Odiham Biodiversity Group - Newsletter April 2007

by otmg on Wednesday 25th April

OBDG LogoLodge Farm Walk and Ride Thursday 24th May 6.30 p.m.
Lodge Farm is a LEAF (Linking Environment and Farming) farm. Join us on the 24th May and Robert Janaway and will explain what this means and how this affects a local farm. Robert will talk about livestock and the management of the Deer Park and his cousin will tell us about the arable side. Booking for this is essential, as we have to know numbers for the trailer rides etc. It will cost £2, payable on the evening (the Janaways are generously giving their time free). Please book by the 10th May.

Hedgerow Survey Training Saturday 19th May 9.30 am – 1.00 pm.
Hedgerows play a crucial role as corridors for wildlife. Generally, the older the hedge the better for wildlife and the number of woody species gives us a clue as to the age of the hedge. Alison Cross of HWT is coming to Odiham on the morning of the 19th May to give us training on how to survey the hedges in our parish. Fiona and John have kindly made space available for us at the Waterwitch for the theory section and afterwards we will be able to put into practice what we have learnt by surveying some nearby hedgerows. Cost £2. Again please book your place.

Come and see a real botanist at work!
Tony Mundell is coming to Odiham on the 3rd May to do the surveys of the Cemetery and Churchyard. The plan is to start at 10.30 am in the Cemetery and 2.00 pm in the Churchyard although this could alter if the weather is inclement or a funeral is taking place. This will be an invaluable opportunity to see how a flora survey is conducted and for you to brush up your identification skills. A survey of the churchyard was carried out by Peter and Patricia Moore some ten years ago so it will be interesting to see whether there are any changes in the flora over this period.

‘Walk in the Woods’
Steve Lyons the ranger will be guiding two walks around Odiham Common in May as part of National Tree Month. Each walk will take about 2 hours and Steve will be pointing out historic trees, some wildlife (hopefully) and how woodlands are managed. The first walk will start at 6.30 pm on Thursday 10th May and the second at 10.00 am (n.b.change of time) on Saturday 26th May. Meet at the Recycling bins at Colt Hill. Free!

Church Fete 14th July
We are going to have a stall at the Church Fete this year. We hope to have displays and will be having some kind of wildlife quiz for children and adults. Volunteers to ‘man’ the stall for just an hour at a time would be welcomed.

Bat Walk
The bat walk on the 12th April was a great success. There were 33 of us including some very enthusiastic children, but best of all – there were lots of bats for us to see and hear. Common pipistrelles, Soprano pipistrelles and Daubenton’s bats were much in evidence. We hope to do another bat walk in the autumn.

Red Kites and other observations
Red Kites have been spotted over Odiham! Red Kites were once very common up to the 18th century especially in urban areas where they acted as scavengers. But due to persecution, by 1930 only one female was breeding successfully in Wales. There followed a gradual recovery until a spectacularly successful re-introduction programme was set up, using Spanish and Swedish birds to augment the gene pool. One of the first re-introduction sites was in the Chilterns and it may be these birds that are spreading south. Let us know if you see any!
Cuckoos, Swallows and House Martins are all here – but who saw (or heard) the first?

Hart District Rangers’ Walks
Saturday 28th April ‘Spring Birds at Fleet Pond’. Meet at 9.30 am at the car park off the Cove Road.
Saturday 5th May ‘The Special Plants of Fleet Pond’. Meet at 10.30 am.
Tuesday 15th May ‘Hazeley Heath Dawn Chorus’ meet at 5.00am. Ring 01252 843893 to book.

Hampshire Wildlife Trust
More Dawn Choruses for early risers!
Sunday 6th May 4.30 am. ‘Farmland Dawn Chorus Walk’ at Newhouse Farm Stratfield Turgis. For booking and more details contact Amanda Bassett 01489 774424. Cost £4 including breakfast!
Sunday 6th May 4.30 am. ‘Tasty Dawn Chorus’ at Hook Common Wildlife Reserve. For more information and to book your place please contact Rachel Remnant 01489 774421. Cost £3 including breakfast.
Sunday 27th May ‘Pottering about on Bartley Heath’ 10am-3pm. Explore the reserve and find inspiration for making a pot. Cost £5. To book and for more details contact Rachel as above.

1st May OBG Committee meeting 7.30. Parkside.
3rd May OBG Cemetery and Churchyard Flora Survey
6th May HWT Dawn Chorus walk Hook Common and Newhouse Farm
10th HDC Ranger evening walk Odiham Common
15th HDC Ranger Walk Hazeley Heath Dawn Chorus
19th OBG Hedgerow Survey Training morning
24th OBG Lodge Farm evening walk/ride
26th HDC Ranger morning walk Odiham Common
27th HWT Pottering about on Bartley Heath

For more information about the group please contact Sheila Bates 01256 701187 or [email protected]