Wednesday 31 October 2018

2019 Calendars

The Tice's Meadow Nature Reserve 2019 calendars are now available to pre-order.

These full colour, glossy wall calendars feature only photos taken at Tice's Meadow in 2018, showing a wide variety of the site's wildlife, along with some of the work we've been up to this year.

The calendars are £8 each (collect in person) or £9.50 each (posted).

All profits will be invested back into the nature reserve.

Please email your order to us ( and we'll let you know how & when to pay.

Pre-orders close on November 18th - don't miss out!

Massive thanks to Jort Brough for designing and laying-out the calendars. And thanks to all the photographers for sharing their amazing photos.

Sunday 21 October 2018

A Winning Project

Press Release

Tice's Meadow Nature Reserve

Quarry Life Award Win

A group of local volunteers in Badshot Lea are celebrating having won second prize and a cheque for £2,200 in an international conservation competition.

The Tice's Meadow Bird Group constructed a Biodiversity Trail at the Badshot Lea nature reserve as their entry into the 2018 edition of the Quarry Life Awards - a biennial competition run by Heidelberg Cement which showcases the best conservation, research and community projects conducted in their quarries around the world.

Andy Duncan of Hanson Presents the Award to Richard Seargent & Richard Horton
The Biodiversity Trail is a 1.5 mile long circular self-guided walk around the site, taking in a cross-section of habitats and conservation projects, and represents a £10,000 investment in infrastructure on site, to provide for both visitors to site and the site's wildlife.

The Biodiversity Trail & Site Map

The volunteers installed 16 waymarker posts to guide visitors along the trail and 6 benches for visitors to rest on and enjoy the views. Signs were installed at each site entrance, containing a map of the site and the site rules and contact details. The main site entrance also got a large combined map and noticeboard unit as well as a large sign on the main gate. Six interpretation panels have been installed along the trail route, educating and engaging visitors with the site's wildlife and history.

An Interpretation Panel

A Woodland Bird Feeding Station was built by the volunteers using timber salvaged from the recent traveller incursion and fly-tipping. The bird feeders have proven popular with both the local birds and visitors to site, with the viewing screen having had to be extended twice to accommodate the number of users.

Visitors at the Woodland Bird Feeding Station

An innovative Swift Tower, with nesting space for 11 pairs of endangered Swifts, was erected in the meadow on an 8m tall telegraph pole, donated and erected by Scottish & Southern Electricity Networks. The Swift Tower has an ingenious solar powered calling device, which will play Swift calls during the breeding season to attract the first new tenants.

The Swift Tower

Pupils from Badshot Lea Village Infants School painted 30 wooden butterflies and dragonflies which have been displayed along the trail. A number of bug hotels were built by the cub scouts from 2nd Aldershot and 5th Farnborough packs, whilst Duke of Edinburgh students from Badshot Lea helped build a hibernacula for hibernating reptiles.

The Hibernacula

A site leaflet has been designed and printed, and handed out to visitors and displayed in local tourist information points. The leaflet contains a large site map, details of how to get to site, contact details and information about the site's wildlife.

Community engagement activities have taken place for local groups including: Bells Piece (Leonard Cheshire Disability), Surrey Bird Club, Farnham U3A, Milford U3A, Badshot Lea Village Infants School, 12th Farnham (Wrecclesham) Cub Scouts, 2nd Aldershot Cub Scouts, 5th Farnborough Cub Scouts, Aldershot, Fleet & Farnham Camera Club and Rushmoor Borough Councillors.

Pupils from Badshot Lea Village Infants School and the QLA Judges

Following consultation with disabled visitors and “Birding for All”, the trail was designed to start and finish at an accessible RADAR gate and the benches were spaced along the route at the recommended intervals to cater for visitors with limited mobility. Wheelchair user level viewing slots were added to the woodland feeding station screen, and the interpretation panels and benches were positioned so as to be useable by wheelchair users.

Distinguished Guests on a New Bench

The project was funded with generous seed funding from Hanson, which attracted further grants from the National Lottery's Big Lottery Fund and the Surrey Bird Club. Logistical support and donations of materials were gratefully received from SSE Networks, P.C. Landscapes and Advanced Tree Services.

