The Saturday volunteers met this weekend and enjoyed the task of preparing Bramblefields Nature reserve for the Forest School visitors. Shirley School runs a forest school on the site for their reception children. The children really enjoy exploring and discovering their local green space and it was a pleasure to clear a few pathways to aid this!

The Saturday group runs every month on the last Saturday of the month 10am -1pm. The next one will be Saturday 31st October. If you are interested please email: parks@cambridge.gov.uk

4 Redpoll cattle have settled in to graze this valuable mosaic of grassland and scrub throughout September and October. Their grazing helps to push back scrub, reduce invasive non-natives such as Golden rod and Michealmas daisy on the site. Their presence also works to break up the ground for new plants to seed into and the dung provides a home for a myriad of invertebrates,which in turn creates a good food source for the birds. The cows help to continue the great job the volunteer work parties do throughout the year at Barnwell East.

Having grazed other Cambridge sites these Redpolls are used to people and dogs. However, as with all livestock we encourage people to not directly approach them and to keep dogs on leads during this time.

It’s worth remembering to look out for redpolls this winter at Byron’s pool, not the cows but the birds! Last year many were spotted, along with Siskins feeding on the Alders there.

 

 

This beautiful late flowering plant is a welcome sight at this time of year. The species are usually found on dry calcareous grassland or sand dunes. It is a biennial plant,  producing leaves in the first year and the lovely purple flowers in the second. It’s diminutive size means it’s sometimes hard to spot!

You may have noticed New Bit has developed a slight bald patch.

Our operations team have forage harvested an area prior to harrowing, that will be seeded with local wildflowers.

Working in partnership with the Wildlife Trust we were successful in securing a grant from Coronation Meadow to help increase the wildflowers on this area of the LNR.

http://coronationmeadows.org.uk/

The Wildlife Trust have collected seed from their Chettisham Meadow reserve to ensure the plants are as local as possible.

http://www.wildlifebcn.org/reserves/chettisham-meadow

We will be inviting volunteers to help sow the seed on the 28th September. Watch this space for more details.

A local resident wanted to celebrate the life of her mother by installing a memorial bench. It was fitting to choose  Paradise Nature reserve as the venue as this was a favourite place for her mother to stroll around. Sadly, in later years  she found the walk just a bit too far and would have really benefitted from having a bench to rest on and enjoy the surroundings. For this reason some kind of seating was seen as the most fitting tribute which would also benefit the community.

It was felt that a more natural looking bench would suit the environment and so a fallen willow from nearby Sheep’s Green  was used for the four benches while a felled Poplar was used for the central table. Although wood from these trees may not be as durable as some other hard wood varieties, it felt appropriate to use wood from the local reserve but also wood that would have a life as a bench but then go on to provide shelter and food as it rotted down and rejoined the ecosystem at the reserve. The benches are situated next to the new pond and will hopefully become well used and provide the setting for many happy occasions.