Odiham Biodiversity Group - Newsletter March 2007

by otmg on Saturday 31st March

Final Reminder!
Spring Bird Walk Saturday 31st March at 2.00pm. Meet at Colt Hill wharf. £1.

Bat Walk Thursday 12th April
Paul has kindly offered to lead another walk along the Canal towards Lodge Farm Bridge and we can look at the bat boxes (courtesy of the Parish Council) that he has put up at Colt Hill – all 24 of them! Paul can supply some bat detectors but don’t forget your torch! Please meet at 8.00 pm at Colt Hill Wharf. £1 and children free (but must be accompanied by an adult).

Churchyard Lichens
Wendy, Sheila and Ken Sandell, the (north) Hampshire Lichen recorder met in the Churchyard on the 16th March. At least 18 different lichens were identified; some associated with limestone, others with sandstone; some only occurred on west facing surfaces whilst others favoured the flat tops of the table tombs.

Whilst no rarities were found, the diversity of species and the size of some of the examples was impressive to us amateurs. Many lichens grow at a rate of only 1mm a year, so some of those found must have been very old. Ken stressed to us that lichens do not thrive when in shade nor under rampant ivy.

Buryfields
We have been approached by Buryfields School who wanted to know more about the group. It is obviously vital that we encourage the younger generation to learn more about wildlife and the countryside. Carol and Paul have taken on this project and are exploring ways in which we can help.

Hedgerow Survey
Alison Cross from the Hampshire Wildlife Trust who many of you heard at her talk last November has kindly agreed to help with the training for the hedgerow survey. We have booked her for Saturday 19th May. The training will run from 9.30 to 1.00 approximately and the venue (in Odiham) will be advised in the next newsletter but please let me know if you are interested. The idea is that we will work in pairs with at least one of the pair ‘trained’.

Cemetery Survey
We have started with the bird surveys and Ken Sandell had an initial look at the lichens, which curiously enough included several different species to those found in the Churchyard. Tony Mundell will also be looking at the flora on the 3rd of May. Please let us know what you see in and around the Cemetery.

Surveys and Observations
You may well be wondering what all this is for? Most of us enjoy the countryside and are interested in the wildlife that lives there. But sometimes you don’t really appreciate something until it is gone. In order to conserve what we have, we need to record what we have. And it’s not just the rarities - the once common house sparrows and hedgehogs have suffered significant declines in recent years.
All our information goes to the Hampshire Biodiversity Information Centre (HBIC), via the species recorders, where such data is becoming of increasing significance in the planning process.

Footpath Map
The Parish Council has re-printed the footpath map of the parish. Copies, free of charge are available from the Library and I will bring some along to our events.

And for you ‘budding’ botanists…
Tony Mundell, the (north) Hampshire Flora recorder will be carrying out flora surveys of the Churchyard and Cemetery on the 3rd May. If you would like to learn more from an expert do come along. Whilst Tony will be doing the survey during the day, he has offered to return in the evening to show his findings to those with work commitments. Details of timings in the next newsletter.

And a taste of what is to come!
Lodge Farm is a LEAF (Linking Environment And Farming) farm and Robert Janaway has kindly agreed to tell us more about this on a farm walk provisionally arranged for the evening of May 24th. Again, more details in our next newsletter.

DIARY

March

31st OBG Spring Bird Walk 2.00 pm Colt Hill Wharf £1

April

3rd OBG Steering Group meeting and AGM 7.30 pm

12th OBG Bat Evening Colt Hill Wharf 8.00 pm £1

22nd Cliddesden Group. Pond Survey 10-3 Contact : [email protected]

May

1st OBG Steering Group meeting

3rd OBG Flora Survey of Churchyard and Cemetery

10th Odiham Common ‘Walk in the Woods’ 6.30pm [email protected]

19th OBG Hedgerow training

24th OBG Lodge Farm Walk

For more information contact: Sheila Bates 01256 701187 [email protected]