News archive: July 2002

Narroways Millennium Green Trust Meetingsare held once every 6 weeks in the St Werburghs area -The next meeting is at 8.00 p.m. on Thursday 15th August 2002 at The Miners Arms on Mina Rd., St Werburghs. All are welcome.

Wildlife Observations

After a fine April its been a wet old summer so far – May and June especially.

Bats have been seen over the cutting, Church field and back gardens of St Werburghs Park since 9th July – they emerge about 20 minutes after dusk and swoop and dart around for insects. Up to 6 bats have been seen – they are almost certainly Pipistrelles as have been recorded in previous years.

Lots of bird sightings as usual – a Sparrowhawk was seen several times in April. There is evidence of both Green and Greater Spotted Woodpecker using the woods locally. The first summer migrant recorded this year was a calling Chiffchaff near the stoney path on 21st April – Blackcap, Willow Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat and Common Whitethroat are also present. Up to 6 Swifts have been seen, and a Grey Wagtail by the stream, Jays, Bullfinch, Long-tailed-tits, Siskins and Greenfinch.

The first Slow worms were seen this year on allotments and they have been seen regularly – 25 on 8th June in Simon’s Grove. Plenty of Frogs and Toads around too(12 Toads on Gas Lamp allotment on 1st June) There have been a couple of sightings of Common Lizards and there are Smooth Newts in local ponds.

We are well into the butterfly season – 30 Ringlet were seen on 15th July (large number possibly because wet weather encouraged the tall damp grassland they prefer), as were 21 Marbled White. Orange Tips,Gatekeeper, Comma, Meadow Brown, Brimstone, Common Blue, Speckled Wood amongst others also seen. From early June dragonflies identified on local ponds have included Large Red Damseflies, Common Blue Damselflies, Southern Hawker, Broad-bodied Chasers and Azure Damselflies. Other insects around include Rose Chafers, Bloodsucker beetles and a Scarlet Tiger moth.

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. Email

Site Improvements.

The bench designed by sculptor Julian Warren was installed on the hill in early April. A team of 20 or so people turned up to help and it looks like it has always belonged up there. It incorporates themes of the railway track and local wildlife.

We have co-operated with educational organisations wishing to use Narroways as a source of study. Chris showed a group from Plymouth University environmental science dept. around the site.

There was an unofficial rave held on the hill on 5th April. We told the organisers of the problems caused by this to wildlife and local people and hope we have persuaded them that Narroways Green isn’t the right place for thse events.

Sadly, long standing trustee and treasurer, Steve Micklewright is resigning from these roles because of his increasing work committments with the WWF (no, not the World Wrestling Foundation). Thanks to Steve for all his valuable work, especially in the initial campaign to save Narroways from development. The good news is we have a new treasurer, Peter Graves.

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.

The next Volunteer Work Day for Narroways will be at 10.30 on Saturday 17th August. It is always on the 3rd Saturday of each month and is a great way to get involved and do something practical. Meet at 21 St Werburghs Park. We will be cutting hay in the Church field – bring a rake and a sickle if you have one. There will also be hay cutting on 31st August, especially if 17th August is wet.

We had a stall at St Werburghs City Farm fair on 22nd June – it was a good day (the samba band was excellent) and we were able to meet and chat with people about Narroways.

The Narroways Website is now linked by theBritish Isles Nature Reserves WebRing to 35 other nature reserves – worth checking out.

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

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