Anthony George & PC Landscapes in Action

Tice's Meadow Bird Group Chairman Richard Horton said “the Biodiversity Trail has been a massive success, with increased numbers of visitors to site, increased visitor satisfaction recorded, more new habitats created for the site's wildlife and a welcome increase in the recording and reporting of site biodiversity. We believe we have succeeded in our mission of “connecting the quarry with the local community” and crucially, we have attracted a number of new volunteers to our group”.

"We are so grateful to Hanson and Heidelberg Cement for inviting us to enter the Quarry Life Awards, and for recognising our volunteers' efforts with a generous cheque. I'd also like to thank the National Lottery players who have helped fund this grant through their playing of the National Lottery. And finally, this project would never have happened without the sterling efforts of our volunteers who have achieved a massive amount of good work over the past year."

The Certificate, Trophy & Cheque

Our final QLA report: link
Our final QLA presentation: link
For more information about the Quarry Life Awards:

Sunday 14 October 2018

Tuesday 28th August to Sunday 14th October

Sorry for the delay in updating the blog - it's been a bit busy at Tice's this past 6 weeks as we have been building our shelter and preparing for the QLA Awards.

Tuesday 28th August

Oli's trail-cam captured the following nocturnal happenings over the past week:

Wednesday 29th August

Murray Nurse: Whinchat.

Dina Burford photographed a colour-ringed Kestrel. Mark Elsoffer subsequently confirmed the code as "JT". This bird was ringed by Jeremy Gates in a brood of 2, on 01/06/18, at Lower Hale, 1km west of Tice's Meadow.

(c) Dina Burford - Ringed Kestrel
(c) Murray Nurse - Whinchat

Thursday 30th August

Mark Elsoffer: 2 Common Sandpiper, Ringed Plover, 4 Great Crested Grebe, Little Egret, Bar-headed Goose, Swan Goose, Whinchat, Stonechat, 3 Kestrel, Sparrowhawk, 9 Buzzard, 5 Red Kite & 2 Hobby.

Len Winchcombe has been busy building hurdles (made with hazel harvested on site) to fill the gaps in the dead hedge around the Woodland Feeding Station.

(c) Mark Elsoffer - Lord Len's New Hurdle

Friday 31st August

Mark Elsoffer: 5 Common Sandpiper, 2 Little Egret, Wigeon, 4 Great Crested Grebe, Whinchat, Stonechat, Wheatear, Yellow Wagtail, Tawny Owl, 5 Buzzard & Red Kite.

Dave Baker: Wigeon.

Richard Horton: Bar-headed Goose, Swan Goose & 2 Hobby.

Richard Seargent: Green Sandpiper.

A monthly moth trapping session was held this evening. Five new species for the site were caught:
- Clay Triple-lines (Cyclophora linearia).
- Copper Underwing (Amphipyra pyramidea).
- Dusky Thorn (Ennomos fuscantaria).
- Lime-speck Pug (Eupithecia centaureata).
- Vine's Rustic (Hopldrina ambigua).

Moth Trapping Results
(c) David Glew - Common Darter
(c) Richard Seargent - Angle Shades

Saturday 1st September

Richard Seargent: Little Egret, Wigeon, 3 Whinchat, Stonechat & Garden Warbler.

Eight volunteers from the Tice's Meadow Bird Group attended the Wellesley Woodlands BioBlitz today. We ran a moth trap on site the previous night, and displayed the moths during the day. Richard Horton lead a bird walk around the site in the afternoon.

(c) Susan Renaud - Wasp Spider
(c) Susan Renaud - Small Copper
(c) Susan Renaud - Common Lizards

Sunday 2nd September

Dave Baker: 2 Snipe, Little Egret, 28 Teal, 2 Shoveler, Bar-headed Goose, Swan Goose, Kingfisher, Grey Wagtail, 3 Whinchat, Stonechat, 2 Wheatear, 5 Yellow Wagtail, Willow Warbler, 7 Sand Martin, Raven (outside) & Hobby.

Richard Seargent: 2 Common Sandpiper, Green Sandpiper & Grey Wagtail.

Peter Brown: Swallow & 3 Buzzard

(c) Anthony George - Bee
(c) Anthony George - Blue Tit
(c) Anthony George - Buzzard

Monday 3rd September

No reports.

Tuesday 4th September

No reports.

Wednesday 5th September

Peter Brown: Bar-headed Goose, Swan Goose, Great Black-backed Gull, Wheatear, Stonechat & 2 Hobby.

Len Winchcombe: Whinchat.

