December 2018

Peter Speight took his drone out over the site during our December work morning. His pictures and a video can be viewed at Flickr as well as an incredible panoramic view at Momento360. Peter has provided further technical information about his images at BET website

We cut back the sedge to the west of the carr during the work morning but unfortunately the vegetation was too wet to burn well. On the plus side, the December mince pies weren't burnt this year.

We are pleased to note that we have had at least one visitor to our new dipping platform, observed by Hilary on 17th December:

 


October 2018

A small team of volunteers and trustees spent a muddy but productive day installing a dipping platform on the Yellow Lily Pond, as well as netting over the grass to provide a drier route to the pond. The platform provides a solid area adjacent to the water from where dipping activities can be undertaken and has been financed by grants from Wessex Watermark and Nailsea Lions.

 

 

Peter Speight has recently purchased a drone and taken some excellent birds-eye images of the site, shown below. The old Y-shaped drainage routes are really clear to see from this angle. More of his pictures are shown at Flickr

September 2018

This year, instead of cutting the grass in the meadow, we have welcomed around 50 sheep to the field. They have just arrived and are settling in well. If successful in getting the grass levels down and not falling in the river or ponds (electric fencing has been provided to try to avoid this), they may return in future years.

 

 

Just ten days later, the grass is looking considerably shorter:

At the Open Day, we held a competion to name the two ponds and can now confirm that the winning names are:

     First pond (northeast of meadow) = Blue Dragonfly Pond

     Second pond (south of meadow) = Yellow Lily Pond

Hilary has reported a first sighting for our site of a Brown Argus butterfly. The picture below was taken  on 16th July. It was originally recorded as the female of the Common Blue, which very confusingly, is actually brown!!  She has since consulted with several other butterfly enthusiasts and they have agreed that it is definitely the Brown Argus.  They also have been seen this summer on Trendlewood Park and the BET woodlands.

 

The weather has cooled but we still had a pleasant morning for the September workday, where the boardwalk was cleared, grass was cut from the northern end of the boardwalk, the Yellow Lily Pond was cleared and the steps up the embankment were refreshed. 

Whilst cutting the grass against the embankment, a mining bees' nest was discovered and then re-covered to protect it.

We picked up an empty glass bottle in the carr thinking it was recent litter. A closer inspection showed the bottle said "Neptune Drinks" and "Brooke & Prudencio". A little internet research and we found out that it turns out they were a Bristol-based soft drinks manufacturer from 1889 to 1960. Potentially the bottle was in the carr swamp for over 60 years!

See
and

 


July 2018

Another very hot workday, with 17 volunteers attending. The reeds were cleared from the hedgeline at the eastern end of the field, along with removal of blanket weed from the pond.

Paul Tainton has sent some very interesting records for the reserve. He reports that a Whitethroat was still singing, which is extremely late in the season. Birds have mainly stopped singing by now as there no need to defend territories or attract mates any longer – their work in raising the next generation is done. He recorded 12 species of butterfly and estimated that there was a total of 60-80 on the wing around the meadow. He noted several Peacocks, many Gatekeepers, Ringlet, Speckled Wood, Small Skipper, Small White, Large White, Green-veined White, Comma, Common Blue, Meadow Brown.

Hilary undertook another plant survey, this time with Pam Millman, a local botanist. They managed to record just over 60 plant species with one or two notables like the Stone Parsley which grows in the damp bank between the carr and the Land Yeo, but strangely, they also found it growing in the very dry steps up to the embankment.

The plant lists and photographs of the orchids have been sent to Plantlife – the charity which administered the Coronation Meadows project. We hope that they can give some publicity to the success of our project, which clearly demonstrates the enormous potential of the Coronations Meadows in re-building biodiversity on improved pasture land. There has been a lot of press coverage recently concerning the drastic and under-reported decline of our hay meadows over the last 50 years. Plantlife say that the most common meadow plants and grassland supports more than 1,370 species of insect and has the added benefits of helping with carbon storage and crop pollination. They have launched a Grasslands Action Plan calling for large-scale restoration of meadows. Plant specialist Trevor Dines says “we must not forget meadows’ special place in our shared social and cultural history that is as much a part of our heritage as the works of Shakespeare and David Hockney”. Powerful stuff!

June 2018

We held an Open Day at the reserve on Saturday 9th June which was attended by more than 70 people. Pond dipping, bug and flower walks were provided, along with a tree quiz and lots of information sheets and displays.

Hilary undertook at formal plant formal plant survey of the Coronation Meadow with Jenny Greenwood from Avon Wildlife Trust. We have to update the database every year to monitor how the re-introduction of wildflowers is progressing. After a couple of hours on hands and knees delving amongst the grasses, there is evidence of multiple orchids (leaves only) in the sward.

January 2018

Please see attached annual report summarising NEWT's 2017 work.







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