The Noak Bridge
Nature Reserve Society
Newsletter - Summer 2017
Around the Reserve with the ChairmanHello. The Reserve is now really alive with wildlife and colour but to mar the enthusiasm we have had some irresponsible idiots deliberately leaving broken alcohol bottles around the Reserve, and also we had for a while a budding arsonist trying to set light to the Boardwalk. There have been three attempts so far. This last time they were very nearly successful. Now they have decided they do not like the hand posts provided to aid the less able to get on and off so they decided to break off the two at the meadow end of the board walk.
Also in March the "Water Safety Sign" inside the main gate was set alight. Some kind of accelerant may have been used as the sign is made of plastic. Someone has also been removing information and water safety notices from the ponds, and a dead hedge that we are erecting on the High Ridge has also been vandalised on two occasions. These mindless acts of vandalism are always upsetting, especially to the volunteers who give up their free time to work so hard to maintain this reserve for the good of the community.
Through all this I have thoroughly enjoyed the last five years as Chairman. They have been happy, if at times very frustrating with the spates of vandalism and loose dogs from over the way, though I did at one point firmly believe the problem with those loose dogs had gone away but it seemed to rear its ugly head again briefly in May. Late last year we did have for a while some mini motor bikes in the reserve, but a gentle word with the youngsters explaining the damage being caused to the wildlife habitat etc resolved that situation.
You may have seen some work going on clearing an area of ground by the concrete. This is for a new project that is taking place - more about that at the AGM and in the Autumn Newsletter. Talking of the AGM, this will be my last Newsletter report as Chairman as I will be standing down at the Annual General Meeting in July where I will give my very last Chairman's report, although I will be happy to stay on the Committee.
On the Work Party with the TreasurerWork Parties - March to June 2017
The first part of a dead hedge along part of the High Ridge has been constructed from branches of various sizes, and is being continued in following work parties.
A Ranger with a mechanical hedge cutter has trimmed the branches back around the Reserve. Many more branches have been trimmed around the reserve as the Spring growth continues after the high temperatures and some late rain, and the recent storm that blew through.
The long grass around the benches and alongside some of the paths has been cut back with our brush-cutter.
New posts and signs have been installed at the ponds warning of "Deep Water" and to leave the ponds undisturbed during the pond-life breeding season.
A review of many of the species in the reserve has been carried out along with many new dragonflies and damselflies.
The interpretation boards and notice boards have been cleaned, and litter has been picked up around the reserve as usual.
In the garden, especially if you have a bird feeding station, around the Village and in the Nature Reserve, you can't fail to see this lovely little bird -
The Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus)The blue tit is a living aeroplane of less than an ounce of fluff and a mixture of blue, yellow, white and green feathers. A resident in the UK, he can be seen all year round in gardens and woods. The darling of our gardens, a confident, perky little fellow who comes up to our windows and turns himself upside down to feast on the halved coconuts and pieces of fat and suet which we hang up for him.
This is the little rascal who insists on seeing what is inside the pod of a pea. Fending for himself he will feed on nuts and seeds aa well as insects and caterpillars.
Blue Tits usually have only one brood a year, around April/May, with both parents looking after the chicks. They will build their nest in holes in walls, trees and nest boxes. The nest is usually made up of a mixture of grass, moss, wool, feathers and hair. Their life expectancy is between 1 and 5 years, although many chicks die of starvation.
Our thanks go to Committee member Tina Steggles for putting our articles together.
AGMThe Annual General Meeting will be on Sunday 16th July 2017 at 3pm. The venue will be the Village Hall, Coppice Lane. We would love to see you all there - it is your Nature Reserve Society! We look forward to hearing your comments, both good and bad, and of course we have the Election of Officers and Committee Members for the coming year. The posts for Election are as follows:
ChairmanAll are welcome to stand for election to any of these posts.
Many thanks for your support