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Spring/Summer News

The Hedgehog survey continues at the LILAC field showing our prickly friends are making good use of the habitat available. Hedgehogs need our help so if you see one please report it to the Peoples Trust for Endangered Species-Hedgehog Street, which will help provide valuable information about our local/national populations.The more information we have, the greater the chance we can save them from disappearing from our countryside, see online for more details. Also have you seen a snake lately? We are interested in finding out how our resident reptiles are managing, if you have seen any lizards, slow worms, grass snakes or adders within the parish then please let us know, email: mail@longitchingtonwildlife.org.uk.


As part of the continuing creation of Bascote Road Community Nature Reserve, there is another opportunity to help at 2pm on Saturday 27th July.
Come along and see what the reserve is all about, and help us get the reserve closer to completion. There will be a range of tasks varying from footpath work to habitat creation, no experience is neccessary. Everyone Welcome! The task to be undertaken are suitable for all age groups, all that is needed is a willingness to get stuck in and have a good sense of humour! Please bring spades, gloves and suitable footwear.
For more information about the reserve and wildlife within the parish then please visit our website: longitchingtonwildlife.org.uk or the nature reserve’s Facebook page: @BascoteRoadCommunityNatureReserve. If you have any queries please contact us at mail@longitchingtonwildlife.org.uk.
The reserve can be found on Bascote Road, just south of the old railway line. Please be aware car parking is limited.

Darling buds of May

IMG_7460b

May has now arrived and nature is now in full swing. As everyone will have noticed there has been an abundance of new plant growth in the hedgerows and along the roadside verges. This is a great time of year to appreciate the explosion of new life as the birds nesting activities increase and the number of bees and other insects rises. This is the month for the appearance of a great variety of wild flowers. Road side verges can be a good place to see many of the wonderful displays of flowers, as the verges of the parish represent the last refuge for many of our vulnerable wild flowers. With 97% of the countryside wildflower meadows having been lost and continue to disappear, these green strips alongside our roads have ever greater importance to wildlife.

Many may feel the road verges should be neat and tidy, but for the survival of wildflowers and the wildlife that depend upon them the cutting back of the vegetation at this time of year is a disaster. Many species of bee rely on these oasis’s to survive, with the bee population having declined significantly in recent years , these linear wildflower meadows are of national importance.

With the weather getting warmer now is a good time to go and explore the countryside to discover its many delights at this uplifting time of year.

Spring News

The watcher

There has been a great deal of activity over the last couple of months. Every Saturday afternoon throughout the whole of February 250 tree whips have been planted at Bascote Road Scrubs nature reserve and Whites Spinney. The new trees have been planted to help restore hedgerow that forms the boundaries of both sites. A big thank you must be given to the volunteers whole so kindly gave their time to help plant these trees. These trees as well as helping to restore old hedgerow, will also help towards climate change.

In other news as mentioned in the village diary, we are undertaking a hedgehog survey in the Lilac Field. With hedgehog numbers in serious decline across the country it is important that we do our best to help look after the local population. To be able to know what is best to do, we need to know where the hedgehogs are, and in what numbers. We would encourage everyone to do their part by making your gardens hedgehog friendly. Information can be found at the Hedgehog Street website.

Finally, everyone must be aware of the urgency needed to help combat the effects of climate change. It’s affects are becoming increasingly apparent in our everyday lives. To reduce the serverity we all need to do our part, whether it is reducing waste or lowering our energy consumption. As parish wildlife wardens we are very conscious of what climate change will have upon our local wildlife and the the countryside as a whole. Through the creation of the nature reserve at Bascote Road, management of Whites Spinney, parish wildlife surveys and assisting the parish council, we are trying to do our part to keep our little corner of the english countryside in good health for future generations to be able to enjoy.

But we cannot do it alone and need your help, whether by making your homes wildlife friendly or helping to reduce your impact upon the environment. We need to help nature now more than ever if we are going to be able to enjoy what we have now in the future.

Annual Parish Meeting

On Saturday 6th April the wildlife wardens will be attending the annual parish meeting.
The meeting takes place at the village community centre, with doors opening from 9am. Main meeting will commence at 10am.
We will be there to answer questions and explain what what we are all about. If you are interested in the wildlife of the parish why not come along and find out more.

