Latest News

Trefnant Nature Time!

PLT logo jpg

We have gained a fantastic opportunity to work with local communities in and around Trefnant to help their local wildlife!

We have secured funding from the Postcode Local Trust, thanks to players of the People’s Postcode Lottery, for a project called ‘Trefnant Nature Time’.  This exciting project will enable us to work with local communities to improve the Trefnant Nature Reserve which is located off Ffordd Pen y Maes, close to Trefnant village centre.

The Trefnant Nature Time project will run throughout this year until mid-December 2017, and will provide a whole host of opportunities for people to get involved, including ‘have a go’ practical conservation sessions, wildlife walks and talks and wildlife surveys.  We will also be setting up a volunteer team to enable people to get involved in looking after the reserve and help keep it in good condition to benefit the wealth of wildlife that can be found there.

If you would like to know more about ‘Trefnant Nature Time’ please contact Paul Furnborough pfurnborough@newwildlife.org.uk  Tel: 01978 269568, and keep an eye on our ‘What’s on’ page for details of upcoming events.

Volunteering with NEWWildlife – Buckley

October programme:

· Tuesday 11th: Heathland restoration (scrub cut and burn) —Knowle Hill, 10.30—4

· Tuesday 18th: Heathland restoration (scrub cut and burn) —Knowle Hill, 10.30—4

· Thursday 27th: (Date change!) Heathland restoration (scrub cut and burn) —Knowle Hill, 10.30—4

 

November programme:

· Tuesday 1st: Heathland restoration (scrub cut and burn) —Knowle Hill, 10.30—4

· Tuesday 8th: Heathland restoration (scrub cut and burn) —Knowle Hill, 10.30—4

· Tuesday 15th: Pond restoration (scrub cut and burn) —Knowle Hill, 10.30—4

· Tuesday 22nd: Pond restoration (scrub cut and burn) —Knowle Hill, 10.30—4

· Tuesday 29th: Pond restoration (scrub cut and burn) —Knowle Hill, 10.30—4

 

December programme:

· Tuesday 6th: Pond restoration (scrub cut and burn) —Knowle Hill, 10.30—4

· Tuesday 13th: Christmas working party!! —Knowle Hill, 10.30—4

 

Training courses and events:

· Saturday 8th October: Fungi Foray —Knowle Hill, 11am, suggested donation £2

· Sunday 4th December: Rhydymwyn Christmas fair and family event—details TBC

· Saturday 21st Jan 2017: Volunteer party—details TBC

 

Booking is essential for all events and volunteering  so that we can inform you if plans change due to weather or circumstance.  If you are no longer able to attend any of our events, please let us know as there may be people waiting to book on.   Tasks may involve getting mucky, so please bring old/outdoor, weather appropriate clothes, sensible footwear and lunch.

We are happy to provide lifts from and to Mold where possible, if you inform us beforehand.

Please visit our website for more information: www.newwildlife.org.uk, or contact us by phone: 01978 269568 or email: PFurnborough@newwildlife.org.uk

 

Volunteering sessions July / Aug 2016

On behalf of all of us at NEWW, we would like to thank you so much for all your continued hard work.

July -

· Tuesday 5th July : Bracken bashing—Lane End/Knowl Hill, 10am—4pm

· Thursday 14th July : Balsam pulling— Near Rhydymyn  valley, 10am – 4pm

· Tuesday 19th July : Bracken bashing—Lane End/Knowl Hill, 10.30am—4pm

· Tuesday 26th July : Reptile & butterfly survey— Lane End/Knowl Hill, 10.30am—2pm

· Thursday 28th July : Balsam pulling— Near Rhydymyn  valley, 10am – 4pm

August -

· Throughout August there will be weekly sessions on both Tuesdays (Lane End/Knowl Hill) and Thursdays (Broughton), with tasks tbc, but likely to include fencing on Thursdays various habitat management and surveys at Lane End/Knowl hill.

Training courses and events:

  • Tuesday 12th July : Butterfly ID Training Day – Rhydymwyn 10am—4pm — Cost: Free

Volunteering sessions for May/June 2016

On behalf of all of us at NEWW, we would like to thank you so much for all your continued hard work.

