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Noakes Grove Newsletter - July 2018

Dragons 3 - Damsels 2

The Noakes Grove pond is less than 18 months old but has already gained lots of wildlife. At the start of July the children from the home-schooling group watched blue broad-bodied chaser and red common darter dragonflies plus blue-tailed and azure damselflies courting and egg-laying. The next day a southern hawker dragonfly was hovering and zooming about over the pond.

southern hawker broad-bodied chaser common darter azure damselfly blue-tailed damselfly


Under 13? When's your birthday party?

If you are planning a birthday party for your youngster, what about an outdoor party at Noakes Grove?

These will usually involve a wildlife activity (pond-dipping or bug-hunting for example), an adventure game (like den building and trying to capture the other team's den), camp-fire cooking of your own meal and an entertainment (a puppet-show perhaps). We arrange the programme to suit the age-range of the children and what you tell us about their interests.

The cost is £120 for up to ten children and £10 for each extra child up to a maximum of sixteen.

For full details see our children's party page. Or contact Emma Horton -

Dog Attack

One of our original ewes (Stephanie) was attacked by a dog at Kings Field recently. She has been treated by the vet and is making a full recovery back at Noakes Grove for the time being. We do not know anything about the dog but it was presumably a stray. In many years when we have allowed people to visit Noakes Grove with their dogs there has never been any problem. If you see an unattended dog (or one in the charge of possible hare-coursers) please text or call 07 855 912 105

New butterflies at Noakes Grove

This year we have had two records of a new species for the reserve: purple hairstreak and silver-washed fritillary both seen early in July. Last year we added marbled whites to our list which now has 24 species (although we haven't seen a brown argus for some years). See our butterfly-page for the full list and photo links). Please keep an eye open for small coppers, purple emperors and white admirals which have all returned to nearby habitats and might appear at Noakes Grove soon.

For younger children

Sarah Allington (a trained Forest School leader and part of the Noakes Grove sheep team) will be running three forest school mornings, Monday, Wednesday and Friday of the week beginning 13th August. The sessions will be Family Forest sessions for children from aged 2-8 years (approx.). Parents will accompany children. Each session will have an emphasis on a skill (tools, fire, crafts etc.) So there will be a discount for booking all three sessions. Interested parties can email for further details or visit .

Relaxation classes for children at Noakes Grove

Nikki Phillips (Relaxation Therapist) plans to run her popular child relaxation and youth minfulness classes at Noakes Grove on 1st, 2nd and 3rd of August. 10.00 - 12.00 each day with a second series of classes on 29th 30th and 31st of August. For more details see or contact

Our new barn - a present for Noakes Grove

In the May newsletter we reported the splendid gift of a double stable building from Gilly and Fred Bamber. A hard-working small team of volunteers (greatly helped by Fred Bamber) has dismantled the building and transported it all to Noakes Grove. Before we can rebuild it we need to decide on the best form of foundations to lay and find a suitable builder to lay them. If you have any professional advice which might help us, we woud be delighted to hear from you: please email . The new barn will be a hay store, temporary lambing shed in spring and somewhere secure to keep our equipment safe enough for it to be covered by insurance. We also plan the added convenience of a composting toilet. The building was a present but getting it re-erected will cost quite a bit. Any donations would be very much appreciated.

To make a donation to help our nature reserve management work (and become a "Friend of Noakes Grove", if you aren't already) please click here