Thursday 6th September

Mark Elsoffer: Common Sandpiper, Green Sandpiper, Little Egret, 4 Great Crested Grebe, Bar-headed Goose, Swan Goose, Common Gull, Kestrel, Sparrowhawk, 2 Red Kite, 6 Buzzard, 2 Hobby & Peregrine.

Peter Brown: Whinchat.

Oli: Barn Owl.

Steve Minhinnick: Willow Warbler & Blackcap.

Friday 7th September

Richard Horton: Kingfisher, Wheatear, Stonechat & Hobby.

Saturday 8th September

Mark Elsoffer: 2 Common Sandpiper, 2 Green Sandpiper, 2 Wheatear, 2 Stonechat, 600+ Sand Martin, Peregrine & Hobby.

The count of 600+ Sand Martin is a new site record.

Thank you to the 11 volunteers who gave up their morning to cut a fire break in the reed bed, empty the container, move the trailer and measure up for the new shelter.

(c) Anthony George - Peregrine
(c) Anthony George - The Red Arrows
(c) Anthony George - Starlings
(c) Mark Elsoffer - General Patton's Victory Parade Through Newly Liberated Badshot Lea

Sunday 9th September

John Hunt: Redshank, 57 Teal, 3 Gadwall, 2 Shoveler, Wheatear, Stonechat, 50+ House Martin, 50+ Sand Martin & 3 Kestrel (juvs).

The Tice’s Meadow Bird Group provided six marshalls for the Farnham Rotary Pilgrim’s Marathon this morning, in recognition of the generous support that Farnham Weyside Rotary Club have provided us with.

(c) John Hunt - Wheatear
(c) Mark Elsoffer - Volunteer Marathon Marshals

Monday 10th September

Richard Horton: 22 Grey Heron.

The count of 22 Grey Heron is a new site record.

Tuesday 11th September

No reports.

Wednesday 12th September

Mark Elsoffer: 5 Common Sandpiper, Snipe, 4 Great Crested Grebe, Common Gull, Wheatear, Blackcap, 2 Sedge Warbler, Grey Wagtail, 2 Tawny Owl, 2 Kestrel, 3 Buzzard & Red Kite.

Roger Dickey caught, and released, a Brown Long-eared Bat in the bird ringing nets.

Members of the Tice's Meadow Bird Group, Army Ornithological Society and Royal Navy Birdwatching Society camped on site for 2 nights and held a bird ringing session. 161 birds were ringed over the 48 hours.

Full grown Pulli Retraps / Recoveries Total
Kingfisher 1 0 0 1
Sand Martin 1 0 0 1
Swallow 25 0 0 25
Wren 3 0 0 3
Dunnock 8 0 3 11
Robin 1 0 3 4
Blackbird 4 0 0 4
Song Thrush 4 0 0 4
Sedge Warbler 10 0 0 10
Reed Warbler 6 0 0 6
Lesser Whitethroat 1 0 0 1
Blackcap 14 0 1 15
Chiffchaff 27 0 0 27
Long-tailed Tit 9 0 0 9
Blue Tit 23 0 3 26
Great Tit 7 0 1 8
Goldfinch 3 0 0 3
Bullfinch 1 0 0 1
Reed Bunting 2 0 0 2
Total 150 0 11 161

(c) Mark Elsoffer - Roger & Andrew Ringing
(c) Mark Elsoffer - Roger & Andrew Ringing

Thursday 13th September

Mark Elsoffer: Common Sandpiper, Golden Plover, Snipe, 4 Great Crested Grebe, Stonechat, Blackcap, 2 Sedge Warbler, 300+ Swallow, Raven, 2 Tawny Owl, 2 Kestrel, Sparrowhawk, 8 Buzzard, 5 Red Kite & 2 Hobby.

Roger Dickey: Kingfisher & Lesser Whitethroat.

The count of 300+ Swallow is a new site record.

Cub Scouts from 12th Wrecclesham were given a guided tour of the site this evening, as was the deputy head of the local secondary school.

(c) Steve Minhinnick - Kingfisher
(c) Steve Minhinnick - Kingfisher
(c) Steve Minhinnick - Kingfisher
(c) Mark Elsoffer - 12th Wrecclesham Cubs Watching the Ringing
(c) Mark Elsoffer - 12th Wrecclesham Cubs Watching the Ringing

Friday 14th September

Mark Elsoffer: Yellow Wagtail, Kestrel, Buzzard & Red Kite.