 

Coming up in May 2016:

  • Thurs 5th May – Glascoed Nature Reserve, St Asaph—10 to 4

Join NEWW reserves manager Paul to help cut and rake encroaching rank vegetation from field corners and reedmace flowering stalks or seedheads from ponds.  We will also establish a permanent butterfly monitoring transect and conduct the first butterfly survey (weather dependent) – beginners and experts welcome.  Meet at Llys Edmund Prys (LL17 0JA) at 10 or Rhydymwyn at 9.30.

  • Tues 10th May—Knowle Hill, Buckley— 10 to 4

Join NEWW reserves manager Paul on a Reptile Ramble (weather dependant), beginners and experts welcome, followed by footpath clearance and a litter pick. (Meet at the Glynne Arms)

Further ahead:

  • Thurs 19th May – Mammal Monitoring (mink & otter surveys) —Rhydymwyn—10 –1 (Paul & Kate)
  • Tues 24th May – Breeding Bird Survey & litter pick.footpath maintenance – Knowle Hill, Buckley – Glynne Arms Car Park—10-4 (Kate)
  • Thurs 2nd June – Reptile Training —Rhydymwyn — 9.30—2.30 (ARC & Paul)
  • Tues 7th June – Dead hedging – Knowle Hill, Buckley – Glynne Arms Car Park—10-4 (Kate)
  • Thurs 16th June – Botanical & butterfly surveys—Trefnant—10-4 (Paul)

 

Amphibian survey dates 2016:

- Tues 5th April, Buckley, 8pm

- Thurs 7th April, Alltami, 8pm

- Tues 12th April, Wrexham 1, 8pm

- Thurs 14th April, Broughton, 9pm

- Tues 19th April, Buckley, 9pm

- Tues 19th April, Wrexham 2, 9pm

- Thurs 21st April, Rhydymwyn, 9pm

- Tues 26th April, Trefnant, 9pm

- Thurs 28th April, St Asaph, 9pm

- Tues 3rd May, Rhydymwyn, 9.30pm

- Thurs 5th May, Alltami, 9.30pm

- Tues 10th May, Wrexham 1, 9.30pm

- Weds 11th May, St Asaph, 9.30pm

- Tues 17th May, Wrexham 2, 9.30pm

- Thurs 19th May, Broughton, 9.30pm

- Tues 24th May, Trefnant, 9.30pm

People will need to have a knowledge of newt ID as these are live surveys and not designed for training. The more people the merrier though, its great experience! If you would like to come along, please contact me, so we can know numbers for torches. You will need to bring clean wellies, free from all mud and dirt, and a small torch / headtorch to walk around the ponds with; we will provide the big survey torches (unless you have your own CB2 type torch, feel free to bring that along). Please contact PFurnborough@newwildlife.org.uk for more details.

Training courses and events:

  • Sat 21st May – Spring bird ID walk & workshop – Rhydymwyn – 9.00 to 12.30 – Cost: £5
  • Thur 2nd June—Reptile Training with ARC—Rhydymwyn—9.30-2.30—Cost: free

 

Tasks may involve getting a bit mucky! Please bring old/outdoor, weather appropriate clothes, sensible footwear and lunch. Please note, volunteer activities are subject to change, we’ll do our best to let you know.

We may be able to provide lifts from and to Mold where possible, if you inform us beforehand.

Booking is essential for all events and volunteering so we know how many people to plan for. If you are no longer able to attend any of our events, please let us know as there may be people waiting to book on.
Please visit our website for more information: www.newwildlife.org.uk, or contact me by phone: 01352 742115 or email: PFurnborough@newwildlife.org.uk

Christmas Fair & Family Santa Trail

Back by popular demand, NEWWildlife and Friends of Rhydymwyn Valley are running the annual Christmas craft fair and Santa trail.

Drop in and enjoy a day of stalls, local crafts, gifts to buy and craft workshops to have a go yourself! Free entry, refreshments available.

Rhydymwyn is a fascinating place, that was formally used for the storage and production of mustard gas. Don’t miss the opportunity to have a look for yourself; it’s a nature reserve with history!!

