Teignbridge Wildlife Warden Newsletter
It is definitely feeling like the beginning of summer! Today the first marjoram flowers opened in my garden. It won’t be long before they attract hundreds of hoverflies, bees and other pollinators. Fledglings birds are making a racket, and I’ve seen lots of young spiders, like these nursery web spiders, which hatch around this time of the year. The female spider patrols the outside of the nest, but, within a few days, the young will leave and become independent.
|Undergraduate study – Strategy to address water pollution in the Teign catchment|
James Garling, a University of Exeter student, is researching possible solutions to water pollution in the Teign catchment for his undergraduate dissertation project. Here is the executive summary of his study as well as a shortened version of his report which he created for ACT. James proposes nature-based solutions and gives guidance on what landowners and members of the public can do to tackle this very important issue!
|Moth trapping event|
Barry Henwood, the Devon Moth recorder, kindly led a moth trapping evening for Wildlife Wardens at Orley Common. We were fortunate to catch 92 species of moth, which had unusual names, such as willow beauty, orange footman, Chinese character and the swallow prominent. Those that stayed until the end were lucky to see 4 striped hawk-moths, which is a scarce migrant species that most moth enthusiasts would be delighted to see once in their lifetime.
|Devon Wildlife Community of the Year Awards|
The Devon Local Nature Partnership have awards for individuals, groups, schools and parish councils who are doing amazing things to help wildlife. Wildlife Wardens are exactly the kind of people that these awards are aimed at! You have until the 15th of July to enter the competition, and can find more information here. Prizes include a moth trap, wildflower seed and a guided walk with Peter Burgess from the Devon Wildlife Trust.
|Wildlife Gardening Award|
UK gardens cover an area larger than all of our national parks combined, so gardening for wildlife can have a huge positive impact. Devon Wildlife Trust have launched a wildlife gardening award. Households receive a sign to stick on their gate if they can prove that they are doing certain things to help wildlife in their gardens. Successful applicants also receive a book with ideas on wildlife gardening. It’s a great scheme to promote in your local area!
Rewilding Britain have some useful ideas on how you can help wildlife in your garden.
There are lots of pollinators on the wing at the moment. Here are a couple of citizen science schemes that you can participate in to gather data on the state of pollinators. You can’t go wrong with watching pollinators and flowers in nice weather!
– UK Pollinator Monitoring Scheme Flower-Insect Timed Counts – spend just 10 minutes recording the pollinators that you see visiting flowers. This survey collects data on changes in numbers of flower-visiting insects across the UK.
– BIG Butterfly Count (15th July – 7th August) – spend just 15 minutes recording the butterflies that you see!
The Woodland Trust have a campaign to protect the UK’s oldest trees. Sadly most old trees are not protected in this country, and many have been lost in recent history even though they are vitally important for a wide range of wildlife, are important carbon stores, and cannot be replaced once lost. Sign this petition to ask for improved laws to keep our oldest trees safe.
Surfers Against Sewage are campaigning to increase the number of Official River Bathing Waters in the UK. Currently only one river has Bathing Water Designation. Designated rivers are closely monitored for harmful bacteria and viruses, and industries along designated rivers are legally obliged to stop sewage and agricultural pollution. You can sign the petition here.
Here is an overview of some of the wonderful things that you have been up to since the March newsletter.
Emily Marbaix appeared on BBC Spotlight and spoke about projects that are happening in the village. Emily and other members of Abbwild have been managing an orchard and a wildflower verge, and they have recently gained permission from the church warden to improve habitats at the churchyard. As usual, you can listen to Emily’s most recent monthly podcasts here!
WWs for Ashton and Doddidiscombsleigh met with three farmers/landowners to discuss hedgerow management. They have since surveyed hedgerows using the PTES Healthy Hedgerows App, and decided to map hedges within Ashton. Shira has been writing monthly articles for her parish magazine, including topics such as orchards, ponds, hedges, slug pellets, light pollution and rare birds. She has removed three-cornered leek (an invasive, non-native species) from the churchyard, and surveyed an Unconfirmed Wildlife Site for the Devon Biodiversity Records Centre.
