BS3 Wildlife Group news

BS3 Wildlife Group AGM

This will be on Sunday, 20 January from 2.00pm in the Tobacco Factory. We can talk about some of the ideas for 2019. 

My Wild Street

This Avon Wildlife Trust (AWT) project was piloted in east Bristol as part of the My Wild City project. See www.avonwildlifetrust/mywildstreet. Do you think that your street (or part of it) might be a BS3 version?

Lots of gardens in BS3 are already quite wildlife friendly but are often isolated. The idea is to link neighbours up to develop a group of gardens rich in pollen, avoiding chemicals and with some untidy bits where small creatures can avoid hungry predators. We’ll also be asking participants to monitor their front gardens for butterflies and possibly other animals during 2019 and beyond. Please let me know if you are interested in developing this idea (Email: MyWildBedminster@virginmedia.com)Of course, if people make their back gardens more wildlife friendly, so much the better.

My Wild Park

Victoria Park Action Group (VPAG) has been working for several years to promote more wildlife in that space and Dame Emily Park Project (DEPP) are working with a UWE student to produce a wildlife plan for their park in 2019. We hope to bring more information from both of these groups during the year. It may be that other park and green space groups in BS3 are also thinking of wilding their patch during 2019. If so, it would be really good to hear from them. What are they proposing?   Do they need any help? 

My Wild School

AWT seeks to work with local schools in order to raise the knowledge and understanding of pupils around natural science and often to make practical interventions designed to improve the wildlife potential of school grounds. AWT can only support a limited number of schools at any one time and those schools need to be willing and able to collaborate. We have been talking to Trust workers in order to encourage them to do more in BS3, but they are not sure which schools (possibly only 2 or 3) to go for. If you have contacts in local schools and know of staff members that would be keen to work with AWT, please let me know and I’ll pass the message on.

My Wild Somewhere Else?

We think that we are the only general wildlife group based on a single neighbourhood. This is odd. Why is there no My Wild Hartcliffe, or Fishponds or BS9 or 10 group? Perhaps there are. If you know of such groups, please send details as it would be good to start a dialogue.

Hedgehog rescue

A small hedgehog was spotted a few evenings ago on the Ashton Urban Natures wildlife camera which is in a garden on Frobisher Road pointing at their hedgehog feeding station. We were concerned that the hog looked very young and underweight so we kept an eye out for her and managed to catch her. She weighed in at 390g which is not enough to survive hibernation and so was taken to Prickles rescue centre. They have told us the hog has lung worm and a lot of ticks. The ticks have now been removed and the lung worm is being treated. The hog will remain at Prickles until the spring and then return to Ashton to become part of the Bedminster Wildlife team again. For those of you that do instagram you can see the camera highlights on ‘ashtons.urban.nature’

The Flowers of Winter

Fifteen people joined Alex Morss on a three hour walk around parts of south Bristol looking for flowers blooming on January 1. They achieved their best ever score with 48 different plants. A list of these and some pictures is available upon request. These results will go to the Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland to inform national records. The national picture should be available by February on bsbi.org/new-year-plant-hunt.

Keep Monitoring Birds

We are now in the second half of the six months Winter Garden Bird Watch. It’s not too late to join in, so send for a recording form if you want to (Email: MyWildBedminster@virginmedia.com).

Compared to, say, ten years ago, my sightings are fewer. Only one dunnock seen, so far, this winter and finches are few and far between. A decade ago I would expect to see at least a few greenfinches and more chaffinches and goldfinches. Not now. In 2018 (October-December) I’ve only seen a few goldfinches, caught a very uncertain glimpse of a female chaffinch and had no greenfinches. Is it just my garden or is this a common experience?

Butterflies are on the way?

How many species of butterflies and moths will we find across BS3 in 2019? Apart from odd sightings of insomniac red admirals, we are not likely to see much before April, but I hope that some of you are thinking of monitoring your garden, allotment, park or other green space during 2019, either again or for the first time. The records that you send in are important in the general monitoring of the UK’s wildlife. Doing it can be fun too. My advice is to get yourself a butterfly net, if you don’t have one already, as this makes identification much easier, does no harm to the insect and can enhance your reputation as a bit of an oddball.

Of course, if you really want to splash out you could go for a moth trap. If you become part of a My Wild Street group you could buy a shared moth trap.

BS3 Wildlife Group Facebook

There is now a BS3 Wildlife Group on Facebook. It currently has 45 members. If you want to join it, just search for BS3 Wildlife Group on your facebook page. Please feel free to post messages, photographs, join in the discussions and encourage others to join.

Membership of BS3 Wildlife Group

If we take membership to equate with being on this circulation list, we are 79. Can we hit 100 by the Spring? Please talk to neighbours and friends who may have an interest in encouraging wildlife in BS3. I’m sure there are lots out there.

Please pass this newsletter on to others who might be interested and invite them to join the BS3 Wildlife Group. Membership is free, and you don’t even need to live in BS3!