News archive: October 2003

Narroways Millennium Green Trust Annual General Meeting is on Monday 17th November at 8.00p.m. at The Cafe at St Werburghs City Farm, Watercress Road, St Werburghs. All local people, especially those who use the hill, are very welcome and it gives people a chance to have their say, talk about wildlife seen, or raise anything they wish.

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 Monday 3rd November 2003 at The Miners Arms on Mina Rd., St Werburghs. All who care about the local environment are welcome.

Haycutting on Narroways Hill

Naomi continues to organise our volunteer days. The next one is on 15th November and will include bramble clearance by the Stoney Path. Bring shears, billhook, secateurs if you have them. On 9th August there was a very successful hay cut on the hill on one of the hottest days of the summer. MoreVolunteer Work Days for Narroways have been scheduled in advance for 2004. They are on Saturday mornings on :-

March 20th 2004

July 17th 2004

August 21st 2004 (haycut)

September 18th 2004

and are a great way to get involved and do something practical. We usually meet at 21 St Werburghs Park around 10.30.

Network Rail tree cutting… the story continues. The anti tree-cutting campaign has had a lot of support from local M.P. Val Davey who has negotiated with Network Rail for us to put together a replanting proposal for the railway embankment at St Werburghs. We drew up a plan for a few hundred native shrubs and trees including standard oaks. Recently we have had a response from Network Rail submitting their own proposals which would include replanting all the way to Montpelier so things are more hopeful than they were but we will see what the activity on the ground is before lowering our guard.

Wildlife Observations

Its been a long hot summer which was good for butterfly numbers but bad for the number of grass fires resulting from the dry conditions. Fortunately the vegetation grows back quickly to fill the burnt space and it enables opportunist plants like poppies to flower. There have also been unusual plants like Bee Orchid and Apple-of-Peru growing locally this summer.

A survey by Rupert Higgins in June revealed Common Blues and Marbled Whites, and trapped moths included Elephant Hawk Moth, Lattice Heath Moth, Buff Ermine, Peach Blossom, Hebrew Character, Silver Y and Mother Shipton. 49 Marbled Whites and 23 Meadow Brown were seen on one day later in June. We have also had reports of Comma, Brimstone, Orange Tip, Holly Blue, Speckled Wood, Gatekeeper, Ringlet, Small & Large Skipper as well as more common species. Of particular interest were sightings of a Brown Argus, Painted Ladies and a Hummingbird Hawkmoth.

Hummingbird Hawkmoth

There have been the usual summer sightings of Pipistrelle Bats (up to 5 at a time in July over Church field) Slow worms (up to 11 in Simons Grove in June) Frogs (up to 6 on Narroways during haycut) and Toads (6 in Simons Grove). Common Lizard has been seen a couple of times and as many as 10 Smooth Newt in pond in Simons Grove.

Birds seen and heard have included Sparrowhawk, Green Woodpecker, Jay, Long-tailed-tit, Chiffchaff, Blackcap and Grey Wagtail. mammals include Grey Squirrel, Fox, Field Vole, Pipistrelle Bat, possible Bank Vole and a dead Common Shrew.

Remember 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 narroways@netscape.net

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.

Neighbouring projects

We lobbied in support of St Werburghs City Farm Boiling Wells project. This is the development of a wildlife rich orchard in Boiling Wells valley for youth activities around conservation and local history.

Des provided wildlife information to thePurdown campaign group who are concerned that wildspace on Purdown will be lost to playing field development.

The AVAG self-build housing is developing at a fast rate and the buildings are impressive and eco-friendly.

Ingmire Road residents may take on management of a wildlife rich railway embankment and Narroways Group gave advice on managing this.

Several individuals have approached Narroways Group to plant commemorative trees in the nature reserve. We welcome this and just request that native species are used and they are planted in the Simons Grove area. (trees planted in the grassland are likely to be removed at hay cut)

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