News archive: April 2004

Narroways Millennium Green Trust meetings are held once a month in the St Werburghs area, usually at The Miners Arms -The next meeting however is at 7.15 p.m. on Monday 29th March 2004 at The Jack Brimble Centre (the scout hut) on St Werburghs Road, St Werburghs. It will be followed by a wildlife talk – more later.

Volunteering on Narroways

Naomi continues to organise our volunteer days. The next one is on 17th July. MoreVolunteer Work Days for Narroways have been scheduled in advance for 2004. They are on Saturday mornings on :-

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 anti tree-cutting campaign is now about a year old and we can celebrate with good news.Network Rail contractors started to plant trees on the embankment on 19th March according to the plan drawn up by us and amended by Network Rail via MP Val Davey. At the St Werburghs end of the stretch to Montpelier they are mainly planting local oak, crab apple & Rowan. The work has been sub contracted out to Chew Valley Landscapes. (NOT the mad chainsaws of Fountain Forestry!)

Tree Planting on the embankment

The chap from Chew has said that they will definitely not plant in anything that has already started to bud.They’ve cleared the area by strimming down the brambles & are putting mulch mats around the base of each tree. It’s written into their contract to maintain the site for three years following planting and they’ve promised to replace any plant failings during this time.They may come back in the summer to put RoundUp down in order to ensure the survival of the young trees against the brambles which we accept is probably necessary.

Other plantings will include Hawthorn, Holly, Hazel, Field Maple, Privet, Dog Rose, Guelder Rose, which will grow round the edges of the larger trees.They will not be watering them but we hope the resilience of the wild species and the mulching will keep most of them alive.

Tree Planting on the embankment

This will hopefully be a fine bit of habitat on our doorsteps in a few years time again.The birds and wildlife will have their home back and we’ll all be able to breathe a bit better.

Wildlife Observations

We have had some proper wintry weather over the last few months but it is now becoming decidedly spring like with hedges and trees starting to green up. The weather was mild enough on the evening of 4th February to tempt the local toads out of hibernation – 49 were seen on the path behind the Climbing Centre presumably heading for the Community Gardens pond.

Toads on path behind Climbing Centre

For the RSPB Garden birdwatch on 24th January we saw on Narroways 3 Blackbird, Blue tit, 2Chaffinch, Dunnock, 4 Great tit, 3 Magpie, 2 Robin, Song thrush (singing), 4 Wood pigeon, Crow, 4 Feral pigeon, Jay (Simons Grove), 3 Long-tailed-tit (in the Hollow). Other interesting birds seen over the winter have included Goldcrest, Bullfinch, Coal tit, Redwing and even a Woodcock.

There have been a few sightings, and hearings, and smellings (!) of foxes in the area. An early Red Admiral butterfly was seen on 1st February and frogspawn in the Community Gardens pond on 21st February.

Remember we produce 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

Forthcoming Events

We have 2 wildlife related events coming up. On Monday 29th March at 8.00 at the Jack Brimble Hall (scout hut) on St Werburghs Road we are proud to present a talk by Ian Maguire of the Hawk and Owl Trust on Birds of Prey in the area. 50p donation requested.

On 17th April at 4.30 a.m. (yes those birds get up early) we are meeting by the Climbing Centre for a Dawn Chorus Walk around Narroways led by our own expert, Des Bowring.

Previous dawn chorus walk

On Saturday 3rd April at 10.30 there is a clean-up morning of the area by the Chestnut tree before the Mina Rad tunnel. This is organised mainly by the Lynmouth Road allotment group but would welcome any local volunteers who would like to get rid of the dumping locally. Alongside the tree planting this patch of ground will be great for wildlife – like a mini nature area.

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.

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