£468 a year and rising
Our supporters who buy an Essex lottery weekly £1 ticket are now earning us £468 a year. This is very important to us because, unlike grant-aid for specific projects, we can spend it on whatever is the most important need at the moment. Of the 12 Essex Lottery-supported good causes in Uttlesford only one (Friends of Newport Primary School) gets more support than us.
Our target is 50 tickets a week bought by our supporters: that would earn us £1352 a year and cover much of our regular running costs.
PLEASE buy a ticket (or, if you already have, tell your friends about supporting us this way)
Just click the advert below and find out more. Thank you.
at Kings Field
A barn owl has been seen hunting (and catching) voles in our Kings Field nature reserve. Jeremy Davidson, who has made over 800 bird-boxes for wildlife sites in our area, has made us a splendid barn owl box and erected it in one of the trees at Kings Field.
Barn Owl boxes for use outdoors (i.e. not in a barn) are one of the most difficult, and heavy, bird boxes to make. The photo shows Jeremy fixing his box in a Kings Field tree in late February.
It is probably too late to attract a breeding pair of owls this year but we hope a young bird may use it as a roosting site and then decide to breed there in the future.
[barn owl photo from Wikipedia commons]
Who owns your Local Wildlife Sites?
There are over 150 designated Local Wildlife Sites in the Walden Countryside (north Uttlesford) area and most of them are ancient woodlands with a rich spring show of wild flowers. A few of the large ones (like the Forestry Commission's Rowney, Bendysh and Little Hales Woods) are fully open to the public but the great majority are privately owned land with, at best, a public footpath along the edge or through the middle. Together they cover over 1000 hectares – almost 30 times the area covered by local EWT and Walden Countryside nature reserves.
These sites were identified and designated as important for wildlife in 1994 and about half of them were surveyed again twelve years ago. It is important that they are looked at again. It seems the Essex Wildlife Trust no longer have staff to do this work so we hope Walden Countryside supporters can help.
Take a look at the list of all the sites in your parish – most are woodlands but some are roadside verges rich in wild flowers or other non-woodland habitats. There are maps of each site so you can easily identify where they are.
Do you know (or can you find out) the name and contact details of the owner? If so, please let us know, so we can seek permission to visit their land. If you have permission yourself to make a visit, please download our survey form and make a survey of the site yourself. Late March to May is the best time to survey woodlands for their wildflowers. Please make the time to visit your local countryside sites and tell us what you find.
Dates for your Diary 1
Work parties at Noakes Grove
Preparing the site after our winter management work for the spring and summer wildlife and for our visitors to enjoy
We will be concentrating on widening the rides a bit, to let in the sunlight and the humans. Please come and help
Sunday 17th March 10.00 - 4.00pm
Sunday 14th April 10.00 - 4.00pm
Dates for your Diary 2
Sunday May 12th 10:00am – 4:00pm – Redgates Lane, Sewards End
“Spring is Sprung” at Noakes Grove Nature Reserve
Family day : bring your kids (or grandkids) and let them “go wild” (or just come on your own)
Free entry & parking – donations welcome, we suggest £5 per car or family group
We have highly valued teams of volunteers who do habitat management work with the work parties and who visit and feed our sheep every day of the year. Here are a few new volunteering opportunities:
Tractor mechanic: our 40-year-old ZETOR tractor needs someone with experience of classic farm machines to keep it working and, maybe, start to restore it to its former glory.
Naturalists: if you are a bird-watcher, wild-flower enthusiast, butterfly photographer or can wield a bat-detector we'd love you to visit one of our reserves regularly and give us records of what you find there. You might also be willing to act as a naturalist guide on occasional open days.
Book-keeper: happy with word-processors, spread-sheets and the internet? Would you be willing to help us maintain our financial records, claim our grants and make our tax returns? Go on, you will enjoy it really and we'll be ever so grateful.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you might be able to help.