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.

Wednesday, November 02, 2022

Wapley Bushes Tree Planting morning - Sunday 27 November

For the first Wapley Bushes tree planting work morning of the winter, we have 90 very small young trees to replace some of the tall trees that were cut down due to ash dieback disease. We will be planting them as a boundary hedge between the Centenary Wood and the Ancient Woodland. As usual there will also be a variety of lighter tasks, so something for everyone.

Meet at 10 am at the Shire Way entrance to the woodland, south Yate, BS37 8US. Please wear stout footwear and bring gloves if you have them. If not, we’ll provide gloves that you can keep until the next workday – as a COVID precaution we’re not sharing gloves.

Please come and join us even if you haven’t been before. You can bring your own tools - for example a spade if you've got one - or if not, tools will be provided. Everyone is welcome, though children under 16 will need to be accompanied by a responsible adult.

Monday, October 24, 2022

Dodington Parish Council Jubilee Guided Walks – Sunday 6 November and Saturday 19 November

Route marker posts have been put up around Wapley Bushes for two new routes to commemorate Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee, and to celebrate her life. There will shortly be a leaflet with details of the routes, which are being launched with two guided walk events.


Sunday 6 November 2022 2.00 pm at Shire Way gate
Dodington Parish Council Jubilee Guided Walk –
The Orchard for the Future and Wapley Common

The first guided walk will be on Sunday 6 November 2022 starting at 2.00 pm from the Shire Way gate. The walk will cover Wapley Common, the Orchard for the Future and a short section of woodland. You will be able to learn about local bird life, the historic importance of “home orchards” for local farms and cottages, and how the area is being managed to encourage pollinators, small mammals and owls.

Apart from the slopes either side of the railway bridge the walk route is fairly flat. If the railway bridge would be too much of an obstacle, you can park at the Besom Lane gate and walk across the Common to meet us near the railway bridge.

Please wear suitable footwear – if it has rained the ground may be slippery in places. 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Saturday 19 November 2022 2.00 pm at Shire Way gate
Dodington Parish Council Jubilee Guided Walk –
The Meadows and the Woodlands

The second guided walk involves steep slopes and the ground is less even. The walk will cover the rich flower meadows, showing you what to look out for next spring, the problem of ash dieback disease and what is being done about it, and the characteristics of the Ancient Woodland.

Please wear suitable footwear – if it has rained the ground may be slippery in places.

 

Friday, October 21, 2022

Kingsgate Park Nature Area Work Morning - Saturday 29th October 2022, 10:00am

We shall be undertaking maintenance of this important amphibian site, cutting back undergrowth etc. Please wear wellington boots and bring some gloves and tools if you have them, otherwise they will be provided.

Meet at the Scott Way entrance to Kingsgate Park, Scott Way, Yate, BS37 4NW. There is some parking near at the entrance of Shackleton Avenue, but please be considerate of residents.

Organised by Southwold Local Group of Avon Wildlife Trust.

Monday, October 17, 2022

Free Family Owl Prowl at Wapley Bushes Nature Reserve - Wednesday 26 October 2022, 7.00 pm

 

Tawny owl - photo by Ian McGuire

A chance to explore the “Creepy Woods” in the dark! This free nocturnal owl prowl will be led by local owl expert Ian McGuire and it will include a mobile PowerPoint presentation. It’s suitable for all the family – children are especially welcome, though under 16s need to be accompanied by a responsible adult. Please bring a torch and wear suitable footwear in case the ground is slippery.

Meet at the Shire Way gate to Wapley Bushes, south Yate, BS37 8US. Parking available along Shire Way but please be considerate of local residents.

Free Barn Owl Talk - St Nicholas Family Centre, Abbotswood - Wednesday 19th October 2022, 7.30pm

 

Barn owl photo by Ian McGuire

Local owl expert Ian McGuire will be giving us this talk on British Barn Owls and their conservation. Come and find out about this fascinating creature! The talk is free and prior booking is not required. Some car parking is available at the rear of the church – the entrance is from the door nearest to the Chargrove car park.

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

HELP CLEAN UP THE RIVER FROME for WORLD RIVERS DAY THIS SATURDAY 24th Sept

Sorry for the short notice, but we were not allowed to post info about the river clean up this Saturday until after the Queen's funeral. 

Please come and join other local volunteers for a River Frome clean up on Sat 24th, meet 10.00 am at the Templar Road bridge over the river. We will be clearing litter, and removing weeds. There will be a short training session from 9.30 am that you are welcome to attend.

