Saturday, 22 September 2018

Our Shelter Arrives

What a day that was!

After 2 years of planning we finally moved our new shelter onto Horton's Mound today.

First off Anthony George laid out and levelled the foundations, which were then dug out. We have installed the shelter level with the ground so as to enable step-free access for disabled visitors.

We then moved the container onto Horton's Mound - amazing what Len can move on his barrow!

The shelter was fixed to the ground with 1m long spiral anchors. A soakaway was inserted along the front edge.

Over the next few weeks we will be constructing a wooden roof, holding a innovative biodiverse habitat full of wildflowers and habitats for invertebrates. We'll also give the shelter another coat of paint and plant bushes around it's edges.

A bench, noticeboard and interpretation panel will be installed inside the shelter.

Local schools and cub packs will be filling gabions with bug hotel materials, which will then be hung on the external walls to form invertebrate habitat panels.

Due to the rain, some of the footpaths, and the slope up Horton's Mound are a bit muddy, but this should soon dry out and we will be spreading grass seed over the worst areas. Sorry for any inconvenience, but it will be worth it to have a shelter for rainy days.

The shelter will soon blend into the environment, surrounded by new bushes, walls covered with invertebrate habitat panels and a flourishing biodiverse roof.

Massive thanks to everyone who helped today, and to PC Landscapes for donating materials, equipment and Anthony George.

Big thanks to Jort Brough for superbly catering for the workers.

A huge thanks to Jewson (Farnham Branch) for donating materials for the roof.

And thank you to the following for funding this project:
Blackwater Valley Countryside Trust, Aviva Community Fund, Greggs Foundation & Farnham Weyside Rotary Club - your support is much appreciated.

















Monday, 27 August 2018

Sunday August 12th to Monday August 27th

Quarry Life Awards

You can follow our progress in the Quarry Life Awards on our dedicated blog.


Sunday August 12th

Richard Seargent reported a Common Sandpiper and a Garden Warbler this morning.


Monday August 13th

(c) Dina Burford - Greenfinch
(c) Dina Burford - Nuthatch
(c) Dina Burford - Nuthatch
(c) Dina Burford - Slow Worm


Tuesday August 14th

Peter Brown reported 2 Little Egret, a Swallow, 2 Sand Martin and 2 House Martin today.


Wednesday August 15th

(c) Ben Fitzcosta - Fox
(c) Ben Fitzcosta - Fox
(c) Ben Fitzcosta - Little Egret
(c) Ben Fitzcosta - Little Egret
(c) Ben Fitzcosta - Moorhen


Thursday August 16th

No reports.


Friday August 17th

Mark Elsoffer reported 2 Common Sandpiper, 2 Green Sandpiper, a Snipe, 3 Little Egret, 10 Teal, 18 Sand Martin, 12 House Martin, 4 Swallow, 2 Kestrel, 8 Buzzard, 3 Red Kite, a Sparrowhawk and 3 Hobby today.

(c) Mark Elsoffer - Vapourer Moth Caterpillar


Saturday August 18th

Dave Baker reported a Little Egret, 2 Little Grebe and 3 Swift this morning.


Sunday August 19th

John Hunt reported a Common Sandpiper, 29 Lapwing, 3 Little Egret, 12 Teal, 2 Chiffchaff, 4 Swallow and a Hobby this morning.

In addition, Mark Elsoffer reported a Green Sandpiper, 2 Shoveler, a Swan Goose (escape), 50 House Martin, 20 Sand Martin, 70 Swift, a Sparrowhawk, a Peregrine, 8 Buzzard and 2 Kestrel today.

(c) John Hunt - Bullfinch



Monday August 20th

Carey Lodge reported a Sparrowhawk and a Peregrine today.

(c) Carey Lodge - Common Blue Butterfly
(c) Carey Lodge - Wasp Spider
(c) Carey Lodge - 22-Spot Ladybird
(c) Carey Lodge - Brown Argus


Tuesday August 21st

Peter Brown reported a Little Egret, 9 Teal, a Kestrel and 3 Buzzard today.

(c) Murray Nurse - Migrant Hawker


Wednesday August 22nd

No reports.


Thursday August 23rd

Mark Elsoffer reported a Common Sandpiper, a Little Egret, a Bar-headed Goose (escape), 10 Teal, a Whinchat, a Stonechat, a Swallow, a Kestrel and a Buzzard this afternoon.

Five volunteers met this morning to erect 20 of the new bat boxes purchased for our new Bats Project. Read more about it here.