* * *

Santa Trail, 11 – 2

Take part in our Christmas Santa trail by following the clues, and receive a gift from Father Christmas himself (booking essential) 01352 742115 or email KWilson@newwildlife.org.uk

santa trail 2015

Volunteering and events coming up

Coming up in October:

Tues 6th Oct – Scrub management – Knowle Hill, Buckley – 10 to 3
Join NEWW warden Helen to help clear our Llwyni nature reserve from encroaching scrubs and invasive vegetation that is encroaching into the grassland areas by cutting and burning the brash.

Tues 20th Oct – Tree management – Knowle Hill, Buckley – 10 to 3
Come and help us remove scrub regeneration from our Knowle Hill nature reserve. Silver birch and bramble re-grows profusely, and if left unchecked, can grow up to shade out other native tree species. Controlling the regeneration allows grassland plants young trees such as oak and ash to flourish.

Further ahead:
Thurs 22nd Oct – Willow and pond management – Maes-y-Grug, Alltami – 10 to 3
Thurs 29th Oct – Bramble clearance – Rhydymwyn – 10 to 3
Tues 3rd Nov – Scrub management – Knowle Hill – 10 to 3
Thurs 12th Nov – Scrub raking – Rhydymwyn – 10 to 3
Tues 17th Nov – Sapling removal – Knowle Hill – 10 to 3
Thurs 26th Nov – Wetland management – Rhydymwyn – 10 to 3
Tues 1st Dec – Heathland management – Knowle Hill – 10 to 3
Sat 5th Dec – Santa trail marshalling – Rhydymwyn – 11 to 3

Training courses and events:
Sat 26th Sept – Family pond dips – Rhydymwyn – 10 to 11.15 or 11.30 to 1 (free)
Sat 26th Sept – Family fungi foray – Rhydymwyn – 1.30 to 4.30 (free)
Thurs 22nd Oct – Wellbeing training day – Rhydymwyn – 9.30 to 3 (free)
Weds 28th Oct – Half term woodland fun – Rhydymwyn – 1 to 4 (free)
Fri 30th Oct – Halloween fun – Rhydymwyn – 1 to 3 (free)

Tasks may involve getting a bit mucky! Please bring old/outdoor, weather appropriate clothes, sensible footwear and lunch. Please note, volunteer activities are subject to change, we’ll do our best to let you know. We are happy to provide lifts to and from Mold where possible, if you inform us beforehand.
Booking is essential for all events and volunteering so we know how many people to plan for. If you are no longer able to attend any of our events, please let us know as there may be people waiting to book on.
Please visit our website for more information: www.newwildlife.org.uk, or contact me by phone: 01352 742115 or email: KWilson@newwildlife.org.uk

Summer events with NEWWildlife

For more details of the events, please see our what’s on page on our website: NEWWildlife events

Events and training
• Sun 26th July – Family pond dip – Rhydymwyn—10 to 11.30
• Sun 26th July – Family pond dip – Rhydymwyn—11.45 to 1.15
• Sun 26th July – Butterfly walk – Rhydymwyn—1.45 to 4
• Fri 31st July, Fri 7th 14th & 21st Aug – Run Wild Kids Club – Rhydymwyn—10 to 12
• Mon 17th to Sat 22nd Aug – FORV Art Week – Rhydymwyn – 10 to 3 – £80 per student (Contact: susan.grundy52@btinternet.com)
• Tues 1st Sept – Tree ID course – Rhydymwyn – 9.45 to 4.00
• Thurs 22nd Oct — Wellbeing training day – Rhydymwyn—9.30 to 3

Volunteering – Rhydymwyn
• Thurs 16th July – Balsam pull – Rhydymwyn
• Thurs 30th July – Ragwort and balsam pull – Rhydymwyn
• Thurs 13th Aug – Orchard management – Rhydymwyn
• Thurs 27th Aug – Grass raking – Rhydymwyn
• Thurs 17th Sept – Grass raking – Rhydymwyn
Volunteering will usually take place on the second and last Thursday of each month.
Please visit our website for more information: www.newwildlife.org.uk, or contact me by phone: 01352 742115 or email: KWilson@newwildlife.org.uk

