News archive: March 2001

Narroways Millennium Green Trust meetings are held once a month in the St Werburghs area -The next meeting is at 8.00 p.m. on Tuesday 6th March 2001 at The Miners Arms on Mina Rd., St Werburghs. All are welcome.

Wildlife Observations

Two Pheasants were seen in the allotments near the entrance to Narroways on 10th January 2001. There was another Kingfisher sighting by the stream near Boiling Wells Lane on 15th January 2001, a Sparrowhawk flew above the tunnel over Mina Road with snow on the ground on 28th December 2000 and the scent of foxes noticeable near Simon’s Grove in recent months. A flock of 7 Jays were also seen in Simon’s Grove on 16th January 2001.

Things are starting to happen at last in the way of site improvements – everything planned is to promote wildlife and to keep the natural atmosphere of Narroways but to make it a little more accessible to people walking there. We planted nearly a 100 trees near the mainline railway fence on 17th February. (Thanks to an energetic bunch of volunteers). There is hawthorn, wild service tree, crab apple and spindle amongst other native plants and it should provide a good screen and great habitat for birds. We are having camouflaged steps put in where there are now just muddy slopes and we are fencing off the site from nearby houses. There will be other minor alterations in the future – let us know what you think.

A new book has just been published, -The Flora of the Bristol Region. It is an excellent piece of work and hugely detailed. Narroways gets a couple of mentions ? on page 14 – Corky-Fruited Water Dropwort has a very restricted range nationally but is remarkably abundant in a field next to St Werburghs Church. On page 187 Knapweed Broomrape, a parasite found on Greater Knapweed that has always been very rare in the Bristol region. Now only known from Narroways Junction (and one other site).

Ashley Vale Action Group (AVAG) has now applied for planning permission for their self-build housing project. Plans are still viewable at the city planning office. As a neighbouring community initiative NMGT welcomes AVAG as the developer of the site.

Narroways hill is used occasionally by other groups but the trustees should be contacted (via St Werburghs City Farm or our email address) for any organised group activities (beyond the usual dog walking, blackberrying, picnicing, sledging, didgeridoo playing sort of stuff) The main reason is to preserve the wild environment and protect the wildlife there.

Railtrack were up on the railway embankment in January clearing trees from near the line with an enormous bulldozer which just tore and ripped any trees in the way leaving broken branches. Still, nature has remarkable powers of recovery.

out of control bulldozer on the embankment

The Woodland Trust are doing another survey of ‘Nature’s Calendar’ – this time they want people to record the exact dates of significant natural events in the Spring (first butterflies, plants in flower etc.) If you want to take part try theWoodland Trust website.

Continued thanks to Sweet, Hemmings, The Millennium Commission and The Countryside Agency for funding for site improvements.

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