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:
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.
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
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.
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.
Tree Week is the UK’s largest annual tree celebration, marking the start of the
winter tree planting season (November to March each year). The Tree Council,
one of the UK’s leading charities for trees, first established National Tree
Week in March 1975 in response to the national replanting required after the
outbreak of Dutch Elm disease.
As part of
National Tree Week, the parish will be making available a limited number of
small trees for planting at the Lilac Field.
To mark National Tree Week, the Woodland Trust are also having an event to plant one million trees in one day! The trust wants everyone to pledge to plant a tree on Saturday 30th November.
If you are
unable to plant a tree at home, why not plant one at the Lilac Field.
A tree, bamboo cane and rabbit guard will be provided free of charge.
Trees available on a first come, first served basis. Planting from:
Saturday 23rd November to Saturday
30th November 2019.
To arrange a convenient time for planting ring or text Tom on:
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.😀
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 with the assistance of a volunteer undertaking his Duke of Edinburgh Silver award.
Our Duke of Edinburgh volunteer have spent six 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 28th September at 2pm you are invited to come along to the reserve and have the rare opportunity to help create a nature reserve.
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.😀
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: email@example.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. The reserve can be found on Bascote Road, just south of the old railway line. Please be aware car parking is limited.
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.
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.
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.