Volunteering – Knowle Hill, Buckley
• Tues 21st July – Join our Reserves Officer, Helen, at Knowle Hill Nature Reserve. We will be removing willow sapling at the ponds at Lane as it is encroaching on the ponds, which is habitat for newts We will also be trimming back some of the broom from around the site. We will be meeting at the Brindle Close entrance at 11am. Come along and join us if you can, no experience necessary.
Please contact Helen to reserve a place on: 01352 742115 or email: hcarter-emsell@newwildlife.org.uk.

School visits – Rhydymwyn
NEWWildlife would like to take this opportunity to invite your school to visit us at Rhydymwyn Valley Nature Reserve. We offer a number of opportunities for schools to make the most of this magical, undiscovered pocket of Flintshire for your educational needs, FREE of charge.

We can offer set environmental education packages such as pond dipping and mini beast hunts to fit in with the National Curriculum or we can offer a more flexible approach to our outdoor sessions. We can adapt sessions to your needs, for example, we can provide activities in a woodland setting, such as shelter building or carrying out practical habitat work on the reserve.

All activities for schools are free of charge. We have a range of facilities on site, with a large indoor Field Studies Centre, toilets, kitchen and disabled access. We can cater our sessions for children with a range of disabilities, and a group size of up to 30.

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Booking is essential for all activities due to limited spaces and so we know how many people to plan for. If you are no longer able to attend any of our events, please let us know as there may be people waiting to book on.

Reserves update

Spring will soon be rapidly upon us following another milder, wetter winter than the ones I remember growing up in the 70’s and 80’s. I remember winters of deep snow that lasted for weeks and long drawn out spells of freezing weather where hats and gloves, wellies and duffle coats were the norm almost every day! I also remember hours spent in cold, wooden hides and hiding behind wind-break hedgerows just to try and get closer to that flock of thrushes in the hedgerow.

Were they song or mistle thrushes? Blackbirds? Maybe fieldfares? Or even, my favourite, redwings! Winter walks for me were never complete without spending a few hours watching these fascinating winter visitors from Scandinavia. As I predicted last time, a visit to our Glascoed reserve near St Asaph showed some of these wonderful birds foraging in the hedgerows. They were joined by a few fieldfares and with the help of many blackbirds on site, on one visit I counted a flock of about 15. They soon cleared the bushes of berries and then moved on to pastures, well bushes, new! Unfortunately I was never able to get close enough to them to get any photographs. As the weather was mild I suspect that they had lots of spare energy and hence at the slightest disturbance or threat away they would fly. I can remember in harsh, colder years being able to slowly approach to within about an arm’s length when they would only then take flight so that they conserved their energy until they definitely had to use it.

Here at the feeding station outside of our office at Rhydymwyn things have been quiet. The squirrels, blue tits, great tits, coal tits, dunnocks, wrens and robins are here most days, but not in very large numbers and not continuously. Again I feel that the milder winter has allowed a large number of invertebrates to survive and these are being searched out by the birds in preference to our dried food.

One group of animals that are still hiding away from the cold are the bats. Their maternity roosts have all been vacated and are devoid of bat life. But if you know where to look they are still around. I have surveyed various buildings on the site and tucked away I usually find a few species. This year I mostly found the beautiful brown long-eared bat (Plecotus auritus) but in other years I have recorded six species!

As I wandered around the buildings this year I decided to do something different. This year I counted the hibernating Lepidoptera (moths and butterflies). There were only two butterfly species [peacock butterfly (Aglais io), small tortoiseshell (Aglais urtica)] and one moth species [herald moth (Scoliopteryx libatrix)] to count.

