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.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Kingsgate Park Ponds Workday, Saturday 8 October

We shall undertaking maintenance of this important amphibian site including the cutting back of vegetation. Please wear gloves and wellington boots.

Meet at the Scott Way entrance to Kingsgate Park, Scott Way, Yate 10.00am.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The rooks are getting territorial again!

Our local rooks tend to get very protective of their territory when it gets close to the nesting season, but they've started extra early this year.

Walking round Wapley this afternoon, I was out on the Common when I heard the rooks calling and saw the full squadron launch. I immediately thought "Buzzard alert!", and I was right - a few seconds later a pair of buzzards appeared above the wood, being mobbed by the rooks.

One buzzard fled immediately, but the other was inexperienced enough to try to stick around. It soon realised the error of its ways! A rook is very agile and can very nearly turn within the wingspan of a buzzard. An outnumbered buzzard is not going to be successful.

Actually this was slightly different from previous occasions - the rooks were using different tactics. I normally see the rooks zooming up towards high-flying buzzards, but this time they got above the buzzards and were forcing them down towards the tree canopy where they wouldn't be able to manouvre easily. Isn't nature fascinating?

Go batty with the BBC!

A BBC Autumnwatch film crew are coming along next Wednesday to the bat walk at Goose Green at 7pm. They wish to film the walk and interview participants. They are hoping to get people to ask wildlife related questions to the camera which will then be aired during the Autumnwatch ‘unsprung’ show, where the questions will hopefully be answered by the team.

We are therefore hoping for a good turnout of local people and a handful of questions to ask. Here's what South Glos say about the bat walk:

"Walk around Goose Green Fields and along the River Frome in search of our magical native bats that can eat up to 3000 insects a night! Meet at the site entrance off Oak Close, Yate. 7pm to 9pm.

Free event! Children should be accompanied by an adult. Please wear sensible footwear and warm clothing. Bring a torch. No dogs allowed.

For more information call ✆ 01454 863592 text 07950 080 111”

Monday, September 12, 2011

Go batty with THREE local bat walks this month

  • Tuesday 20th September, 7pm – 9pm. Ridge Wood & the River Frome - meet at Jubilee Park, Chipping Sodbury BS37 6BQ
  • Thursday 22nd September, 7pm – 9pm. Yate Common - meet at main entrance of the Road to Nowhere BS37 8RZ
  • Wednesday 28th September, 7pm – 9pm. Goose Green Fields, Yate
More details on the South Glos website here

Friday, September 09, 2011

Lower Woods Dormouse Safari - Sunday 25 September

This will be a guided two mile walk around Lower Woods nature reserve with dormouse surveyors Gef and Genny Lucena who have been studying the dormouse populations of Lower Woods. There will be the opportunity to learn about coppice management and to watch dormouse box inspections. Places are limited and so advance booking is essential on 01452 383333 quoting booking code 11SAF. Directions to the meeting point will be sent upon booking.

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Report from Wapley work morning 4th September

We had an excellent work morning today. Around 15 of us pitched in and achieved a lot. Our main target was to clear out the leaf mould and debris from the small stream that runs down through the middle of the main wood. It may not look much, but when it rains hard the water really flows. If we didn't clean out the stream it would overflow and destroy the adjoining habitat, in particular affecting a very rare species of sedge.

We did a litter-pick right round the Woodland and the Common, and we were pleased to see that there was less litter than we expected. We checked out the new orchard trees, and these seem to be doing well apart from from some damage by wandering goats (!) - we've been assured that the goats have now been relocated toa field further away.

We cut back trees that have been intruding onto the woodland paths, which was very much needed due to the amount of growth because of the wet weather. We'll have to return to this task on another work morning because there are patches of dense bramble that will need to be attacked with slashers, rather than the croppers and bowsaws we were using today to clear the woody branches.

A big thank you goes to everyone who took part, both the regulars and the people who were taking part for the first time - we hope you enjoyed yourselves undertaking this very valuable work!

Our next Wapley work morning will be on Saturday 19 November - please watch this blog for details of Wapley and other events.