The Noak Bridge
Nature Reserve Society
Newsletter - Summer 2018
The Annual General MeetingThis year's Meeting will be held in the Village Hall, Coppice Lane on Sunday 8th July starting at 3pm. The Committee look forward to seeing you and hearing your views be they complimentary or constructive. Our AGM is also the time for the Election of Officers and Committee Members for the coming year.
The posts for Election are as follows:
You are all welcome to stand for election to any of these posts - as are existing Committee Members.
Light refreshments will be provided at the end of the AGM during which time we can all gather to further discuss our dreams and ambitions for The Reserve.
Around the Reserve with the ChairmanSince our last Newsletter The Reserve has sprung into life, all the different glowing colours and varying bird song - the dawn chorus is absolutely magnificent, this considering that we are only a stone’s throw away from a major trunk road, the A127 and yet we are all able to retreat into the Reserve for our much sought after solitude.
Our ECO Container is nearing completion with the "Planted Biodiverse Roof and Habitation Panels" having been recently installed - how lovely they make the container look.
When you walk down the main entrance road (Plot Lands Way) from the Eastfield Road entrance you are now greeted by this modern structure which has been adapted to blend in and provide new accommodation for our inhabitants of the Reserve - this in my opinion is absolutely marvellous. The intention in time is to make this an area where children will be encouraged along with their parents to investigate the number of diverse insects who will now call this home.
During this last year one of my concerns has been the very low water levels within our ponds. However I am pleased to report that Willow Pond for the first time this year has water within its whole length and is looking resplendent again, Rosebay, Puckles and Meadow POnds are retaining their previously recorded levels, and Fox has gone from being virtually dry to having a level which is most pleasing to the eye.
On Sunday 13th May a guided bird walk was given by our Ranger Mark Williams which was very informative and enjoyable. However it was disappointing that the turnout was not as high as had been hoped - but thank you Mark for providing the information which those who attended gained, and I cannot wait for the next walk.
Unfortunately it seems that I cannot end a Newsletter without mentioning dog poo. As previously mentioned it is disgusting that certain owners do not clear up after their pets leaving any parent who is trying to encourage their young child to enjoy The Reserve, along with a younger sister or brother who may well be in a buggy, to endure a horrible wheel cleaning up process when returning home or to their car before the buggy can be stored within the car or allowed into the home. THIS IS TOTALLY UNACCEPTABLE. How can we as a Society try to encourage the next generation when we ask them to go through this. Please help me find a SUSTAINABLE SOLUTION.
Please enjoy your summer within the Reserve.
A species our ECO Container hopes to attract is the Solitary BeeSolitary bees make up the largest percentage of the bee population, with 90% of bees being in the solitary category. There are about 250 species of solitary bee in Great Britain and 20,000-30,000 different species worldwide, including mason bees, leafcutter bees, mining bees, white faced bees, carder bees, digger bees and many more.
As the name suggests, solitary bees are lone bees, which means they do not belong to a colony. Only the female solitary bee has a sting, which is very feeble compared to other bees, and will only ever sting you if you handle them roughly or pose a threat to them.
Being loners, solitary bees fly around by themselves and do not attack in swarms or groups like some other types of bees. Generally, they are absolutely harmless. Solitary bees do not even bother to protect their own nests.
Solitary bees create nests in hollow reeds or twigs, holes in wood, or, most commonly, in tunnels in the ground. The female solitary bee typically creates a compartment (a 'cell') with an egg and some provisions for the resulting larva, then seals it off. A nest may consist of numerous cells. When the nest is in wood, usually the last cells (those closer to the entrance) contain eggs that will become males. The adult solitary bee does not provide care for the brood once the egg is laid and usually dies after making one or more nests. The males typically emerge first and are ready for mating when the females emerge. Providing nest boxes for solitary bees is increasingly popular for gardeners.
Solitary bees are either stingless or very unlikely to sting (only in self-defence, if ever). While solitary females each make individual nests, some species are gregarious, preferring to make nests near others of the same species, giving the appearance to the casual observer that they are social bees.
Large groups of solitary bee nests are called aggregations, to distinguish them from colonies. In some species, multiple females share a common nest, but each makes and provisions her own cells independently. This type of group is called 'communal' and is not uncommon. The primary advantage appears to be that a nest entrance is easier to defend from predators and parasites when there are multiple females using that same entrance on a regular basis. Each cell will be stocked up with ample pollen and nectar to feed the solitary bee's offspring when they are born. She will lay one egg in each of the cells, seal it up and then fly away.
Solitary bees are very interesting to watch. You can see them regularly in your garden busying about, pollinating flowers and looking very efficient. Solitary bees are important pollinators and pollen is gathered for provisioning the nest with food for their brood. Often it is mixed with nectar to form a paste-like consistency.
Some solitary bees have very advanced types of pollen-carrying structures on their bodies. A very few species of solitary bees are being increasingly cultured for commercial pollination. Solitary bees are often oligoleges (bees that exhibit a narrow, specialized preference for pollen sources), in that they only gather pollen from one or a few species/genera of plants (unlike honey bees and bumblebees which are generalists). Oligolectic bees will visit multiple plants for nectar, but there are no bees which visit only one plant for nectar while also gathering pollen from many different sources.
This article was researched by Tina Steggles.
Our marvellous Container
the wood eco cladding and Planted Biodiverse Roof and Habitation Panels
on the sunny side from a view that few people will see
the newly-installed Planted Biodiverse Roof (which should need no maintenance)
On the Work Party with the Treasurer - March to May 2018Signs have been put up at ponds asking people to keep their dog out of the water during the breeding season to avoid disturbing frogs, newts and many other species of pond life.
The drainage ditch for Puckles pond has been cleared of leaves and branches again, an occasional task that is required. Separately, drain rods were needed to clear a long pipe that takes the water from the end of the ditch under the path and into the brook that eventually feeds through tributaries into the River Crouch.
The natural fence along part of the High Ridge has been extended further with more posts and branches.
Mechanical cutters have been used to cut back the growth of plants overhanging the path along the High Ridge and other paths, and volunteers completed the task and cleared away the cut plants.
There has been some manual trimming and clearing away branches around the reserve as the trees and bushes have grown so much with plenty of rain followed by hot and sunny weather.
Helping to protect Noak Bridge Nature Reserve