December 2016

As has become tradition for the December workday, a bonfire was started - taking a while to get going, following much encouragement from Viv and Ian, but eventually getting hot enough to cremate the mince pies. More sedge was cleared to the east of the boardwalk, including along the edge of the outflow from the carr.

As well as the two photos of the workday and the mince pies, Dave Gray also provided this picture of swans further down the valley towards Tickenham Church. Perhaps one day we'll see them in our field!!

The annual report for NEWT for 2015-2016 is available here.

The December 2016 newsletter is available here.

November 2016

First Saturday of the month is workday on the reserve and today we have a first rate turnout of 16 volunteers to help with the regular tasks of scything back the reeds and the vegetation over-hanging the board walk.  It is a fine and bright day, perfect for our regular volunteers who were kept busy and warm with the scything of the reeds and constructing a massive bonfire! This is now a regular feature of Autumn/winter workdays.

Everyone is delighted by a visit from our newest and youngest volunteer - Charlotte, aged 2 months!!! With her Mum Helen, of course.

The days are definitely colder now but the landscape still has Autumn colour and these bright, dry days are a bonus.

(Photos © Rosemary Dennis)

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During the night of Monday 21st November, the south-west of the country experienced one of the worst rain storms recorded - 4 inches (10 cms) fell over 24 hours and severe flooding resulted in some places.

According to information from Mike Fearon, who lives at Tickenham Mill, the peak flow of the Land Yeo at Wraxall was 15% higher than the previous peak record. In anticipation of this storm the EA raised the sluice at Jacklands Bridge and this prompt action undoubtedly saved this area from being flooded.

Dave Gray, who walks down to Moorend Spout every day and has done for many years, sent a report and photos of the scene.

He commented that he had never before seen the river or the Parish Brook so high and the area where the bonfire had been was inundated.  Most years since we took over the management of Moorend Spout, we have experienced a period of flooding, but it is earlier than usual this time.  If this is going to be the foreseeable pattern of weather, it is unlikely that we could ever contemplate having cattle on the site again as there is too short a time frame between cutting the grass and the site becoming water- logged.

(Photos © Dave Gray)

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North Somerset Council are undertaking public consultation on their Publication version of the Site Allocations Plan. The Plan includes proposals for Local Green Space which is a designation referred to in paragraphs 76-78 of the National Planning Policy Framework.

The council  is proposing land at Moorend Spout, for LGS in the Publication version of the Plan.   Details of the document are available at http://www.n-somerset.gov.uk/my-services/planning-building-control/planningpolicy/sites-policies-development-plan-document/sitesandpolicies/ or a copy is available in Nailsea Library.

The consultation is continuing until 19th December, so please take a look.

September 2016

A hay cut has been taken from the field - see the September Bird Blog for more information and photos.

June 2016

A walk was led by Tony Smith through the reserve on the morning of 18th June. A total of 17 people from Weston Natural History & Archaeology Group, Bristol Naturalists, Friends of Trendlewood Park, Backwell Environment Trust and Trustees & Friends of NEWT attended, and the weather was very pleasant, unlike the last time Tony led a walk in November for the WSM group and the weather was terrible!

Tony also returned on  30th June to undertake a survey of the plants and grasses, as part of the Coronation Meadows project.

The attached document here (produced by Hilary West) provides a detailed report of both days and the species discovered.

Gill Brown provided the following video clip showing an otter on the Land Yeo, near Moorend Spout. Otter spraint was found under the bridge by the spout, so we know they travel through our site.

Otter video

 

At the work morning, we focused on clearing the shallow areas of water next to the boardwalk, which regularly get filled with a range of plants. We all went home much muddier than we arrived. Peter Speight has kindly provided a video of vegetation slinging which can be viewed at https://youtu.be/A8m-KxtZP_4 as well as the action shot below.

May 2016

AWT have been back to the site to continue plug planting in the field as part of the Coronation Meadow. They cut the grass in the central area of the field on a Friday using strimmer and then returned the following Wednesday to plant over 1,000 wild flower plug plants that they had grown from seed from Netcott's Meadow.

 

 © Photos by Rosemary Dennis

A new syphon to the second pond was installed by Ian and buried by volunteers on our work day. The pond is now full again and we have transplanted some of the water plants from the top pond in the hope these will aerate it sufficiently. We had to clear the blanket week again, finding a range of small insects and snails, as well as a couple of great diving beetles.

 

©  Photo by Mike Woodley

April 2016 - Spot the Owl!

Pat Gilbert was down at Moorend Spout one weekday evening and saw a barn owl in the field. Can you see it in the picture below?

 

 

Owl photos © Pat Gilbert

Pat reported:

"As I approached Moorend Spout this evening at 6.30pm I spotted a barn owl hunting over the reserve in broad daylight. It obligingly sat on a fence post before flying off. Later, I saw it again, hunting in the tussocky grass by the reserve gate, and it posed beautifully on the gate post. It dived down into a tussock, and I saw it swallowing its prey. If you look carefully, you can see it in the photo, still keeping a beady eye on me!
 
It was a great sighting, and I was delighted to see it so clearly and for so long. The environment that the reserve provides is obviously ideal for the owl."

If you couldn't find it, the owl is in the grass below the fence post at the bottom right of the photo - you can just see its head looking out!

August 2015

Our second pond has been dug in the southern section of the meadow - photos to follow...

 

A beautiful female Drinker Moth was spotted at our August work morning. Drinker moths frequent damp habitats including marshy grassland, dykes filled with reeds and damp woodlands, so our site is perfect for them!

 

 Photos of Drinker Moth © Rosemary Dennis

Mike also took some pictures of a Common Blue butterfly that he spotted on the site.

 

 Photos of Common Blue © Mike Woodley

May 2015

A planting day was held at our meadow as part of the Coronation Meadow project to plant the plug plants that have been grown from seed collected at Netcott's Meadow last July. These have been nurtured on by the volunteers at “Feed Bristol” which is an Avon Wildlife Trust run community food growing project in Bristol between Stapleton and Frenchay.

About 16 AWT volunteers turned up to the planting day. The magnificent number of 635 little plants were spaced out so that each type wasn’t planted all in one place. Species included Ox-eye daisy, Purple Knapweed, Yellow Rattle and Self heal. Hilary provided flapjacks at the end of the day which went down well!There was even time for some of volunteers to tackle the massive amount of blanket weed on the pond – it just comes back as soon as we clear it, so Joe from AWT suggested we try to get more oxygenators in the pond, including hornwort and starwort. 


Photos of AWT planting day © Hilary West









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