News archive: June 2001

Narroways Millennium Green Trust Meetingsare held once a month in the St Werburghs area -The next meeting is at 8.00 p.m. on Tuesday 12th June 2001 at The Miners Arms on Mina Rd., St Werburghs. All are welcome.

Wildlife Observations

An amazing 40 Slow Worms were discovered in a compost heap in Simon’s garden at Easter, and Slow Worms regularly seen under carpet on Lynmouth Road allotments. A Common Lizard was rescued from a cat here on 15th April. There were 7 Frogs uncovered when work was being done in the orchard.

A Badger was seen again by the kissing gate into Narroways by the Ashley Hill path in the evening around the 12th May. There was a dead Hedgehog on the allotments on 7th May and a dead Wood Mouse found near Lynmouth Road allotments on 13th May. 4 Bats (Pipistrelles?) were seen flying by the Ash Wood on Narroways at about 4.45 a.m. on 12th May, and a single Bat has been seen over Church Gardens and field at dusk since the start of June.

16 different bird species were heard calling on Narroways during the ‘Dawn Chorus Walk’ on 12th May (see news item). A pair of Blue Tits used a nesting box in Harry’s garden, raising at least 5 chicks which flew the nest on 3rd June. A Green Woodpecker was seen feeding on Narroways slopes on Easter Sunday (15th April). Long-tailed Tits were seen nest building near the Mina Road tunnel and many song birds calling this Spring. 29th April was a warm day that saw a couple of Swallows flying over Narroways and on the next day a Blackcap was singing near the gas lamp. Jan may have seen 2 pairs of Stonechats in Simon’s Grove on 12th May (to be confirmed). Swifts are back flying high over the hill since May. A Grey Wagtail was seen again near the stream by the gas lamp on 29th April.

First butterflies of the season seen in the area include a Small Tortoiseshell on the Church Field on 21st April, an Orange Tip over Lynmouth Road allotments on 29th April, 7th May, 12th May, Speckled Woods by steps at New Barn Site on 29th April, Peacock on Lynmouth Road allotments on 7th May. A Brimstone butterfly was also seen recently over allotments and a female Broad bodied Chaser dragonfly near local pond.

Site Improvements.The first stage is mainly finished – just some fencing repairs to be done by Dan and his dad by the Church Field on 21st July. Sadly some young vandals pulled out a lot of the trees planted on the hill. We will try to replace them at some point (with some nicer kids!) We are now looking to produce some attractive but heavy duty signs for the area.

Ashley Vale Community Wildlife Projectwill organise an extensive small mammal survey on Narroways and district in September this year so we can establish what species are here. They are also helping us to survey bats in the area and planning with us to produce a publication about the Natural History of the area – this may take some time.

Ashley Vale Action Group (AVAG) See website for latest developments.

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.

Dawn chorus walkers – barely awake

We held our firstDawn Chorus Walkthis year led by local wildlife expert Des Bowring. Ten people managed to drag themselves to the meeting point by St Werburghs Church/Climbing Centre at 4.00 a.m. on Saturday 12th May. It was an excellent and informative walk – Des pointed out over 16 different bird calls including Robin, Song Thrush, Blackbird, Wren, Great Tit, Blackcap, Wood Pigeon, Chiff Chaff, Whitethroat, Dunnock, Collared Dove, Chaffinch, Blue Tit, Long-tailed Tit, Willow Warbler & Magpie. See (Bird Sound Gallery) to hear the sound of particular birds. Lyn generously provided breakfast afterwards. See (BBC Wildlife Site) for further information on the Dawn Chorus.

The next Volunteer Work Day for Narroways will be at 10.30 on Saturday 16th June when volunteers will run an information stall at the St. Werburghs City Farm Fair in the afternoon.

The June edition of (BBC Wildlife Magazine) has an article on Millennium Greens and gives a mention to Narroways.

Our first AGM will be held in the Autumn – probably on 25th September – please try to come along. Further details will follow.

The Narroways Website now carries Records of Animal Speciesobserved in the area. Please contact us if you see anything interesting in or around Narroways. Please mention which date you saw this and any details you can give including just where you saw it.

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

Stop Press Here is a preview of the proposed new marker signs to be put in at the entrances to Narroways. They are 3ft cast-iron mounted on wooden posts and hopefully will last to have historical value.

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