Smithills Update 18th April 2019
Last week the Smithills Wildlife Monitor Volunteers were out at Dean Brook learning how to identify river flies with Dr Adam Moolna from Keele University. Now certified river fly spotters (!!) they will be monitoring the presence of these species monthly. This information will tell us about the quality of the water and the health of that particular habitat and food chain.
Sandra, Dave H, Sheila, Alan, Denis, Richard, Phil B (Peter H and Dave B hidden!)and Adam Moolna searching for river flies at Dean Brook
Roving Wildlife Volunteers were also spotted in Walker Fold (by me!) yesterday – Jim and Bev had been out monitoring butterflies and had seen a brimstone as well as more peacocks and orange tips. Russ and I witnessed a butterfly war occurring in Walker Fold Woods, with numerous butterflies fighting for supremacy at the boardwalk near the car park. I am sure there is a good explanation for this! There was also a monitoring walk yesterday evening from Walker Fold car park, and bird sighting this week included lesser redpoll, swallows, kestrels, and willow warblers.
Ten of our volunteers are starting the photography course next week… they will be out and about each month learning a new skill, using Barrow Bridge and Walker Fold as bases. Really looking forward to seeing what images they capture. Some volunteers attended Heather’s photography walk on Tuesday night, along with Mark and members of the public.
City Nature Challenge
Have you booked to help Greater Manchester win the City Nature Challenge…? We’re running two walks, on Friday 26th and Saturday 27th, in which we will be spotting species with the aim of making the total number for Greater Manchester the most in the country! Rob Ball is leading the walks, and all you need is your smartphone and spotting skills! If you have binoculars bring those too and get spotting in the skies! Book onto one of the walks here and find out more about City Nature Challenge here.
Stuart is leading a birdsong walk on 11th May – this is part of our series of public guided walks, rather than a volunteer training session, but you are of course welcome to book! You can do that here.
Volunteer-led guided walks
Following the success of Mike and Rob’s Wildlife Walk, it’s the turn of Pete and Alex tomorrow with their Introduction to Smithills Estate walk. Another glorious day is forecast, we will report back on how the day went!
Next Dementia-Friendly Walk
The last walk turned out to be really popular. On 9th May we will be running two walks, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. There will be stories, poetry and possibly singing! Plus, of course, tea and cake.
Woodland Trust campaigns
The WT is busy campaigning for the new Environment Bill is passed… it sets out regulations for best management of our countryside. We need help to get MPs to support the Bill… WT are asking us all to write to our MPs about this, and have created a simple way for you to do this online here.
Vicky Entwistle, Engaging Communities officer, Smithills