Hedgehog SOS

At this time of year it is worth thinking about how you can help your local wildlife. Our local population of hedgehogs are in need of help. At a national level hedgehogs numbers are in steep decline, so they are in desperate need of assistance.

Hedgehogs are a welcome visitor to any garden and should be encouraged as they are the gardeners friend. So this year we ask if everyone could make room for Hedgehogs. Also when out in your car after dark keep an eye out for these small prickly pedestrians crossing the road. It would get if this year the wildlife wardens did not have to stop traffic from running over these creatures. The video guide from Hedgehog Street will help with excellent tips and advice about how to help your local friendly hedgehog.

Winter News

The weather was cooperating for the village pond tidy up on November 17th, with it being cool but sunny. With the help of a band of volunteers the pond has had it annual hair cut. The cutting back of vegetation will help encourage greater biodiversity around the banks of the pond, as well as improving its appearance. See the photos below to see what has been achieved.
Many thanks must be extended to the volunteers who managed to do great work within a short time. Without their help the pond would not be as healthy as it is now.

Looking forward to next year there is much to do at the Bascote Road Community Nature Reserve. An ambitious plan of activity is anticipated to get the reserve into good shape to be able to be opened to the public. There is a seasonal pond to create, footpath to finish, fences to construct, gates to build, and hedgerows to be restored and new ones planted.
Lots to do!
In the new year there will be plenty of opportunities to help. If you are interested then please get in touch, email: mail@longitchingtonwildlife.org.uk
Dates to follow. 😃

Village Pond Annual Tidy Up

The annual village pond Tidy Up will be taking place on Saturday 17th November at 2pm.
The pond is a well loved part of Long Itchington village life and to keep it in good shape it needs some care & attention.
If you enjoy visiting the pond and want to see it continue in good health for another year then please come along a lend a hand. Everyone welcome!
The tasks to be undertaken are suitable for all age groups, all that is needed is a willingness to get stuck in and have a good sense of humour! Please bring hand shears, secateurs and rakes.
The tidy up is an important activity and by taking part you helping wildlife and the community.

Summers End

With the nights drawing in and the days feeling cooler, it feels like summer is near its end. September can be a great time to be outdoors with wildlife more visible as animals and birds fatten up on seeds and berries in preparation for winter.

A walk along many of the footpaths within the parish is always rewarding with the softer light and long shadows. You can never be sure what you might encounter so now is a great time to enjoy the delights of the countryside. Below are a selection of images taken recently, showing just what is on offer. For details of walks within the parish visit                                  http://www.longitchingtonwalks.co.uk

Do not forget Bascote Road Community Nature Reserve project has an open afternoon at 2pm Saturday 22nd September. See previous post for details.

Stonebridge Lane meadow

Sun rays at Whites Spinney

Evening sun at Bascote Road nature reserve

The watcher

Bascote Locks

Footpath to Bascote Locks

Bascote Road Community Nature Reserve open afternoon

If you have ever passed along Bascote Road, you may have noticed a new entrance and information board, close to the top of the hill near to the old railway line, this is the site of the community nature reserve for the parish.

This small plot of parish land is being actively managed for the benefit of local wildlife, it is also being created to act as an educational resource for anyone interested in getting closer to wildlife. This small project is still a work in progress, the work being undertaken this year by the young adults undertaking their Duke of Edinburgh Bronze award.

The Duke of Edinburgh volunteers have spent three months helping with conservation tasks at the reserve and also elsewhere in the parish.

The project to create a nature reserve for the parish has not been rushed and will take several years to complete. But to allow anyone who is interested to help or just curious to find out more about what is going on, the reserve will have an open afternoon.

There will be a number of varied conservation tasks available to undertake suitable for all ages and abilities. It will also be possible to view what has been done so far, discuss future plans and also ask questions about wildlife matters within the parish.

So on Saturday 22nd Setember at 2pm you are invited to come along to the reserve and have the rare opportunity to help create a nature reserve.

Parish Wildlife Guide

Parish wildlife warden John Shenkman has produced a small guide to understanding nature within our parish.

Using a walk through the village to Whitehall Farm, he highlights some of what nature has to offer to those of an enquiring mind. The guide has been written and produced by John to help anyone with an interest in wildlife to learn more about what can be seen.

We recommend everyone who lives within our wonderful parish to purchase a copy and start your own exploration of the diverse landscapes the parish has to offer.

Guide available from the printers Market Hill, Southam.