Odiham Biodiversity Group - Newsletter May 2007

by otmg on Friday 25th May

Evening Bird Walk 30th May

The Basingstoke RSPB group with the Odiham Biodiversity Group are holding an evening walk on Wednesday 30th May. Meet in Colt Hill car park at 6.30 pm.

Churchyard and Cemetery Surveys

Tony Mundell carried out initial flora surveys of the Churchyard and the Cemetery on the 3rd May. You may be surprised to know that 111 different plant species were identified in the Churchyard and 124 species in the Cemetery. Most species were what you might expect in old chalk grassland but the Fiddle Dock in the Churchyard was unusual and the Wood Goldilocks found in the Cemetery is more typically found in ancient woodland. The numerous Primroses and Cowslips in the Cemetery had also produced a natural hybrid which itself is unusual – a cowslip with flowers nearly the size of primroses. Tony will return on the 12th July for another survey, when he hopes to add to the list.

The bird surveys are on-going but we will also be doing butterfly surveys, bat surveys and hopefully surveys for small mammals, amphibians, and reptiles aided by the local species groups. By the autumn we should have a comprehensive picture of the wildlife currently present and with the help of the Hampshire Wildlife Trust we will compile a report for the PCC and the Parish Council with suggestions as to how some areas could be managed with wildlife in mind.

Hedgerow Survey

Last Saturday’s training session with Alison Cross of the Hampshire Wildlife Trust went well. Whilst initially the task seemed quite daunting, in practice the surveying was not too onerous and in fact was quite fun! Don’t worry if you missed the training session but would like to help with the survey. Eight of us are now fully trained and will be able to pass on what we have learnt. This project, depending of course on the agreement of the landowners, will take place over a two-year period so there is plenty of time for you to get involved.
Hedgerows are important for many reasons – they are an integral part of our landscape, a refuge for wildlife and act as a corridor linking natural areas. Furthermore, hedgerows have been designated as a priority habitat in the national Biodiversity Action Plan. Surveys are needed to establish the condition of the hedgerows and ascertain the most important from a wildlife point of view.

Church Fete 14th July

Does anyone have a gazebo that we could borrow for the Church Fete? We’re going to have quizzes and competitions for adults and children together with displays and information about the group and wildlife and conservation in general. If you can help – by helping for an hour on our stall, by donating prizes, making up displays or compiling competitions, please get in touch.

More aliens spotted!

Muntjac deer have been seen on Odiham Common. They are much, much smaller than the Roe deer and the males have tusks! Also, there are further reports of Ring-necked parakeets. Do let us know if you see any.

OTHER ORGANISATIONS’ EVENTS

Odiham Common Walk Saturday 26th May

Hopefully, the weather will be better for the second of Steve’s Tree Council ‘Walk in the Woods’, although the rain didn’t deter some on the first walk! Meet at the recycling bins at 10.00am. This is a Hart District Council walk – so it’s free!

Bugs! Saturday 26th May

Wildlife Watch, the Junior section of the Hampshire Wildlife Trust are meeting at 2.00 pm in Colt Hill car park to look for dragonflies and other bugs along the canal. If you have children or grandchildren aged between 5 and 13 do bring them along. Do book first with Clare Lloyd Williams 01256 782665. £1 for HWT members and £2 for non-members.

Greywell Moors and Warnborough Greens

The Hampshire Flora Group are visiting Greywell Moors and Warnborough Greens on Saturday 10th June from 10.30 am until 4.00 pm. In theory, the Early Marsh Orchids and the Southern Marsh Orchids will both be in flower. The group would welcome keen amateur botanists so if you would like to come along, please call me in the first instance for more information.

STOP PRESS – the Foresters are emerging!

The Forester moths for which Odiham Common is famous are now emerging. These beautiful iridescent blue-green moths fly in the day-time. We are arranging a special visit to the meadows to show them to you and will inform you by e-mail when we can do this. If you’re not on e-mail give me a ring and I’ll keep you posted.

DIARY
26th May HDC Ranger walk Odiham Common 10.00 am
26th May HWT Wildlife Watch Bugs! 2.00 pm
30th May RSPB/OBG Bird Walk 6.30 pm
5th June OBG Committee meeting 7.30 pm
10th June Hants Flora Group Greywell Moors 10.30 am
14th July Church Fete
15th July OBG Butterfly walk

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