You can just turn up - or, to make sure we have enough kit, it is great if you sign up, at: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/world-rivers-day-bristol-frome-clean-yate-tickets-421412986587 

This is jointly hosted by Bristol Avon Rivers Trust and Yate Town Council. Everyone is welcome.

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Work Morning 18 September - Stream cleared - orchard doing well

 

Five of us had a very effective work session on Sunday morning (we were probably down on numbers because it was the Bank Holiday weekend due to the Queen's funeral)

We cleared the leaf mould out of the stream bed down through the woods, to stop it flooding. The stream bed was really dry and cracked, so any rainwater will be absorbed straight into the ground for now. There's a section that is badly overgrown, so we'll have to get some help in to deal with that.

The apple trees in the Orchard have fruited well this year, but most of them have been picked already (not that we're complaining - that's what they are there for! And since you ask, yes they are tasty...)

The next Wapley events will be as follows:

Wed 19 Oct 7.30 pm
Barn Owl talk at St Nix, Abbotswood by Ian McGuire

Wed 26 Oct 7.00 pm
Owl Prowl at Wapley by Ian McGuire

Sun 27 Nov 10.00 am
Wapley tree planting morning

More details will follow in due course.

Sunday, September 11, 2022

Wapley Bushes work morning - Sunday 18 September at 10 am

Come and join in with the volunteers of Wapley Bushes Conservation Group on this volunteer work morning. 
 
We'll be digging out the bed of the stream down through the woods, so that it won't flood when we get heavy rain.
 
We’ll also be doing litter collection and a general tidy-up, so there will something for everyone. 
 
Please wear walking or wellington boots and bring gloves if you have them. Meet at the Shire Way entrance to the woodland, south Yate, BS37 8US.

Thursday, September 08, 2022

Wapley walk events cancelled

In the light of the sad death of Her Majesty the Queen, the following walk events are now cancelled and will be rescheduled as memorial events at a later date:

Sun 11 Sep 2 pm
Dodington Parish Council Jubilee Walk – Orchard and Common CANCELLED

Sat 24 Sep 2 pm
Dodington Parish Council Jubilee Walk – Meadows and Woods CANCELLED

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The volunteer work morning on Sun 18 Sep at 10 am will still go ahead, details to follow.

Saturday, August 06, 2022

Green Flag, Green Woodpecker

 


Wapley Bushes Conservation Group are over the moon to have been recognised with the Green Flag Community Award 2022. We think this is the 13th time we've received this award - we're losing count! The award recognises how well our community volunteers manage the Meadows, Woodland and Orchard of Wapley Bushes Local Nature Reserve for everyone to enjoy.
 

In keeping with the "Green Theme", we spotted this lovely juvenile Green Woodpecker on Wapley Common recently, near the woodland edge towards Rabbit Corner.


Monday, July 25, 2022

Dates for your diaries

We're having a bit of a break over the summer, but please put these dates in your diaries:

Sun 11 Sep 2 pm Dodington Parish Council Jubilee Walk – Orchard and Common

Sun 18 Sep 10 am Volunteer work morning – clearing the stream etc

Sat 24 Sep 2 pm Dodington Parish Council Jubilee Walk – Meadows and Woods

Wed 19 Oct 7.30 pm Barn Owl talk at St Nix, Abbotswood by Ian McGuire

Wed 26 Oct 7.00 pm Owl Prowl at Wapley by Ian McGuire

More details will appear on this page closer to the events.

Monday, July 11, 2022

Tidying up in progress

Bee on Buddleia

The Wapley tidying-up work morning on Saturday 2 July was cut short by incoming rain, but the eight of us cleared invasive growth on the railway bridge, leaving the plants that are most valuable for pollinators. We opened up the area round the bug hotels and removed some invasive plants from the Orchard area.

Our contractor is currently working on clearing the main paths through the woodland - the alternate warm weather and rain this summer has accelerated the growth along the paths.

Saturday, June 25, 2022

Successful walks at Wapley

14 of us had a great species walk afternoon on Sunday 12 June, led by Rupert Higgins of Wessex Ecological Consultancy. We explored the meadows aand found a whole range of different flowering and grassland species.

Rupert writes the Five Year Plan for Wapley Bushes Local Nature Reserve. This is the basis for our long term ecological management of the reserve.

We also welcomed 8 members of Yate WI for a walk the following evening, covering the Orchard and the Common (not to mention steam trains and other local history!)

Common Orchid and Bird's Foot Trefoil ("Eggs and Bacon")
Common Orchid and Bird's Foot Trefoil ("Bacon and Eggs")

Don't forget that we're doing a Nature Reserve Tidy-Up morning on Saturday 2 July. We'll be meeting at 10.00 from the Shire Way Gate, everyone welcome even if you haven’t been before (children under 16 need to be accompanied by a responsible adult). 