(c) Mark Elsoffer - Bernard Erecting a Bat Box
(c) Mark Elsoffer - Bird and Bat Boxes
(c) Mark Elsoffer - Bernard Erecting a Bat Box


Friday August 24th

Murray Nurse reported a Common Sandpiper, a Green Sandpiper, a Little Ringed Plover, 2 Little Egret, a Bar-headed Goose (escape) and a Yellow Wagtail today.

In addition, Mike Huddie reproted 3 Swift today.


Saturday August 25th

Mark Elsoffer reported 2 Common Sandpiper, a Ringed Plover, a Little Egret, 14 Teal, 2 Shoveler, a Bar-headed Goose (escape), a Swan Goose (escape), 2 Whinchat, a Stonechat, a Coal Tit, a Willow Warbler, a Blackcap, a Swallow, 10 Sand Martin, 30 House Martin, 2 Swift, 4 Buzzard and a Red Kite today.

In addition, Richard Seargent reported a Hobby this morning.

Eight volunteers met this morning and built a bird bath / reflection pool / bug hotel at the woodland feeding station.

(c) Mark Elsoffer - Volunteers Hard at Work
(c) Mark Elsoffer - Volunteers Hard at Work
(c) Mark Elsoffer - Volunteers Hard at Work
(c) Mark Elsoffer - The (Almost) Finished Bird Bath


Sunday August 26th

Richard Seargent reported a Common Sandpiper, 33 Lapwing, 2 Little Egret, a Grasshopper Warbler, a Grey Wagtail, 2 Willow Warbler and a Stonechat this afternoon.

Grasshopper Warbler is the 129th species of bird recorded on site this year.

This is only the 5th recorded sighting of Grasshopper Warbler on site, and the first Autumn sighting.


Monday August 27th

Mark Elsoffer reported 3 Common Sandpiper, a Green Sandpiper, a Ringed Plover, 4 Little Egret, a Bar-headed Goose, a Swan Goose, a Great Black-backed Gull, 32 Collared Dove, 700+ House Martin, 50+ Sand Martin, 12 Swallow, 5 Swift, 2 Hobby, 3 Kestrel, a Sparrowhawk and 9 Buzzard today.

In addition, Richard Seargent reported 2 Dunlin, a Stonechat and a Whinchat this morning.

In addition, Dave Baker reported a Raven this afternoon.

The count of 32 Collared Dove is a new site record count.

The count of 700+ House Martin is a new site record count.

(c) Mark Elsoffer - Bar-headed & Swan Geese




Thursday, 23 August 2018

Press Release - New Homes for Bats in Badshot Lea

New Homes for Bats in Badshot Lea

The Tice's Meadow Bird Group, in partnership with the Surrey Bat Group, Farnham Town Council and the Blackwater Valley Countryside Trust, are pleased to announce details of our exciting new project to provide a suite of new homes for bats in the Badshot Lea area. 

The project has been funded by generous grants of £500 from Farnham Town Council's Community Grants Scheme, £500 from the Blackwater Valley Countryside Trust's Small Grants Scheme, and £1,000 from the Surrey Bat Group.

Thirty new bat boxes have been bought and erected in suitable locations at Tice's Meadow Nature Reserve. The new boxes are state-of-the-art designs in woodcrete – a mixture of wood, clay and concrete – which won't leak, warp or crack, and should last for 25 years. The nature reserve's existing Bat Cave (a re-used concrete conveyor belt base on an island in a lake) will also be upgraded with more boxes and crevices for bats.

Annual surveys of bat numbers on site will be conducted by licensed surveyors, and the results used to inform the habitat management efforts on the nature reserve. A number of night-time bat walks will also be organised for members of the local community to come and enjoy the bats living on their doorstep.

Five species of bat have been recorded at Tice's Meadow, with Common Pipistrelles and Noctules a regular sight on warm evenings, along with Soprano Pipistrelles and Daubenton's. Brown Long-eared bats were found to be using the Bat Cave as a winter hibernation site for the first time this year.

There are 18 species of bat in the UK, with 17 known to breed here – almost a quarter of all the mammal species in the UK. Bats are considered an “indicator species” - their population trends can indicate changes to biodiversity or habitat condition. Bats are also an important natural pest control, feasting on mosquitoes and crop damaging insects each night.

In the UK bats, and their roosts, are legally protected. All work on our project will be conducted by suitably trained and licensed personnel.

Richard Horton, Chairman of the Tice's Meadow Bird Group, said “this wonderful project is the beginning of a great partnership between ourselves, the Surrey Bat Group and the Blackwater Valley Countryside Trust, with generous financial assistance from Farnham Town Council. We are so grateful to our generous funders for making this project a reality, and helping provide so many new homes for bats on our nature reserve”.

