News archive: November 2002

Narroways Millennium Green Trust Meetings are held about every 6 weeks in the St Werburghs area -The next meeting is at 8.00 p.m. on Thursday 13th January 2003 at The Miners Arms on Mina Rd., St Werburghs. All are welcome. (They’re selling Marsden’s Pedigree and Butcombe now. – Very nice!)

Narroways Millennium Green Trust AGM was held on the 18th November in the St Werburghs City Farm Cafe. Over 20 people turned up and contributed to a lively discussion about Narroways and its management. We also presented our Annual Report, Accounts and Annual Wildlife report. The cafe provided a nice spread and it proved an excellent setting.Thanks to all those able to attend.

Wildlife Observations

We had a fine Indian summer in September but Autumn has seen unsettled, windy weather with 74 mph gales on 27th October and the leaves are mostly long gone.

We are now producing quarterly email reports of wildlife sightings on Narroways and district. If anyone would like to be put on the mailing list or have any local wildlife sightings to report please contact us at

On a butterfly walk led by Des Bowring and myself we saw a wide variety of butterflies and other wildlife. There many Meadow Brown, 18 Gatekeepers, 5 Marbled White, Ringlet, Red Admiral, Small Skipper, Green-Veined White, Comma and Holly Blue. There was an Emperor Dragonfly on a Lynne’s pond and a Grey Wagtail on the stream by the gaslamp.

During the hay cut on the Church Field on 17th August we discovered 14 Frogs, a Slow Worm and a Bank Vole.

Excitingly, Buzzards have been seen several times over Narroways this Autumn – on 21st July, 19th September and 2 on 19th September flying low over the cutting. Could Buzzards actually ever breed on Narroways? – there is enough suitable habitat but it may depend on how much disturbance they would receive. Still, it is incredible that this is even a possibility for what was once a rare bird of prey of remote hillsides.

There have also been reports of Fox, Jay, Skylark, Sparrowhawk, Meadow Pipit, Greater-spotted Woodpecker and possibly Tawny Owl in the past few months.

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, small discrete fireworks party sort of stuff) The main reasons are to preserve the wild environment, protect the wildlife there, and respect other people’s rights to a quiet green space in the city.

Woodland Development Plan We have been liaising with BTCV about developing the Ash woodland at Narroways. Some safety work has to be done – like removing trees growing out of the masonry on the railway tunnel. Otherwise we are looking at how we might be able to enhance the wildlife value of the woods without overmanaging them. We hope to put up nesting boxes and bat boxes at some point next year. The discussion continues – if you have any views email us.

We held our hay cutting day in the Church field on 17th August – several volunteers turned up to strim and rake a section of the field which hasn’t been cut for a long time. It would be good to get more people involved and we hope to publicize volunteer events locally. TheVolunteer Work Days for Narroways have been scheduled in advance for 2003. They are on Saturday mornings on March 15th, May 17th, July 12th and September 13th and are a great way to get involved and do something practical. We usually meet at 21 St Werburghs Park around 10.30. There will probably be additional summer weekday evening sessions.

As well as 120 links to other local and environmental groups The Narroways Website is now linked by theBritish Isles Nature Reserves WebRing to 35 other nature reserves.

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