Category Archives: Uncategorised

Bascote Scrubs Community Nature Reserve

Good news!

After a lot of work in between lockdowns we are happy to announce, a small section of the nature trail through the reserve is now open.πŸ˜€

It is now possible for visitors to experience the reserve and see what the efforts of our community have created. We hope visitors will be able, through quiet enjoyment, better appreciate our local wildlife.

Work is still ongoing with plenty still to do, improving the surface of the trail with stone reclaimed from elsewhere on the reserve, continued work on the new pond, construction of more rustic fencing and further improvement of habitats.

The reserve is home to wildlife, so we ask visitors to act as guests and respect nature. Please follow the guidance on the noticeboard at the reserve entrance before entering.

It is important to note that currently no dogs are allowed to enter the reserve. It is unfortunate, but the presence of dogs is disruptive to wildlife. With the large increase in dog ownership recently, wildlife is in need of a place free of disturbance.

New surface to path has been laid.

Most Wanted

While activity remains quiet as the wildlife wardens maintain social distancing and avoiding unneccessary contact outside our household, other duties still have to be performed. A report has recently been received about a sighting of American Mink on the River Itchen. We are asking for any information about sightings within the parish, details on poster below:

Send any info to mail@longitchingtonwildlife.org.uk

A walk on the wide side in Long Itchington

During this national crisis many of us have had a great opportunity to see nature at closer quarters than ever before, and explore our local wildlife spots as part of our one hour outdoor exercise. But for some going outside to see it for themselves is not possible, so an audio guided wildlife walk has been produced, based on a walk during September 2019. Produced in five separate parts, it is hoped that this guided walk will be of interest and help boost morale in these difficult times.

First, have a look at this video from the Long Itchington Parish Council website which will introduce you to the wild places of our parish: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jxbg0EoRCyA&t=11s

Then join Phil Claydon, our Wildlife Warden, to listen and to watch Part 1 of a Walk on the Wild Side here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R4ssQbXQ6YU&t=1s. Parts 2-5 to come.

Find out what flora and fauna share this parish with us and why living in a rural community such as ours can be so rewarding.

Snowford Hill Sunset

Coronavirus and wildlife

We are now living in unsettling times. As the country shuts down and changes to our everyday lives become more apparant, we should not forget about our local wildlife.

Spring is now if full swing and with the reduced human activity it is much easier to see the transformation from the winter months. While it is important to strictly enforce “social distancing” and avoid any travel, the importance of being outside for our mental wellbeing should not be under-estimated. This is the chance to get closer to nature whether in your garden or out in the countryside. But, it cannot be stressed enough to avoid close contact and gathering in groups, and also please restrict yourself to the one form of exercise per day rule. Keep yourself safe and also those around you.

If the precautions are taken, it can be a great time to be out in nature. There are plenty of footpaths and places to go. Also, now everyone has more free time, now would be a great time to make your gardens more wild friendly and help bring nature to you.

Government advice may change at short notice so please keep yourselves informed.

During this time work on Bascote Road Scrubs Community Nature Reserve continues, with preparation work at home for future activity. Hopefully it will be possible to give public access to the nature reserve for quiet enjoyment, at some point later this year.

In the meanwhile, stay safe!

Mute Swan on the canal

Insect Crisis

A recent article in the respected journal Nature, has highlighted the crisis we face from the unprecedented decline in the global insect population. The loss of insects is bad for biodiviersity but also for the human population of this planet. Without insects the natural processes we depend on for food production will collapse. The decline should be cause of concern for all of us, as without them we will lose the natural environment we all love. To read the article follow the link below:

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41559-019-1079-8

We can change things by being proactive and providing space for insect friendly habitats in our gardens, public open spaces and farmland. These habitats being good for insects, will also be good for wildlife and us.

A New Year begins!

It has been a busy year with much having been achieved, but with much still to do. The wildlife wardens continue to do the very important monitoring of our parish wildlife, as well as undertaking proactive nature conservation activities. Many voluntary man hours have been spent on wildlife related activities this past year and many thanks must go to those who have given their time to help. Activities have ranged from litter picking, tree planting, village pond tidy up, hedgehog monitoring and nature reserve creation.

Village pond after the annual tidy up

The year ahead will continue to be busy with work to complete this year, the community nature reserve at Bascote Road. Anyone wishing to have an opportunity to get involved then please get in touch, we would be happy to hear from you (see contacts page). Getting hands on is a great way to get close to nature and help make a difference. Also, this year why not make your garden more wildlife friendly, by keeping a small part dedicated to wild flowers and grasses, or why not plant a tree. There can be nothing better than watching birds, butterflies and hedgehogs from the comfort of your own home, while also helping your local environment.

Also the community nature reserve has its own Facebook page (Bascote Road Scrubs Community Nature Reserve). So please visit and follow!

Tree planting at Bascote Road

P.S. We also look after and manage Whites Spinney, a great place to visit at any time of year. Enjoy the peace and quiet with a short circular walk around the spinney, with fine views across the countryside towards Bascote Heath and Southam.

Sun rays at Whites Spinney

Village Pond Tidy Up

Long Itchington village pond.
The annual village pond Tidy Up will be taking place on Saturday 2nd 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.
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.πŸ˜€

Old Nogg watches carefully!

Wildlife Walk

11am 8th September, starting at the village pond.
As part of Long Itchington Walks season of walks around the parish, there will be a guided walk with Parish Wildlife Warden Phil Claydon. The walk will be gentle stroll though some of the local wildlife hop spots and also a tour of Bascote Road Community Nature Reserve. If you have an interest in our local wildlife and countryside then this is the walk for you.πŸ˜€

For details of parish walks visit Long Itchington Walks website at http://www.longitchingtonwalks.co.uk/

Stonebridge Lane meadow

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.

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.