(c) Mark Elsoffer - Don't Bother Washing Up
(c) Mark Elsoffer - Roger & Slasher Ringing

Saturday 15th September

No reports.

Sunday 16th September

(c) Anthony George - Nuthatch
(c) Anthony George - Sunflower

Monday 17th September

Andy Little: Hobby.

John Eglington fitted the ground anchor brackets on our new shelter today.

(c) Richard Horton - John Fitting the Brackets

Tuesday 18th September

Peter Brown: Little Egret, Swan Goose, 41 Collared Dove, 50+ Sand Martin, 3 Kestrel, 2 Red Kite, Peregrine (juv) & Hobby.

The count of 41 Collared Dove is a new site record.

Richard Horton, Leonard Winchcombe, Oli and John Eglington fitted the metal flooring on our new shelter today.

(c) Richard Horton - John Fitting the Metal Flooring

Wednesday 19th September

No reports.

Thursday 20th September

Cub Scouts from 12th Wrecclesham were given a guided tour of the site this evening.

Friday 21st September

Mark Elsoffer & Richard Horton: Osprey.

Mark Elsoffer: 43 Greylag Goose, Little Egret, Chiffchaff, 200+ House Martin, Sand Martin, Kestrel, Buzzard, Red Kite & Hobby.

This is only the 8th recorded sighting of Osprey on site, but the 6th in the past 2 years.

Four volunteers prepared the shipping container for it's impending move this morning.

(c) Dina Burford - Juvenile Collared Dove

Saturday 22nd September

Mark Elsoffer: 2 Green Sandpiper, Little Egret, Wigeon, 200 House Martin & 24 Sand Martin.

Dave Baker: Tree Pipit, 20 Skylark & 100+ Meadow Pipit.

Tree Pipit is the 130th species of bird recorded on site this year.

This is only the 9th recorded sighting of Tree Pipit on site.

After almost 18 months of planning and delays, we finally moved our shipping container into place today so that we could begin the conversion into a shelter on Horton's Mound. Full write-up here.

(c) Mark Elsoffer - Almost There!

Sunday 23rd September

No reports.

Monday 24th September

Richard Horton: 2 Cattle Egret.

Peter Brown: 5 House Martin, Raven, Peregrine, Red Kite, 2 Kestrel & 10 Buzzard.

This is the first recorded sighting of Cattle Egret on site. Cattle Egret is the 190th species of bird recorded on site, and the 131st species of bird recorded on site this year.

This is the eighth Surrey record (seventh in the last two years, pending acceptance) and the second Surrey record of multiple birds.

(c) Dave Carlsson - Cattle Egret
(c) Dave Carlsson - Cattle Egret
(c) Dave Carlsson - Cattle Egret
(c) Dave Carlsson - Cattle Egret
(c) Dave Carlsson - Cattle Egret
(c) Dina Burford - Small Copper
(c) Kev Campbell - Nuthatch

Tuesday 25th September

27 members of local U3A and WI groups enjoyed a guided tour around site today.

(c) Peter Brown - Group Visit
(c) Peter Brown - Group Visit
(c) Dina Burford - Bullfinch

Wednesday 26th September

No reports.

Thursday 27th September

A huge thank you to the 17 members of staff from Surrey County Council's Highways Department who cleared a large amount of willow from the reed beds today.

(c) Michelle Rowland - SCC Staff Volunteers
(c) Michelle Rowland - SCC Staff Volunteers
(c) Michelle Rowland - SCC Staff Volunteers

Friday 28th September

Mark Elsoffer: Tawny Owl.

A monthly moth trapping session was held this evening. The session was curtailed by a short-circuiting generator.

Moth Trapping Results

Saturday 29th September

Richard Seargent: 4 Hobby (outside).

Peter Brown: Little Egret, 60+ Teal & 8 Stonechat.

This morning we gave a guided tour to councillors from Rushmoor Borough Council.

Sunday 30th September

John Hunt: 2 Green Sandpiper, 4 Snipe, 43 Teal, 23 Shoveler, 7 Gadwall, 4 Chiffchaff & 2 Swallow.

Richard Horton built the gabion roof edge baskets for our new shelter today,

(c) John Hunt - Green Sandpiper
(c) John Hunt - Snipe
(c) Richard Horton - Gabion Roof Edge Basket

Monday 1st October

No reports.

Tuesday 2nd October

No reports.

