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.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Wapley Bushes Workday, Sunday 11 September

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. There will also be lighter work for people who prefer it!

You are welcome to come along and please wear walking or wellington boots and bring some gloves.

Meet at the Shire Way entrance to the woodland, south Yate, 10.00am.

Wapley Bushes Bat Walk Friday 9 September

Join us for a twilight stroll in search of bats. Bat detectors provided. Wear warm clothes and stout shoes or boots and bring a torch. Meet at the Shire Way entrance to Wapley Bushes (opposite Cherington), Yate, BS37 8YA, 7:30 - 9:15pm.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Family Nature Day and Picnic at Says Court Solar Farm Tuesday 30th August

Avon Wildlife Trust are holding a Family Nature Day and Picnic at Says Court Solar Farm from 10am to 12 noon on Tuesday 30th August.

The event will offer a morning of nature based exploration including bug hunting, blackberry painting and much more. You can bring a picnic to enjoy in the wildflower meadow that’s been created by the solar farm. There will be a mix of led and free play activities available that will be suitable for all ages, though children must be accompanied by an adult. Booking is essential – please email nicole.daw@avonwildlifetrust.org.uk

Monday, August 15, 2016

Find out more about trees - family tree measuring day 17 August

Do you:
  • Want to learn to identify and measure trees?
  • Want to find out about the environmental benefits trees provide?
  • Want to find out what happens to trees when water is in short supply?
Join in a Tree Measuring Day and find out more!

This Wednesday 17th August 2016, 10.30 am - 4pm
The Ridings, Wickwar Rd, Chipping Sodbury , Bristol BS37 6BQ

An interactive, family event giving you the chance to help with a large-scale scientific project.

Have tea and cake and talk to researchers from the University of the West of England about your memories of local droughts, and how drought can affect our everyday life.

To get involved or find out more...
  • Visit: www.dryproject.co.uk
  • Email: dry@uwe.ac.uk
  • Call: 0117 32 87024

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Foragers and fungi

Green woodpecker

Now that the meadows have been cut, medium to large birds are a common sight pecking their way through the meadows looking for insects or other food. Today a pair of green woodpeckers were active near the Top Pond, and other birds such as rooks and magpies were also foraging in the Top Meadow.

The haymaking hasn't totally driven away the butterflies. There are quite a few left, mainly feeding in the hedgerows.

If you know where to look in the main wood, there are bracket fungi larger than dinner plates:

Bracket fungi
... not to mention some interesting ground fungi:

Ground fungus
As summer goes on, our orchard trees are getting on well, but it's worth looking at the couple of very mature crab apple trees on the Reserve. The one on the edge of the wood looking over towards the Picnic Area is going to have a bumper crop this year.

Crab apples

Ridge Woods Forest Fun Time Thursday 18th August

Get out and discover this local woodland this summer holiday on the family forest trail at Ridge Wood Local Nature Reserve. There will also be an opportunity to try out various woodland crafts.

Free entry and refreshments provided, this event is suitable for accompanied children up to age 11.

The trail starts at the Jubilee Gardens entrance to the woodland from 2.00pm. Sorry, no dogs allowed.

Further details and a map can be found on the Ridge Woods website

The Friends of Ridge Woods are also running a Photography Competition:

Calling all budding amateur photographers! Grab your camera and head to your local nature reserve to capture your favourite images of summer in the woodland! Photographs can be of anything – plants, birds, animals, landscapes – as long as they are taken in Ridge Wood.

Prizes will be awarded for the best photograph in each of the following categories:
  • Under 10s
  • 10-16
  • Adult
Email your entries to info.forw@gmail.com by 31st August with your name, age and contact details.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Photo from Wapley Bushes Green Flag Community Award presentation

As we reported a few weeks ago, Wapley Bushes Local Nature Reserve has won the prestigious Green Flag Community Award for the fourth year running. We've just received this photo from the South West award presentation event in Cheltenham.

The picture shows Malcolm Stephen and Paul Hulbert accepting the award from the Mayor of Cheltenham Cllr Chris Ryder and representatives of Keep Britain Tidy.

Report back on the grass transplant!

Isabel and Bert "making hay while the sun shines"
in the Lower Meadow
Wapley Bushes Conservation Group is trying to enhance one of the popular local meadow areas by transplanting wildflower seeds from another part of the Local Nature Reserve.

We're working on a project to improve the biodiversity of the Upper Meadow. We've transplanted seeds from the herb-rich Lower Meadow, which is spectacular when the flowers are in bloom, to the Upper Meadow. When the grass was cut we collected some sacks of the cuttings, complete with seeds. We raked our target area and then spread the cuttings on it so that the seeds can take root.

Malcolm, Reuben, Tim and Paul spreading
the flower-rich grass in the Upper Meadow

We took some of the grass home and spread it out to dry. It was surprising just how much seed was produced. Hopefully the seeds will germinate next spring - we'll come back to this patch to see how much of a difference we've made.

Wapley Bushes Local Nature Reserve is managed by the Conservation Group on behalf of landowners Dodington Parish Council. This is just one of the projects we are undertaking to improve the area for the local community. We always welcome visitors and new volunteers. Our next public event will be a family bat walk at 7.30 pm on Friday 9 September. Bat walks are always popular with families - children love exploring the 'creepy woods' in the dark!

For further details of events please contact Paul Hulbert on paul.hulbert@gmail.com or 07771 562505 - further details will also appear on this blog in a couple of weeks.

Thursday, August 04, 2016

Quick extra work session this Friday (5th August)

One of the things we said we would do is collect some some "arisings" (cut trass) from the sloping Lower Meadow and then transplant the arisings (and the seeds in those arisings) to the flat Upper Meadow to enrich the flora there.

We have been told that the cut will take place on Friday (tomorrow) with the grass being bailed on Saturday. Therefore, if anyone is free to help out with arisings collection, please meet at 2pm tomorrow afternoon on Friday at the Shire Way entrance to the reserve. Items required will be bin bags, gloves and it may be worth bringing some secateurs along too.

We appreciate that it is very short notice but the very variable weather meant that a snap decision had to be made about the cutting day. Thank you for your help and understanding.

Ridge Wood - Forest Fun Time Thursday 18th August

Once again, the Friends of Ridge Wood are planning a FREE family trail and woodland crafts to encourage kids to get out and about during the school holidays.

Check out the Friends of Ridge Wood website for more details.