The Noak Bridge
Nature Reserve Society
Newsletter - Autumn 2017
Around the ReserveWe held our AGM on Sunday 23rd July in the Village Hall. It was attended by twenty one people. Ray Batty our Chairman stood down after seven years at the helm. The Chair's position was taken up by David Braithwaite who we are confident will do a great job.
David was at the forefront of obtaining the funding for our new container now sitting in the Reserve. This will be used to store our work party tools and aid us in getting to any urgent jobs at any time. It is due to be ECO clad within the next few weeks, weather permitting. The Container funding came from Basildon Council supported by a grant of £2,440 from the Noak Bridge Parish Council and a donation of £200 from a Christmas Coffee Morning event held in the Village Hall last year.
We have had some incidents of vandalism which is always downheartening. Our new dead hedge along the High Ridge has suffered several attempts to dismantle it by pulling the stakes out. Putting a notice on it seemed to halt things for a while, but the other day I found a stake is missing again.
Around the dried out Fox Pond ten logs from the trees that were felled had been taken by a person or persons around to Meadow Pond. One had been thrown into the pond and the rest left scattered on The Boardwalk. A visually impaired lady could have been seriously injured not seeing these logs. Thankfully her dog stopping when they reached them saving her from harm.
The remains of an encampment have recently been found in the woodland. They will be removed in due course.
On the Work Party - July to September 2017The dead hedge along part of the High Ridge has been progressed with more branches of various sizes added during and between Work Parties. We will be extending it in October.
Two bags of fine gravel have been added to the Spanish Steps as it had settled with use.
The storm that blew through on Friday 29th July brought down one trunk of four growing from the same stem which had fallen across the High Ridge. It was cut down the next day, and the other three trunks were cut down as a precaution at the following Work Party. Branches were trimmed the day after the storm and torrential rain on Wednesday August 9th. It was very pleasing to note that although roads in the area were flooded, including the A176 under the A127 at the Noak Bridge junction which was closed for many hours, the Reserve had no floods or even big puddles thanks to our project for contractors to replace some paths and improve others, and then have volunteers maintain them at the Work Parties.
Many more branches have been trimmed around the reserve, especially by The Boardwalk, as the late Summer growth continued after the rain, and more were trimmed to clear the paths after the strong winds overnight Tuesday/Wednesday September 12/13th.
A review of many of the species in the reserve has been carried out and some new dragonflies and damselflies to the reserve have been seen. The list of sightings on our website has been updated.
The interpretation boards and notice boards have been cleaned, and litter has been picked up around the reserve as usual.
On this month's work party on the 19th September, assistants from Wat Tyler Country Park joined some of our volunteers to work on the Wet / East Meadow to rake the cut grass. The next day a couple of our volunteers returned to help finish clearing the raking up. A tractor was used to clear the heaps of grass. It then continued to cut the other large grass areas.
What do Wasps do for us?The common wasp (Vespula vulgaris), unlike the European honey bee, makes no honey. They perform no direct service for man, but they are indirectly valuable servants, in as much as they kill tremendous numbers of flies and other insects hurtful to us. It has been found that the inmate workers of a small wasp nest brought home daily no fewer than 2000 flies, a number which might safely be multiplied by 10 as the season advances and more flies appear.
We also have to remember that wasps do great injury to growing fruit. They sometimes run amok among horses and cattle and drive them to madness and death, and when they sting us it is very painful.