Please wear stout footwear and bring gloves if you have them. If not, we’ll provide gloves that you can keep until the next workday – as a COVID precaution we’re not sharing gloves. You can bring your own tools or tools will be provided.

Saturday, June 11, 2022

Wapley Nature Reserve Tidy-Up – Saturday 2 July

 

We’re expecting a lot of visitors over the summer, so it’s time for a tidy-up. We need to do a “deep clean” litter-pick and cut back along the edges of some of the paths, so there will be something for everybody, as always.

Meet at 10 am at the Shire Way entrance to the woodland, south Yate, BS37 8US. Please wear stout footwear and bring gloves if you have them. If not, we’ll provide gloves that you can keep until the next workday – as a COVID precaution we’re not sharing gloves.

Please come and join us even if you haven’t been before. You can bring your own tools or tools will be provided. Everyone is welcome, though children under 16 will need to be accompanied by a responsible adult.

Saturday, June 04, 2022

Discover our local native species - free guided walk Sunday 12 June


Free Event - Species Identification Walk with Rupert Higgins of Wessex Ecological Consultancy.

Sunday 12 June at 2 pm from the Shire Way gate entrance to the Wapley Bushes Local Nature Reserve, guided by Rupert, who also writes our Five Year Management Plans for this Wapley Bushes Local Nature Reserve.

The meadows are home to a wide variety of species, and we are anticipating seeing lots of interesting plants and insects. Please come and join us.

We're planning some more walks during the summer - please check back here for updates.

Planning meeting for Wapley Bushes, Wed 8 June – please come and get involved!

 

Wapley Bushes Conservation Group will be meeting at 7 pm on Wednesday 8 June to plan project work to the end of the year and beyond. This time we’ll be back to a face to face meeting in the Council Chamber at Dodington Parish Hall, Finch Road BS37 6JZ.

We would very much like to see some of our volunteers there. There will be a quick AGM, then the detailed committee meeting to plan out what we’re aiming to do between now and the end of the year.

If you would like to find out more, please email
paul.hulbert@gmail.com so that we can send you copies of the meeting papers.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Good wildflower planting morning!

 

We had a very successful morning on Saturday 7 May, with 11 volunteers planting 300 wildflower plug plants in the Orchard for the Future at Wapley Common. It was good to see some children taking part.

Our objective is to increase the diversity of the grassland area by introducing a range of flowering plants that pollinators love. In this session we planted Devil's Bit Scabious, Lesser Knapweed, Betony, Yellow Rattle and Oxeye Daisy, so we should see a mix of blue, purple, white and yellow flowers appearing in a few weeks time.

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Meadow species planting on Wapley Common - Saturday 7 May


We've got a rather different work morning coming up on Saturday 7 May, when we plan to put in a mixture of different meadow species plug plants to enhance the diversity in the Orchard for the Future section of Wapley Common.

This is the second phase of our meadow plug planting - we planted a third of the orchard last year, and we'll tackle the other third next year. We've already seen some improvements - more flowers and more butterflies. These plants will help encourage pollinators and discourage more invasive species.

As well as planting we'll be doing a "deep clean" of various areas of the Reserve and cutting back some overgrowth. We'll also have some lighter tasks for people who prefer them - something for everybody, as always.

Meet at 10 am at the Shire Way entrance to the woodland, south Yate, BS37 8US. Please wear stout footwear and bring gloves if you have them. If not, we’ll provide gloves that you can keep until the next workday – as a COVID precaution we’re not sharing gloves.

Please come and join us even if you haven’t been before. You can bring your own tools or tools will be provided. Everyone is welcome, though children under 16 will need to be accompanied by a responsible adult.

Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Goose Green AWT work morning - Saturday 9 April

 

We shall be undertaking reserve maintenance on this local Avon Wildlife Trust grassland and wetland nature reserve such as path clearance plus litter picking. Please wear walking or wellington boots and please bring your own gloves if you can.

Please come and join us even if you haven’t been before. You can bring your own tools or tools will be provided. Everyone is welcome, though children under 16 will need to be accompanied by a responsible adult.

Please meet at the bridge on the reserve, west of Oak Close, north Yate, BS37 5TN, 10.00am.

Monday, March 14, 2022

Successful end to the winter tree planting season - report from work morning Saturday 12 March

First signs of Spring at Wapley Bushes - Lesser Celandine
 

Eleven volunteers took advantage of a clear morning - dry apart from one sharp shower - to plant another 43 trees in the Centenary Wood, to replace trees lost to ash dieback disease. The tree mix was as specified by the Forestry Commission - half hazel (including some larger specimens) and half mixed native broadleaf species.