It was quite surprising to discover such a consistent number or peacock butterflies over the two surveys. What was also very interesting was that this was despite predation of the butterflies by bats or birds as the quantity of discarded wings on the floor increased between the surveys. Whether this is from birds foraging in the buildings during the day, or by bats foraging on the milder nights is unknown. It has, however, occurred despite the peacock’s wonderful anti-predation strategy. When at rest it folds its wings up above its body. This displays a wonderful cryptic camouflage that in a hollow tree is probably entirely realistic, unfortunately on a building painted white it can still stand out! If disturbed, however, it can briskly flick its wings open to display its vivid eye spots. These, in theory at least, should scare off a predator as it must be quite a shock to suddenly have two pairs of eyes blinking at you! In addition as it opens its wings they rub against each other producing a loud rasping sound to add weight to the ploy that this butterfly means trouble and should be avoided!

Well, very soon it will be back into the amphibian survey season, and we will be out at night counting lots of newts, frogs and toads on our reserves. Will we top the record of 1925 common toads seen on just one night in 2013? Will we see great crested newts predating smooth newts like we encountered in 2012? Will we find more great crested newts at our Broughton reserve?
I don’t know but why don’t you get in touch and come along and help out this year? We can’t guarantee good weather BUT we can guarantee that you will see our reserves in a totally new and exciting way!

Karl Martin – Reserves Officer

Wild winter for birds

As the wicked winter weather recently caused havoc across the Atlantic we came off much luckier here. You need thermals and fingerless gloves to work here at times but it’s worth it when you can enjoy views like this out of your office window!
Undeterred by the biting cold Dr Anne Brenchley and Ian Spence led a Bird Identification Walk around the reserve on 30 January. NEWW members and their friends, 15 in all, braved the elements to walk the reserve armed with their binoculars to identify birds by sight and call. Despite some very challenging weather conditions at the outset it did stay dry for the duration of the walk and our enthusiasts were lucky enough to spot 25 different species of birds on the reserve, redpoll, bullfinch and lapwing being just a few.
Anne and Ian are two of our resident bird specialists. Ian is County Bird Recorder for NE Wales, and you will remember his very informative article in the autumn edition of Wildlife Matters. Anne is a regional rep. for the British Trust for Ornithology.
They are always happy to share their knowledge of birds and we are very lucky to have them. They will host another walk in March so watch this space and the website for further details.
I love the winter as it means spring is on the way and we can look forward to the green shoots of new growth popping through the earth.
The snowdrops are emerging already and it won’t be long before there is lush greenery in abundance and the long winter days will be very much a thing of the past.

Amazing Autumn

Days getting shorter, nights getting longer, weather getting colder… so why is autumn so awesome? Well, we have beautiful crisp mornings with fog dancing over rivers and fields, trees are turning different shades of oranges and our hedgerows provide us with delicious fruit and nuts, and stars seem to shine brighter than ever. Here are my top tips for making the most of being outside this autumn.
Fungi — Autumn is the perfect time of year to go on the search for fungi. They come in all shapes, sizes and colours, and are much easier to spot than you may think. They can grow almost anywhere from woodlands to grasslands, and even in cow poo! (Just remember not to eat what you find without expert advice)
Birds — Not only are migrant birds such as waxwings, redwings and bramblings starting to arrive to spend the winter with us, but also our native birds begin to gather in large flocks. Long tailed tits for example can form flocks with other tit species to look for food and keep warm. Don’t forget to have a winter wander along the coast to see the wonderful flocks of coastal birds gathering to feed on the estuaries.
Conkers — Nothing reminds me of childhood more than going out for a walk in autumn looking for conkers. The hunt would be on to find the biggest, shiniest, hardest looking conker to play the classic game with all the other kids in the village. (I actually grew up near to the village that held the World Conker Championships!)
Deer rut — One of autumn’s most spectacular sights has to be the deer rut, as the males compete for females (who may only be in season for a day). The males can be heard and seen calling loudly and locking antlers, a truly awesome autumn sight!
Leaves — The leaves turning colour on the trees must be the most definitive signs of autumn, the colours look stunning on the trees and make wonderful photographs. A pile of autumn leaves also make great place for little creatures to hibernate in, so if you have room, make a space in your garden for hedgehogs and friends!
I love this time of year, and I still can’t resist kicking through piles of crispy leaves! We would love to see your autumn pictures from our reserves, please do email them to KWilson@newwildlife.org.uk

Older News