Notes
The Blackwater Valley Countryside Trust was founded in 2006 by enthusiasts who care about the people and wildlife of the Blackwater Valley. A registered charity, with dedicated Trustees using their wide range of backgrounds to help conserve and improve the area's natural environment. This includes managing its countryside, and preserving its wildlife habitats and landscapes by making conservation projects happen. The Trust run a small grants scheme to fund projects by like-minded organisations in the Blackwater Valley. More details can be found here: www.bvct.org.uk/grants

The Surrey Bat Group's aims are:
  • To protect Surrey's bat populations, their roosts, hibernation sites, feeding grounds and flight lines.
  • To advise landowners, planners and the public how they can help conserve bats.
  • To assess and record the current status of bats in Surrey, and to monitor populations through survey work and scientific projects.
  • To create opportunities for an increase in Surrey's bat population.
For more information: www.surreybats.org.uk

Farnham Town Council administer a number of grant schemes that make funds available to organisations and projects in and around Farnham. The Town Council’s Policy on Community Grants is based on the principle of promoting the development of partnerships which encourage and enable local community organisations to deliver local projects to the residents of Farnham. 

For more information: www.farnham.gov.uk/services/grants


(c) Mark Elsoffer - Peter Modelling a New Bat Box
(c) Mark Elsoffer - Bat Box Opened Up
(c) Mark Elsoffer - Inside of a Bat Box
(c) Mark Elsoffer - Bernard Erecting a New Bat Box
(c) Mark Elsoffer - Bernard Erecting a New Bat Box
(c) Mark Elsoffer - New Bat Box and Bird Box
(c) Mark Elsoffer - Bernard Erecting a New Bat Box
(c) Mark Elsoffer - Bernard Erecting a New Bat Box
(c) Mark Elsoffer - Bernard Erecting a New Bat Box
(c) Mark Elsoffer - Bernard Erecting a New Bat Box
 




Tuesday, 21 August 2018

Press Release - New Tools for Tice's Meadow

New Tools for Tice's Meadow

Volunteers at Tice's Meadow Nature Reserve in Badshot Lea are celebrating the award of a £2,000 grant from Postcode Local Trust, a grant-giving charity funded entirely by players of People's Postcode Lottery, to purchase new tools and equipment.

The generous award from the Postcode Local Trust will enable the volunteers to purchase a whole suite of new hand tools, as well as a brush-cutter and other specialist tools for habitat management and conservation work parties, and the appropriate personal protective equipment.

Volunteers currently have to borrow, or supply their own, tools for use on site. Having a suite of their own tools will allow the group to expand their conservation activities and enable greater numbers of new volunteers to join in. New protective equipment will also enable the volunteers to continue to work safely on site.

Tice's Meadow is a new nature reserve in Badshot Lea, on the site of the former Farnham Quarry. The site is widely considered to be one of the best inland sites to watch birds in the south-east of England, with 192 species of bird having been recorded there over recent years. It is also a key local site for many species of butterflies, dragonflies, reptiles and amphibians, including many locally scarce and endangered species.

The Tice's Meadow Bird Group is a community lead group of local volunteers who help manage the nature reserve for the benefit of both wildlife and visitors. They spent over 2,000 hours volunteering on site in 2017 alone, with many exciting projects planned for 2018 including: a Biodiversity Trail, Woodland Bird Feeding Station, Swift Tower, Bird Watching Hide and Shelter. New volunteers, of all ages and experience, are always welcome to attend our work parties on the second and fourth Saturdays of each month.

Richard Horton, Chairman of the Tice's Meadow Bird Group, said “our volunteers will really benefit from the new tools and equipment – enabling us to work on more projects and accommodate more new volunteers. We have a great team at Tice's Meadow and are working on some really exciting projects. We are very grateful to the Postcode Local Trust and the players of People's Postcode Lottery for their generous support”.

For more information about Tice's Meadow Nature Reserve, including details of volunteering opportunities, please see our website: www.ticesmeadow.org

For more information about the Postcode Local Trust, including details of how to apply for a grant, please see their website: www.postcodelocaltrust.org.uk
 


(c) Mark Elsoffer - Volunteers Hard at Work at Tice's Meadow
(c) Mark Elsoffer - Volunteers Hard at Work at Tice's Meadow
(c) Colin Wilson - Volunteers Hard at Work at Tice's Meadow
(c) Mark Elsoffer - Volunteers Hard at Work at Tice's Meadow
(c) Mark Elsoffer - Volunteers Hard at Work at Tice's Meadow
(c) Mark Elsoffer - Volunteers Hard at Work at Tice's Meadow
(c) Mark Elsoffer - Volunteers Hard at Work at Tice's Meadow