Wednesday 3rd October

Peter Brown: Chiffchaff, 4 Stonechat, 3 Kestrel, Red Kite & Buzzard.

Thursday 4th October

No reports.

Friday 5th October

Hugo Wilson: 2 Hobby & 3 Buzzard.

Eight volunteers took delivery of all of the materials for our new shelter's biodiverse roof today. Five different lorries were unloaded, and the materials taken across the meadow and stored for use on Sunday. The central joist was installed on the shelter roof and the joist centres marked out.

(c) Mark Elsoffer - Trailer Full of Timber
(c) Mark Elsoffer - Trailer Full of Roofing Materials
(c) Mark Elsoffer - Lunch Break
(c) Mark Elsoffer - Fitting the First Joist.

Saturday 6th October

Richard Seargent: Redwing.

Sunday 7th October

John Hunt: 5 House Martin.

Ten volunteers installed the remaining joists on the roof of our new shelter today, ready for the carpenters to finish tomorrow.

(c) Mark Elsoffer - Fitting the Joists
(c) Mark Elsoffer - Fitting the Joists
(c) Mark Elsoffer - Fitting the Joists
(c) Jort Brough - Fitting the Joists
(c) Dina Burford - Pheasant
(c) Dina Burford - Pheasant

Monday 8th October

Mark Elsoffer: Green Sandpiper, 5 Snipe, Little Egret, 4 Wigeon, 67 Greylag Goose, 2 House Martin, 54 Fieldfare, 175 Redwing, 42 Collared Dove, 3 Sparrowhawk, 3 Kestrel, 6 Red Kite, 12 Buzzard, Peregrine & Hobby.

Steve Minhinnick: 5 Snipe & Raven.

The count of 67 Greylag Goose is a new site record.

The count of 42 Collared Dove is a new site record.

Another very productive day on site. The third day out of the last four that our volunteers have worked on our new shelter - what a great bunch they are for giving up so much of their time to work on improving the nature reserve.

We started the day with Tom & Luke Horton helping us out. Their carpentry skills and power tools proved invaluable, and they quickly erected the gable ends, laid the roof deck and added the fascias and upstands. Thanks guys - without your help we would be coming back again tomorrow!

After lunch we laid the rubber liner and added the gutter trim, fascias and capping.

The structure is now finished. We will next be laying the substrate, adding the gabions and gutter, and planting the roof. More landscaping around the shelter, plus the invertebrate wall panels to be added at a later date, along with a bench, noticeboard and interpretation panel.

A huge thank you to all the volunteers who have worked on our new shelter over the past 4 days.

(c) Mark Elsoffer - Fitting the Deck
(c) Mark Elsoffer - Fitting the Deck
(c) Mark Elsoffer - Fitting the Fascia
(c) Mark Elsoffer - The Finished Deck

(c) Mark Elsoffer - Laying the Waterproof Liner
(c) Mark Elsoffer - The Waterproof Liner
(c) Mark Elsoffer - Fitting the Gutter Edge Trim
(c) Mark Elsoffer - The Gutter Edge Trim
(c) Mark Elsoffer - Finished Roof Structure
(c) Mark Elsoffer - Finished Roof Structure
(c) Mark Elsoffer - Rear View
(c) Mark Elsoffer - Front View
(c) Steve Minhinnick - Red Kite

Tuesday 9th October

No reports.

Wednesday 10th October

No reports.

Thursday 11th October

Mark Elsoffer: 2 Wigeon, 64 Teal, 95 Greylag Goose, Treecreeper, Grey Wagtail, 18 Fieldfare, 12 Redwing, Sparrowhawk, 2 Kestrel, 4 Buzzard & 2 Red Kite.

Richard Seargent: 2 Green Sandpiper.

The count of 95 Greylag Geese is a new site record.

Friday 12th October

Richard Seargent: 78 Teal, 96 Greylag Goose & Raven.

The count of 96 Greylag Geese is a new site record.

Saturday 13th October

Nineteen volunteers constructed the biodiverse roof on our new shelter today, as well as painting the shelter's interior. Read all about it here.

(c) Mark Elsoffer - Biodiverse Roof
(c) Mark Elsoffer - The Shelter

Sunday 14th October

Richard Seargent: 6 Wigeon, 32 Shoveler, 46 Tufted Duck, 18 Mallard, 12 Gadwall, 116 Teal & 12 Mute Swan.