This brings our ash dieback planting total to 137 trees during the winter, plus 200 willow saplings for the Wellbeing Area and its living hedge structure. We'll need to plant another 157 ash dieback replacements next winter to catch up with our replacement commitment, so we'll have 3 or 4 busy work mornings between November and March.

So what's in our spring programme? Our next workday will be at Goose Green on Saturday 9 April. This is an Avon Wildlife Trust grassland and wetland nature reserve, where we'll be doing reserve maintenance such as path clearance plus litter picking. Please meet at the bridge on the reserve, west of Oak Close, north Yate, BS37 5TN, at 10.00am. 

The next work morning at Wapley Bushes will be on Saturday 7 May. We'll be putting in a mixture of different meadow species plug plants to enhance the diversity in the Orchard for the Future section of Wapley Common, and also doing a “deep clean” of various areas of the Reserve and cutting back some overgrowth.

More details of both these events will follow in due course.


Wednesday, March 02, 2022

Wapley Bushes Tree Planting Work Morning - Saturday 12 March

 

For the final Wapley Bushes tree planting work morning of the winter, we have 43 young trees to replace the tall trees that were cut down in the Centenary Woodland last winter due to ash dieback. As uausul there will also be a variety of lighter tasks, so something for everyone.

Meet at 10 am at the Shire Way entrance to the woodland, south Yate, BS37 8US. Please wear stout footwear and bring gloves if you have them. If not, we’ll provide gloves that you can keep until the next workday – as a COVID precaution we’re not sharing gloves.

Please come and join us even if you haven’t been before. You can bring your own tools - for example a spade if you've got one - or if not, tools will be provided. Everyone is welcome, though children under 16 will need to be accompanied by a responsible adult.

Good planting sessions this week!

 


On Sunday 27 February our usual volunteers were joined by friends from Yate Rotary Club and the Scouts. There were 16 of us in all, and we made short work of our biggest planting session of the season, putting in 65 young trees in the Centenary Wood as part of our Ash Dieback Replacement Programme.


Then on Tuesday 1 March our "Willow Squad" put in another 100 young willows to complete the outline of our living structure.

We have one more tree planting day coming this winter, on Saturday 12 March.

Monday, February 21, 2022

Wapley Willow Planting - rescheduled to Tue 1 March

 

***Sorry but the willow planting has had to be delayed until Tue 1 March because the ground is waterlogged!***

A small group of local volunteers is planting a willow oval in the Centenary Wood. We've already planted 100 willow saplings, and on Tuesday 1 March we're aiming to put in 100 more. In due course scented wild flowers will be planted inside the area. This living hedge will also incorporate some existing trees.

A living hedge prevents soil erosion and aids water runoff. Living hedges are good wind blocks as well as habitat to birds, insects and small mammals, and they also act to absorb carbon.

Meet at 10.30 am (not our normal 10.00 am!) at the Shire Way entrance to the woodland, south Yate, BS37 8US. Please wear stout footwear and bring gloves if you have them. If you haven't got your own gardening gloves, we’ll provide gloves that you can keep until the next workday – as a COVID precaution we’re not sharing gloves.

Please come and join us even if you haven’t been before. You can bring your own spade or tools will be provided. Everyone is welcome, though children under 16 will need to be accompanied by a responsible adult.

Thursday, February 17, 2022

Wapley Bushes Tree Planting Work Morning - Rescheduled to Sunday 27 February

*** Due to high winds still forecast for Sunday 20 Feb this event has been rescheduled until Sunday 27 Feb ***

This will be our biggest work session of the winter. We've got 65 young trees to replace the tall trees that were cut down in the Centenary Woodland last winter due to ash dieback. We will also have a variety of lighter tasks, so as usual there will be something for everybody.

Meet at 10 am at the Shire Way entrance to the woodland, south Yate, BS37 8US. Please wear stout footwear and bring gloves if you have them. If not, we’ll provide gloves that you can keep until the next workday – as a COVID precaution we’re not sharing gloves.

Please come and join us even if you haven’t been before. You can bring your own tools or tools will be provided. Everyone is welcome, though children under 16 will need to be accompanied by a responsible adult.

Saturday, January 22, 2022

Primrose Bank Workday – Saturday 5 February

This workday is to clear brambles to help spring flowers emerge. It is being jointly organised by Sodbury in Bloom and the Southwold Group of Avon Wildlife Trust.

Please wear outdoor clothing, gloves and stout footwear. Meet at 10.00 am on the east side of Wickwar Road, Chipping Sodbury near the zebra crossing by the entrance to the Frome Valley Walkway.