Help for thirsty creatures

Have you noticed any water bowls tucked into hedges or by trees when walking in the park since that midsummer heatwave?

Thanks to two loyal creature/critter supporters these provide some water in what can be a very dry environment. Hard to believe at the beginning of 2021 but now…

If you would like to help, take a bottle of water with you when you walk in case they are empty. Especially when the weather gets warmer. Please leave the stones are in to provide escape route for wildlife falling in the dish – frogs, insects etc)

THANK YOU!

HEDGEROW PROJECT – Part 2

Maybe you’ve noticed the two new  plantings of hedgerow saplings on Rowton Road bondary. These are thanks to a few hardy volunteers who just completed the project started in early December. We still had to abide by social distancing but there will be future opportunities for larger group efforts.

 

 

 

 

 

There are now nearly 300 saplings p;anted including: silver birch, downy birch, crab apple, dogwood, dog rose, hawthorn, goat willow, cherry, blackthorn, hazel and rowan.  We’ll have a Hedgerow ID Walk sometime in 2023!

Hedgerow vista – 3 patches

 

 

 

 

 

Look for the native daffodils growing alongside the patch in foreground.

 

The longterm plan is to keep them alive and thriving and then manage the size in a natural way. This is to provide habitat diversity and links to green spaces across Plum Lane where there is a new school orchard. Remaining saplings (free from Woodland Trust) will be donated to a greening project in progress on Herbert Road. The oak saplings are going to be used in a Plumcroft project hopefully this autumn.

 

DAWN CHORUS DAY – 2 May

Spring is truly blossoming now and birds are busy everywhere. Spend some time rediscovering the bird boxes along Dothill path and the various holes in trees.

National Dawn Chorus Day is Sunday 2 May and the RSPB has an excellent ID guide to birdsong (for 20 species) for you to learn before then; or any morning you’re up at dawn…

So open your windows wide or scamper over to the Park at 5.30am on or around May the 2nd for a real treat. You may even see bats returning to roost.

BIrd song identification

https://www.rspb.org.uk/birds-and-wildlife/bird-songs/what-bird-is-that/

RSPB site for Dawn Chorus facts

https://www.rspb.org.uk/reserves-and-events/events-dates-and-inspiration/events/dawn-chorus/

Should be a lot on Twitter too……

 

2020 AGM

Our plans for this year’s AGM have been scuppered so we are just going to update you on news of the park and leave the Management Committee the same for now: Sandra Bauer, Paul Buckley, Alan Deacon, Kris Inglis, Sonja O’Sullivan, Ron Senkus, Irene Telfer and Iris White. If you would like to join the committee and get more involved, there is a link to use later in this email. New members are always welcome.

Arising from the 2019 AGM:

  • Fundraising from grants has gone quiet (for permanent iron site signage, path maintenance of Dothill etc.) If anyone would like to help with grant applications please contact us!
  • Path maintenance from the carpark was carried out this month. It’s a good job and when I enquired I was told that plans to continue the upgrade (at least patching holes) around and down the hill were in the works
  • Take-litter-home signage supplied by RBG went up just as the committee was about to make more of our own in early lockdown
  • Mowing and major path clearing schedule confirmed with Parks and Open Spaces in July
  • Hedgerow project going ahead – in safe form – starting 12 December. Details to follow
  • Plumcroft School Orchard progressing, with guidance and support of RBG. Lots of work done by Tamasin and her team in preparation for December (tbc)

 

Summary of past year…

We held a successful 2019 Quiz night with Shrewsbury House in November that proved a fun time and a good fundraiser. A member alerted us to the Celebrate National Lottery 25 Grant and turned the application around to meet the deadline. This gave us £775 for wildlife monitoring equipment, a decision based on last year’s AGM discussion of habitats. We have materials for hedgehog surveying, a nature cam and two bat detectors so far and look forward to working parties being able to carry out investigations. Many thanks to Les for all his efforts on this application.

 

After cancelling the March Bird Walk it became clear that every visit to the park would have to be self-directed for the foreseeable future. No Summer Festival, just walks for exercise, play, reflection and running around madly became the main focus. Thank you to everyone who continued to encourage social distancing, responsible picnicking and considerate dog walking during the most stressful times. Many people discovered the pleasure of this open space and experienced the natural world on our doorstep.

 

Have you seen the video showcasing FSP and the park?    Or taken a turn on the swing that appeared in April?

 

Thankyous

We’ve had help with habitat management this summer. One was a survey done by Joe Beale, local environmentalist, who walked the park with a few members to identify habitat diversity and make suggestions as to how we can appropriately support and manage the space.

The Royal Borough of Greenwich Parks and Open Spaces were very cooperative when approached with FSP meadow care concerns: when they met myself and Les Clark they had already mapped out the next two years’ mowing from the same environmental criteria. There is a lot of expertise and experience we can draw on in P and OS.

Thanks to Michelle for providing several months of hedgehog news and guidance posted on the website. And to Les and Liz for establishing watering stations for wildlife throughout the summer and now. Thanks also to Sandra for providing the impetus and editing of the above mentioned video. And thanks to Anthony Hurren who shared his lockdown nature video and won the cover place on the 2021 calendar.

The Lockdown Gallery on the website started in March was a huge success – thanks for kicking it off, John! And of course this fed naturally into the 2021 calendar with voting online that went surprisingly well.  The sale of the 2021 calendar was very successful and thanks for  spreading the resulting product far and wide. The price increased to £6.50 this year and we sold about half in just one of those glorious weekends in the park in July. Results in the Treasurer’s report    THERE ARE STILL 3 LEFT!  Contact werfsp@gmail.com to get one.

