Jean Stowe reports that a project undertaken in early August by the Western Reserves group was timely for the Trust’s 20th Anniversary.
Chris Topper had a list of flowers and grasses found in Heath Road, dating from before 1999. The time of year of the survey wasn’t stated. Revisiting the same stretch of road, from the cross roads in the south to the water station further north (nearer Helpston village) permitted changes in the biodiversity to be assessed.
The results were encouraging. The pre-1999 list consisted of 140 species. In 2019 all but 27 species were refound. To balance this there were about 17 new records. This means that the shortfall over 20 years was about 10 species. Given factors such as timing of the two surveys, this seems very little indeed.
Full details of the survey can be found in the surveys area of this website here
There’s a chance for you to be involved in helping with an exploration of a lost ‘manor house’ site in Ufford.
The next Langdyke History and Archaeology Group (HAG) event at the venue is over the weekend of February 23 and 24.
During the weekend the group activity will include a survey and test pitting examination of an area of woodland in the north end of Ufford parish, which appears to be the site of a manor house abandoned in the late 1600’s and now completely hidden above ground.
This will be the group’s first visit to what may well become a major project. All help is welcome, regardless of whether you have done anything like this before with help and guidance on offer from the regular team.
Weather permitting, the visit is taking place at this time of the year because later on nettles will be covering the site.
Please dress according to the weather forecast as this is an outdoor activity.
Refreshments will be available, though a packed lunch is advised. Strong gloves are recommended. All tools and equipment will be supplied.
All welcome for one or both days. Please book your place with either Frieda Gosling on 01780 740343 or Mike Clatworthy on 01780 764062. Alternatively you can email Mike: firstname.lastname@example.org
It is always good to see new developments on our reserves – often as a result of the hard work put in by volunteers to encourage wildlife.
A welcome recent development has been the return of tree sparrows to Swaddywell Pit.
The tree sparrow is a close relative of our house sparrow, but a slightly tidier, prettier bird with a prominent chestnut cap and black cheek spot. At Swaddywell Pit there have been many sightings with up to nine on occasions using the bird feeders by the cabin.
When Langdyke established the reserve in 2005, flocks of more than 130 tree sparrows were recorded, but they had disappeared in recent years, so it is good to see them back.
They seem to have a tendency to population booms and busts, but let’s hope they stay for a while.
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