagonal path up through the Western Wood has been getting overgrown, so we cut back the brambles and cleared a way through.

Not bad for two and a half hours work! Our next work morning will be on Sunday 20 September - an early autumn tidy-up, including clearing leaf mould etc out of the little stream so that the centre of the wood doesn't flood during winter rains. Please come and join us - ring Paul on 07771 562505 for details.