The Noak Bridge
Nature Reserve Society
Newsletter - spring 2017
Around the Reserve with the ChairmanHello and welcome. As I walk the Reserve I regularly visit the six ponds to see how they are faring. As I write this Puckles and Meadow ponds are both filling up nicely. Rosebay, Fox and Willow ponds are still fairly low but Prewers pond is unfortunately dry once more.
Tony, our Treasurer, and I met with the Dog Warden a few weeks back to discuss the loose dogs from the adjoining Industrial site, though the dogs do seem not to be causing as much trouble of late, unless people have given up reporting them! The Warden did ask that people continue to report them to the Council. The council telephone number is 01268 533333 then option 6.
On the Work Party with the TreasurerJanuary and February
A Ranger with a mechanical hedge cutter has trimmed the branches back on the High Ridge and around the Dragonfly Loop, and some trees behind Fox Pond have been cut down with a chainsaw as part of the reserve management plan to open up the pond area. The cuttings were cleared away by volunteers. There are photos and a short video on the Society's Facebook page.
With the water levels in the ponds very low, a new post for a "Deep Water" was installed in Prewers Pond, but the attempt to do the same in Fox Pond was thwarted by the deep and very sticky mud. We plan to try again with something more solid to walk on!
The overflow ditch from Puckles Pond has been cleared of leaves again from the late autumn/early winter fall. The sign on a lamppost in Wash Road pointing into Eastfield Road towards the Nature Reserve has been reinstalled after being blown down some time ago. Litter has been picked up around the reserve as usual and branches have been collected to be used as part of a natural fence along part of the High Ridge.
This year Spring starts on 20th March and ends on 20th June. Easter falls on 14th to 17th April.
Spring FlowersWild flowers in wooded areas put on a magnificent display in early Spring before the tree canopy leafs up for the Summer. We now grow many of these wild flowers in our gardens.
Snowdrops are one of the earliest flowers to push their heads above the snow or earth to brighten gloomy February. They also provide an early feast for bees which in turn pollinate the flowers.
Bluebells are native only to the lands fringing the Atlantic. The blooms which are bell shaped are not always blue, with some plants bearing pink or white flowers. The flower stems are surrounded at the base by long, strap shaped leaves. When the flowers open the stem bends so that the rain cannot enter the flower and spoil the pollen.
Lily of the Valley have underground rooting stems. They have broad, oval and rather leathery leaves with the flowering stem drooping numerous white flowers all hanging on the same side of the stem.
Forget-me-not is a light green plant with a creeping underground stem which throws out runners. It is the dainty little bright blue flowers with their yellow eyes that make the plant so sort after.
Primrose (Primula) is derived from two Latin words meaning 'first rose' and refers to its early flowering. They start flowering in March welcoming Spring and warmer days to come. Several long stalked flowers grow from the centre of a rosette of wrinkled toothed leaves. April 19th is Primrose Day in honour of the late Victorian Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli as it was his favourite flower. Daffodils have a single flowered stem and are surrounded at the base by a sheath of bluish-green leaves. In the bud stage the blossom stands erect, but as it opens it becomes almost horizontal and turns towards the light. The large yellow trumpet is welcome to the few insects that are around at that time of year. In the daytime the honey and wild bees are attracted to the flower for nectar, and at night moths are able to see the pale yellow blossoms quite easily.