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The Noak Bridge




Nature Reserve Society

Newsletter  -  Autumn  2018

Dear All,

I hope that you had a lovely Summer, and that the period of extreme hot weather did not affect you too much.

The Annual General Meeting

The Society held its AGM in the Noak Bridge Village Hall, Coppice Lane on Sunday 8th July starting at 3pm. This not only takes time to set up but there is a cost implication to the Society.

On behalf of our membership I would like to thank all of the Committee for wishing to be re-elected so that they can continue to undertake their fine work in ensuring the continued protection and enhancement of the Reserve, which they carry out under the excellent guidance of our Basildon Borough Council Countryside Services Ranger Mark Williams.

A very big thank you goes to Jean & Alan Frost and Tina & Peter Steggles who provided the lovely after-meeting refreshments. It is with great disappointment that only fifteen people attended, and this number included ten Committee Members and our Countryside Services Ranger Mark Williams.

As a Society we have a Constitution that must be adhered to and this includes the holding of an annual AGM, at which an election of officers and committee members shall take place for the next year's officers. The Committee welcomes any feedback regarding the timing of the AGM. Your Society must do what is required to ensure a stronger turnout at future AGM's, and we can only do this with your input. Please get involved.

Your Elected Officers and Committee Members for 2018–19 are:


       David Braithwaite
Laura Wright
Tony Garner
Alan Clements
Jean Frost
Alan Frost
John O’Shea
Tina Steggles
Peter Steggles
Tim Wright


Around the Reserve

On my many strolls through the Reserve this Summer I am amazed at how well it has held up during the very long period of high temperatures.

Plant and vegetation growth appears to be ok, along with the vibrant colours which would be expected at this time of year.

The major downside to the heat and lack of rainfall is that our ponds have suffered to an extent which I cannot recall ever seeing.

On my last visit, Rosebay, Willow, Prewers and Fox were completely dry, and Puckles, which up to a few months ago had made a very good recovery, is now showing a greatly reduced water level.

However Meadow is showing the most retained water level along with its full array of plant life which is very pleasing on the eye.

Wishing you all continued enjoyment within your Nature Reserve.

David Braithwaite


Creeping thistle (Cirsium arvense) found in the Nature Reserve

This thistle is often a troublesome weed and is abundant all over Britain in fields, roadsides and waste places. It flowers July to September and its upright stems form large clumps which grow to around one metre with pinkish-lilac florets.

The flowers of the creeping thistle have a sweet, musky odour which is most attractive to butterflies, including the rare painted lady. In midsummer, clouds of butterflies of many types can be seen feeding from the flowers of this thistle, and they are the usual pollinators of the plant. Most plants of the creeping thistle produce only male or female flowers. In order for seed to be produced, male and female plants have to be growing close enough together for a butterfly to be able to transfer pollen from one to the other.

     creeping thistle

This thistle does not depend only on seed for reproduction however, but also spreads by means of the creeping root system, which sends up new plants some distance away from the parent plant. This causes problems for farmers and gardeners who find the thick, white growth hard to eradicate as it is resistant to weed-killers and very hard to dig up.

Creeping thistle is sometimes attacked by the thistle gall fly, which lays its eggs in the stem near the top of the plant. The plant then produces an oval gall, or swelling, around the eggs. There are several chambers within the gall, each containing a single egg. A larva emerges from each hatched egg.

This article was researched by Tina Steggles.


On the Work Party with the Treasurer - June to August 2018

Grass around the benches has been cut with the brushcutter, and grass has been cut with a mechanical mower alongside most of the paths, and the grass was cleared away.

Some manual trimming and clearing away branches of the trees and bushes has been carried out around the reserve.

While the water levels are so low there has been litter picking in three ponds, Prewers, Willow and Rosebay, with two bags of litter collected. The other ponds will be cleared in future. Litter has been picked from around the reserve.

It was pleasing to see in August that solitary bees have laid eggs in nests in the hollow bamboo tubes on the side of the container. They can lay between 1 and 20 eggs.

As usual, there are a number of photos taken during Work Parties on our  Facebook page.

Tony Garner


Your Winter Newsletter is due in December 2018


Helping to protect Noak Bridge Nature Reserve


Your Support Is Greatly Appreciated

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email contact - info@nbnrs.org.uk
last updated - 4 September 2018
URL - http://www.nbnrs.org.uk/news1808/index.html