Wildlife Wardens have been managing grass verges for wildflowers and plan to undertake baseline surveys to determine what is already there. They have also surveyed the churchyard and are working in collaboration with the church community to manage it for wildlife. They organised a wildlife gardening competition to engage local residents, and have been working with a student from Bicton College who has written articles about moths for the parish magazine.
Over the winter, Wildlife Wardens planted a 300-400 meter long hedgerow on farmland, and another 60 saplings on the village playing field.
Chudleigh Wild organised a river dipping event for families. Since receiving training from the River Teign Restoration Project, they have also been surveying river invertebrates to determine water quality. The group has been involving local residents in practical conservation tasks, including management of wildflower verges and wildlife gardens throughout the town. Chudleigh Wild have also been surveying orchids at a Devon Special Verge.
With help from a friend and TDC, Christine Callard designed and installed a notice board at Ogwell Cross Cemetery and Wolborough Churchyard to explain to the public what she has been doing to help wildlife. The yellow rattle that Christine seeded at the cemetery is now well established!
Dave Hutton and Scott Williams organised the Turn the Tide Event in Dawlish as part of the Jubilee celebrations and it was a great success! It had an environmental theme and Local organisations held stands at the event, including the Wildlife Warden Scheme, Devon Wildlife Trust, Dawlish Against Plastic, Sustainable Dawlish, Shores of South Devon, Recycle Devon and many more. There were events and activities for all ages as well as talks and live music. Here is a link to the event’s Facebook page. Dave, Scott, Jo King, Neil Howell and Clive Sheppard-Allen have continued to survey river water quality for the Westcountry CSI.
Elliot Fairs and Laura Fairs hosted a community orchard event at Embercome as part of national blossom day. They have been planting their own orchard on their smallholding, and are working with other landowners and parish councils to do the same.
Pip Hayes has continued organising informal wildlife meetings for WWs and other local people at pubs throughout the Teign Valley. Pip and Julia Kirkland worked alongside church wardens and villagers to plant a wildlife area at the churchyard, and even made a sensory bed and a small pond. They surveyed the churchyard in conjunction with Caring for God’s Acre and the Eco Church initiative, and have been surveying hedgerows with the PTES App. Julia has been surveying dormice with someone from Exeter University.
Peter Chandler organised a hedge planting session and invited children from Exminster Primary School’s Eco Team. 200 saplings were planted along bunds at a new development site.
Kate Morley finished planting and distributing wild service trees throughout the parish. In total, 71 trees were planted and they have been registered under the Queen’s Green Canopy initiative. Kate has continued to survey water quality of rivers for the Westcountry Citizen Science Investigations.
Kingsteignton Wild wrote their first article for the KTC newsletter. They wrote a proposal to install swift boxes on the Community Hall, and provided guidance on sourcing and planting wildflowers. They have made a plan for biodiversity enhancements at Oakford Lawn History Garden, and met with the church warden at St Michaels to discuss how they can work together. The group held a pop-up community nature event where they had a stand with information as well as activities for children and families. The nature trail is progressing and they held a competition to choose a design for the sticker which will be used to mark the route.
Ogwild invited local residents to help make a stone pile and log pile at Rectory field, which will act as a refuge for various species. They planted a 3.5m oak tree at Rectory Field in commemoration of the Jubilee. The group organised a bat walk for villagers and 33 people attended. Sarah Butcher, lead of the Devon Bat group, led the walk.
Paul Havemann has been writing monthly articles for the parish magazine. He has covered various topics, including the RSPB’s Big Garden Bird Watch, No Mow May, wildflowers; swallows, house martins and swifts; the right to roam and the importance of wasps.
Jill Connole wrote an article for the parish magazine about how to identify wildlife and mentioned some useful resources! You can find plenty of useful links on the ACT website. Jill helped to put up nest boxes in the churchyard, and also helped to plant 300 trees at the village hall.
The Tedburn group are looking to create a wildflower verge and make wildlife friendly improvements to the local recreation ground They have also been creating bird boxes, and have plans to do bat and swift surveys.
|Enjoy the start of summer!|