Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Cromwell Bottom Wildlife Group
Chairman's newsletter

This year has been a great year for the reserve. After a slow start to the year everything kicked into gear and started to bloom. Orchids have had their best year ever with an estimated 600 + of different varieties, with a new species found for the reserve in the Broad Leafed Marsh Orchid, birds also have had a good year Goldfinch, Robin, Sedge and Reed Warblers, Wren, Willow Warblers,Little Grebe, Herons,Dunnock, Goosander, all the Tits, Whitethroat, not forgetting the King Fisher, all have had at least 1 brood and some have bred twice. We had a drop in from a Little Egret, Buzzards flying over as well as Red Kite. Frogs have had a bumper year, at one time the ground looked as though it was moving there were so many. Newts also had a good year on the pond dipping day, one scoop netted 37.
 Dragonflies were poor though plenty of Brown Hawker, a few Common Darter - one male, one female, Broad Bodied Chaser, one 4 spot Chaser, a good showing of Red darter but not much else, Damselflies had a fair year. 
On the work side we have made wheelchair access to the bird feeding area, cut the 3 hay meadows and the south facing bank on Tag loop, started the reed cutting, put up more bird boxes including the Sparrow farm area in the hope of getting Tree Sparrows back on the reserve, unfortunately these were vandalised but will be put back as soon as we can. The bird viewing area was also destroyed but this has been replaced and expanded. We also built and installed a floating raft in the hope of getting Terns to nest, everything else has used it at one time or another except Terns but that's nature!
Up and coming work for the next few months will be continuing the reed cutting. The Woodland Trust have given us 450 trees to plant a hedgerow and the Rotarians have obtained some trees from the same trust for us and these will be planted this year so if you fancy helping us plant a hedgerow keep your eye on the blog, it will be coming up soon so we would like to get everybody, especially family's involved, there will be name tags for children so they can watch their own tree grow over the years.

One of the projects we want to do is reline the 2 Newt ponds, we have and try and keep some water in them. This will be very expensive, the large pond will cost around £4000 to £5000 and this will be our objective for next year. We will also be putting in wheelchair access and a pond dipping platform as well as seating and a bore hole for water extraction.
On the money side we have been given a grant of £302 through the Co-Op - voted for by your good selves and we thank you all for doing this, it will go towards the pond liner. As I write this we are also in for a grant of up to £3000 from Lloyd’s Bank this is also a voting system and we are hopeful of getting funds, but we need everyone to keep voting. 

Some of the grant would go to providing tools as well as visual aids for the Cabin which is due next year as a visitor centre. Any donations are welcome towards this and if you know of anybody wishing to donate to a good cause please let them know about us, some businessmen do like to donate.

To finish I would like to thank you all on behalf of the committee for your support and to all who have put in their time and effort to restoring the reserve and hope you will continue to do so. 
Yours Graham

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