May the new year bring more activities back to the park and keep all those positive ones that you’ve discovered in 2020.  Feel free to send any suggestions or concerns via the email address.

See you in the Park

Kris Inglis, Chair

ALL GONE!

Thank you for buying a calendar and supporting FSP – May everyone be able to fill the pages with postive plans for 2021!

Happy New Year to all


Delivery to the SE18, SE2 or DA16 postcodes is free of charge.  

Hedgehog Diaries – Midsummer

Those hedgehogs that had their litters in June will have started to take their babies out on foraging trips at night. This is so that the babies start to learn to find food for themselves. They won’t leave their mother just yet through, returning to the nest with her and continuing to take her milk as well as the food they find whilst out and about. It’ll be a few more weeks before they’re ready to leave, but they will be starting to develop the vital skills that they need to be able to survive on their own.

Did you know: the biggest predator of hedgehogs in the UK is the badger. Find out more here

You may have seen in the news , headlines telling us that a number of our beloved native species are seriously in danger Amongst them is the hedgehog. If we all do a little bit to improve the environment for our prickly friends, we can play our part in helping to change that. Here are the things that you can be doing this month in your garden and in the local area to be kind to hedgehogs:

  • Review the chemicals that you might be using in your garden. Slug pellets are a major threat to hedgehogs. They forage for the slugs and snails and can inadvertently ingest these poisonous chemicals. Slug pellets should be avoided at all cost as they kill hedgehogs.
  • Remember to check overgrown areas before you use a strimmer.
  • Don’t forget the importance of creating a small gap in your fences (13 cm by 13 cm) to help local hogs to get about more easily.
  • Offering clean, fresh water to visiting hogs will continue to be a small, but very important, thing that you can do over the weeks ahead.

SPOTTED A HEDGEHOG IN YOUR GARDEN?   If you spot a hedgehog either in your garden or somewhere in the local area, please let us know. It would be really exciting to build up a picture of where and when they are being seen locally.

You can also log your sightings with Hedgehog Street (the project run by the Hedgehog Preservation Society) who are building up a national picture of the state of our hog population.                               Find out more here

If you spot a hedgehog out during the middle of the day, they may well be in trouble. Contact Willow Wildlife for advice on 07956 472284 or Michelle (on behalf of Friends of Shrewsbury Park) on 07849 534759.

More from the Hedgehog Diaries next month.

 

THE HEDGEHOG DIARIES: JUNE

As we learned last month, May was when the hedgehog breeding season started to get into full swing.  Once pregnant, it will be around four weeks before a hedgehog mother gives birth to her litter. The number of hoglets born will normally be between four and five.

For those mothers who started the breeding season early, their hoglets may already have started to emerge from the nest. It’s more likely that you’ll start to see babies in July, but keep your eyes open because you never know when they’ll be about.

Did you know that a hedgehog can live for up to 6 years? Find out MORE HERE.

Here are our top hedgehog tips for this month:

SPOTTED A HEDGEHOG?   If you spot a hedgehog either in your garden or somewhere in the local area, please let us know. It would be really exciting to build up a picture of where and when they are being seen locally.

You can also log your sightings with Hedgehog Street (project run by the Hedgehog Preservation Society) who are building up a national picture of the state of our hog population. Find out MORE HERE.  ‘Make a hole, make a difference!’

CONTINUE TO PROVIDE FRESH WATER    Although we’ve had a lot of rain in recent weeks, fresh water remains an important resource. Continue to put out a shallow dish in your garden and keep it topped up with fresh water throughout the month.

GARDEN PONDS    If you have a pond in your garden, you may get hedgehogs visiting for water and to find yummy invertebrates to eat. Always make sure that there is an escape route, with a gentle shelved area to allow any animals who fall in to the water a to get out easily. Hedgehogs can swim, but may drown if they are unable to climb out of the water.

LITTER PICK    Sadly, there have been instances of littering in our parks and open spaces. If you’re out and about and see something that could be harmful to wildlife, please consider carefully picking it up and placing it in a bin. Always be aware of vital hand hygiene, though, and it’s recommended that you wear gloves. Thoroughly wash your hands for at least 20 seconds if you touch anything that has been discarded.

Some of the things that can be particularly harmful to animals like hedgehogs include:

  • Discarded elastic bands: they can be an entanglement risk
  • The plastic holders from multipack drinks cans: they can be an entanglement risk
  • The plastic/foil/cardboard tubes that some savoury snacks come in: these represent a suffocation risk to small mammals such as hedgehogs

NOT BUILT YOUR HEDGEHOG SUPER-HIGHWAY YET?    Don’t forget that it’s a simple case of cutting a 13 cm x 13 cm hole at the bottom of a fence panel to create one. This gives hedgehogs the chance to roam between gardens, find suitable nesting spaces and a plentiful supply of health food and water.

Check out recent VIDEO HERE Got any grub….

If you spot a hedgehog out during the middle of the day, they may well be in trouble. Contact Willow Wildlife for advice on 07956 472284 or Michelle (on behalf of Friends of Shrewsbury Park) on 07849 534759.

More from the Hedgehog Diaries next month.

Thank you Michelle!

 

Formed in 2006, the Friends of Shrewsbury Park encourage the use of Shrewsbury Park and support the development of facilities for recreation, education and amenities for local people and to encourage a sense of community around the park.