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, September 30, 2012

Tree Life Centre Open Day, Saturday 13 October

Join us for an Open Day at the BTCV Tree Life Centre. The Tree Life Centre is a community project based at Grimsbury Farm in Kingswood where people from many different backgrounds come together to grow trees, shrubs and wildflowers.  There will be a range of activities for people of all ages which may include harvesting, preparing and sowing seed; potting up plants; wildlife and tree identification walks; pond dipping.

Access: Wheelchair access around parts of the site is limited but the area close to the entrance of the nursery is flat and accessible and there will be a fully accessible activity set up in the covered potting shed area. This event has been organised in cooperation with South Glos Council.

Meet at the BTCV Tree Life Centre, Grimsbury Farm at the junction of Grimsbury Roadand Baden Road, Kingswood, 11.00am (until 4.00pm).

Friday, September 14, 2012

A celebration and a successful workday

Our work morning last Sunday started with a celebration as Cllr Gloria Stephen, Chairman of Dodington Parish Council,  presented the volunteers of the Wapley Bushes Conservation Group with the Green Flag Communities Award. The Green Flag Community Award is the national award scheme for high quality green spaces in the UK that are managed by voluntary and community groups. Wapley is is one of just three sites in South Gloucestershire to receive Green Flag awards this year.

We were very pleased to see so many at our work morning - around 30 people, many of them children. Our numbers were boosted by a community work party from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

With so many willing hands we accomplished a lot of work. The key objective was our annual task of clearing the ditch down through the wood - this year it wasn't as clogged up as usual. When (if?) we have dry summers the ditch fills up with early leaf fall, but this year it was just a case of clearing some excess clay and removing fallen branches.

Another major task was cutting back fast-growing vegetation along some of the paths. This was of course more onerous than usual. We also cleared some young blackthorn that has shot up among the unmowed part of the orchard grass, and did a litter pick throughout the Reserve.

Our next Wapley workday will be at 10 am on Sunday 4 November, meeting at the Shire Way gate - call Paul Hulbert on 01454 315851 for more details, or just turn up.

Don't forget that we have a Bat Walk at Yate Common on 19 September and a Wild Food Foray at Wapley on 24 September, and there's a whole list of local wildlife events shown in Dates for Your Diary. Full details of each event appear on this blog a couple of weeks before the due day.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Wild Food Foray at Wapley Bushes, Monday 24 September

Come along and enjoy an autumn walk with our guide, Justin Smith, and see what nature's free larder has in stock for you to take home, cook and eat. This event has been organised in cooperation with South Glos Council.

Meet at the Shire Way entrance to the woodland, opposite Cherington Road, south Yate, 2.00pm (until 4.00pm).

Monday, September 10, 2012

Scenic South Gloucestershire Walk, Sunday 23 September

We shall be going on a walk to look at the autumnal delights that nature has to offer at this time of year at Wick and Doynton in the Golden Valley. Our walk leaders will be the experienced guides Richard and Pauline Wilson and please wear walking boots or other stout footwear as this walk will be about four miles or so.

Meet for a car share at the Clock Tower, High Street, Chipping Sodbury, 2.00pm. Please note that ample free car parking is available at the Wickwar Road car park.

Wildlife dates for your diary

Here's a quick glimpse of local wildlife events coming up over the next few months. We'll post details of each a couple of weeks before the event.

  • Wednesday 19 September - Bat Walk at Yate Common
  • Sunday 23 September - Scenic South Gloucestershire Walk
  • Monday 24 September - Wild Food Foray at Wapley Bushes
  • Saturday 13 October - Tree Life Centre Open Day, Grimsbury Farm
  • Saturday 20 October - Kennedy Way Pond Workday
  • Sunday 21 October - Ridge Wood Conservation Day
  • Monday 22 October - Fungus Foray at Tytherington
  • Thursday 25 October - Wonders of the Universe - Star Gazing, Chipping Sodbury, 
  • Sunday 28 October - Kingsgate Park Ponds Workday
  • Wednesday 31 October - Owl Prowl at Ridge Wood Nature Reserve
  • Sunday 4 November - Wapley Bushes Workday
  • Fri, Sat & Sun evenings from 30 Nov to 23 Dec 2012 - The Spectacular Westonbirt Enchanted Christmas
  • Saturday 19 January 2013 - Wapley Bushes Workday
  • Friday 8 March - AWT Quiz Night Live!
Avon Wildlife Trust's Southwold Group is very active and would very much welcome new members and volunteers. If anyone wants to help out and try something new then please call Malcolm on 01454 310328 and you will be made very welcome.

Sunday, September 09, 2012

Bat Walk at Yate Common, Wednesday 19 September

Avon Bat Group’s Laura Plenty will be taking us around this green open space for a twilight stroll in search of bats. Bat detectors will be provided and please wear warm clothes and boots and bring a torch. This event has been organised in cooperation with South Glos Council.

Meet at the Westerleigh Road entrance to the Common opposite St. Briavel’s Drive, 7.15pm (until 9.15pm).

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Work morning and presentation of Green Flag Award, Saturday 8 September

We will be pleased to welcome the Chairman of Dodington Parish Council, Gloria Stephen, who will be presenting the Green Flag Community Award at the start of the Wapley Bushes Work Morning on Saturday. Gloria has of course been a frequent volunteer at Wapley as well, so she knows the Reserve well. We thought it would be more appropriate to do the presentation to our volunteers on site rather than at an artificial event in the Parish Hall.

This workday will be our annual stream clearance where we hope to clear the central watercourse through the main woodland. This work is required to preserve the habitat of the rare local thin-spiked wood sedge. We will also have a range of lighter tasks - there will be something for everyone!

Please wear walking or wellington boots and bring some gloves if you have them - we'll provide all the tools. Meet at the Shire Way entrance to the woodland, south Yate, 10.00am.

Avon Wildlife Trust's Southwold Group is very active and would very much welcome more like-minded people to join them. They organise workdays, walks, surveys, fundraising events and it only takes a couple of hours every other month. If anyone wants to help out and try something new then please call Malcolm on 01454 310328 and you will be made very welcome.

Orchard for the Future - update

Malcolm masking up ready for spraying
The Orchard for the Future is going well, apart from a minor problem with the quince trees and a few others others which have had to be treated for quince leaf blight fungal infection using traditional Bordeaux mixture and flowers of sulphur. Both of these chemicals are traditionally used in organic agriculture. Thanks go to  Isabel, Malcolm and Tim for carrying out the spraying. At least two further retreatments will be required - one in winter and one before leaf burst in spring.

Tim points out the blackthorn that
we'll need to eradicate from the
long grass
You will have seen that the grass around the young trees on the Common has been left uncut apart from the wide pathway where people walk. This is to provide a habitat for mice and voles, which will hopefully entice owls to nest in the woods. In future years the grass will be cut in sections on a three-year rotation. We've noticed that there is a patch of young blackthorn shrubs growing in the long grassland where the apple trees are on the common and this matter needs to be addressed at some stage. Off with their heads!