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.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Butterflies in the Meadow

Isabel Ryan took these lovely photos during the Wapley Wander:

This wide shot shows the richness of the meadow, which is what attracts the butterflies and other insects.

This close-up of a pair of marbled whites shows clearly that the markings on the underside of the wings are different from the tops.

Friday, July 08, 2011

Coastal Fossil Hunt Saturday - 23 July

A tour along our very own local Jurassic Coast at Aust with our expert guide Mr Chris Townson. As we are by the coast we might even see some of the descendants of dinosaurs themselves - wading birds! Bring a magnifying glass if you have one, and please wear stout footwear. Meet for a car share at the Clock Tower, High Street, Chipping Sodbury, 1.30pm (Parking available in the Wickwar Road car park)

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Wapley Bushes Summer/Autumn Newsletter now online

Click here for the Wapley Bushes Summer/Autumn 2011 Newsletter with details of wildlife events on the Nature Reserve and in our area.

Update 22/08/2011: Please note that the Ridge Wood Autmn Quest event on 15 October has been cancelled.

Monday, July 04, 2011

A butterfly's eye view of the Lower Meadow at Wapley

Report from Wapley Wander 3 July 2011

Part of the group looking at the flora in the Top Meadow

An enthusiastic group of walkers met yesterday afternoon for a tour of the Nature Reserve. The meadows were full of wild flowers and butterflies - if you haven't visited them lately, catch them now before the flowers set seed and the meadows are mown shortly. There are over 70 wildflower and grass species present in the rich Lower Meadow including many species that are beneficial for insects, including black knapweed, devil's bit scabious and betony. We saw one species of orchid on the day, te common spotted orchid, but we know that there are others which have already gone over. The Top Meadow also had a great collection of grasshoppers and crickets - as we walked through the grass they would explode away from where we were about to tread.

The main Wapley Wood has just been declared an Ancient Woodland by English Nature, meaning that it's over 400 years old, so we talked about the traditional woodland management techniques that we still use today, such as hedgelaying, coppicing and dead-hedging. We also explored the importance of drainage - our ditches and the underground stream - and historic concepts such as the bank and ditch system, and people being able to take wood "by hook or by crook".

We showed off our big projects from the past year, as mentioned previously on this blog - the new path up the Ride, the hedgelaying in the Lower Meadow, and the Orchard for the Future on the Common. We also mentioned our long-term planning and some ideas we have for improving habitat to attract owls.

Thanks to everybody who came. Please follow the links above to find out more about what we've been doing on the Reserve.

Burnet moths doing what comes naturally on the Common