The next meeting will be at 8pm on Monday 21st January at the Stonewater Common Room. All residents welcome (but please let us know ahead of the date if you're coming)!!
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Thursday, 23 June 2016

Tesco River Path update

The Vale District Council have confirmed that they will arrange for the removal of the broken down barbed wire fence along the newly refurbished river path to Tescos.   We reminded them that there was a danger to children or dogs running over the barbed wire where it was lying on the ground, especially now that the path is used even more.

Saturday, 11 June 2016

A Walk on the Wildside


With the warmer, sunnier weather my partner and I look out at our garden from different perspectives.  He tuts at the size of the buddleia and how it is taking over the garden.  I look at it and sigh at how many butterflies and other insects I can count in one go.  He is happy to humour me.  When the weather is calm and hot, take time to look for these essential pollinators when out and about.  I have been amazed at the variety of species I have spotted along the hedgerows around the fields of Mill Road.  Last year I took part in the Butterfly count http://www.bigbutterflycount.org/  and logged the species I spotted in one hour (15th July- 7th August 2016).  I was impressed with the number of people who had logged onto the website in our area.

You could make some ‘moth candy’, to get your children interested.  What you need is ; a big pan, a jar/pot, spoon, thick paintbrush, torch, brown sugar, treacle, fruit juice, water and cola.  Heat the ingredients in a pan on a low heat, stirring constantly until everything has dissolved, adding more water if it looks like sticking.  Stir until the ‘moth candy’ is thick and gooey.  When it has cooled, put it in a jar and using the paint brush add it to various objects around the garden; walls, tree trunks, fence posts or even an old sheet/towel or rope on a washing line.  When it is dark, go out with your torch and you hopefully will be amazed at the variety of moths.

Moths and butterflies are part of the order Lepidoptera, which means scaly wings.  Fossil records show moths date back to 140 million years and butterflies 40 million years.  Moths tend to be more plump and robust bodies and when at rest most keep their wings spread flat or folded like a tent over the bodies, whilst most butterflies fold their wings straight up above their back.

The local Wildlife Trust has lots of exciting children’s events in the summer including a Happy Valley picnic (8th May), Oxford Festival of Nature (1 -14th June) and Night Time Safari ( 10th June).  Visit bbowt.org.uk/whats-on, for the full list of events.

Finally Dry Sandford nature reserve is a great place to spot butterflies and other insects around the ancient fossilised rocks that were once under the sea. You could even pop into the local pub afterwards to sample their ‘local nectar’.

By Max the Wildlife Watcher