Newsletter May 2022
FWAG Farmland Bird Survey 2022-23
FWAG South West adviser and ornithologist Lawrie Sampson is leading a farmland bird survey in Cornwall, using volunteers. Each farm will be surveyed three times in 2022 and again in 2023.
Out of a total of fifteen farms being surveyed, four are on the Lizard Peninsula. At Rosuick Farm, the first survey was conducted on 5th April.
Magical moments included a fly past of a female marsh harrier, and a nuthatch which sang its heart out for long enough for one of us to take a photo. 30 species were identified, the most prevalent being the Woodpigeon. Surprisingly only 6 carrion crows, 4 jackdaws and 1 magpie were seen. Also we were surprised to record only one house sparrow – perhaps he will have brought his friends along next time. It was lovely to see 6 linnets and 13 meadow pipits. During our next survey, we hope to observe the summer migrants and a greater diversity of species.
Nuthatch at Rosuick- Photo Tim Pinfield
Nansloe Woodland Creation Open Day, Saturday April 2nd 3-6pm
Rangers from the National Trust, Penrose, explained to the public their plans to create some woodland at Nansloe, on the south eastern boundary of Helston. As well as benefitting wildlife, the wood will be accessible to the people of Helston. There will be seating for recreation beneath blossom trees. Foot paths will connect with other paths around Loe Pool and in the Penrose Estate. Over 5,000 mixed woodland trees will be planted.
Explore your Local Working Woods – a walk and talk in Devichoys Wood, Thursday 5th May 13.00-15.00pm To book tickets, see https://workingwoodlandscornwall.com/events/
Wildlife Groundswell AGM, followed by a talk from Lawrence Sampson, Monday 16thMay 6.30pm at Trewoon Farm, St Martin TR12 6DT.
At the AGM, the Wildlife Groundswell Committee for 2022/2023 will be elected.
Lawrie Sampson is the regional Farm Environment Adviser for Farmers and Wildlife Advisory Group South West, FWAGSW. Everyone interested in local Nature Recovery is welcome.
Scything Course Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th May, Mullion. For details please click on this link https://1drv.ms/w/s!AoROvjKqhOFCqhHcpqEZVqLNOcvp
Wetland Creation, Goonhilly Downs, Saturday 9th July 10.00am-12.30pm
See Nature increasing at some new ponds, led by Morgan Ravine, Lizard National Nature Reserve Manager, Natural England.
Wildlife Groundswell would like to track and map the wildflower meadows already in existence on the Lizard and beyond. These traditional hay meadows are such a precious habitat for invertebrates including pollinators, and pollinators are vital for the continuity of plants including crops that we eat. Moreover the meadows provide nutrient rich grazing for herbivores including cattle. Sadly we have hardly any wildflower meadows left, but there is interest in creating more.
Letter from Dave Oates of Rosuick Farm, St Martin, which includes some questions for our readers and their contacts.
My plans for species and flower rich grasslands creation and restoration on the Lizard.
I’m still at the early stages with this project. I have designed and had made a tractor-mounted brush seed collector, I've also purchased hand held seed vacuums. This summer I will be harvesting seed from a few sites across the Lizard and then sowing on others to distribute the seed and create more species-rich lowland meadows. This includes grasses as well as flowers as they all play an important part in the ecosystem.
I am making plans with the National Trust, Cornwall Wildlife Trust as well as the Eden project and hope I will be able to expand on this in the future years.
This year I am looking for donor sites. If anyone has fields, meadows or small area of native flower/ species rich grassland then please get in touch. I am looking for sites both as donor sites to harvest certain species as well as sites to over sow with local seed to improve them further.
Also if anyone has the knowledge and or willingness to carry out species surveys this summer, or has had surveys done on their land, I would be interested to discuss if you can share. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
No Mow May - a message from Plantlife https://www.plantlife.org.uk/uk:- .
Join legions of gardeners and say “no” to the mow this May to help our bees, butterflies, wildlife and us!
Plantlife’s No Mow May campaign doesn’t ask you to do much. In fact, it asks you to not do anything at all… Just lock up your lawnmower on May 1st and let the wild flowers in your lawn bloom, providing a feast of nectar for our hungry pollinators.
Plantlife’s annual campaign, #No Mow May launches this year on 29 April 2022. Full details of the campaign, to be run in association with Lidl, including a wide range of new resources for download will be added regularly from this page over the next couple of weeks. Note that No Mow May has been trademarked this year for the first time.
National Meadows Day 2nd July
Wildlife Groundswell would like to celebrate Plantlife’s Wildflower Meadow Day, https://meadows.plantlife.org.uk/national-meadows-day/
Let it grow… let it groooow…
At the end of the month, join in with our nationwide “Every Flower Counts” survey. Not only will you receive your very own “nectar score” for your lawn, you’ll help us learn more about the health of the nations’ wild flowers.
People embracing the value of wilder lawns are delivering some thrilling botanical results: Last year (2021) the conversion to wilder lawns saw records of bee orchids, snake’s-head fritillaries and eyebrights. We can’t wait to find out what might pop up this May!
If you’re a council, join in by leaving parks and road verges to go wild. Our Road Verge Campaign provides award-winning guidance on how to mow less often and later in the year instead. And the fun doesn’t stop for farmers… A three acre meadow can be home to 9 million flowers producing enough nectar to support ½ million bees every day. We’re working hard to save, create and restore wildflower meadows through our meadow making projects and our network of nature reserves.
Community Tree Nursery, Update from Sam Reed
Sam is starting to keep a database for young trees which will serve as a community nursery. Anyone who is looking after young sapling trees which they would like to be planted locally next autumn, please let Sam Reed know by writing to email@example.com.
Watervole Reintroduction- a message from Kernow Conservation:-
Thanks to everyone who donated to our Crowdfunder, we managed to raise a massive £7820 from individual and business donations, which allowed us to gain Cornwall Council's match funding and brought us over our target to£12,820! With this funding, we can now focus on managing the project, organising interactive volunteer days, and generally ensuring its success!
See attached document for the Kernow Conservation newsletter, which includes a link to a BBC interview about the project. Also see their website for more information https://www.kernowconservation.org/
Establishing and maintaining herbal leys & agroforestry with Niels Corfield. Money and opportunities with Ed from Farm Cornwall + Q&As, Wed, 11 May, 09:30 – 13:00m Roche Victory Hall Social Club,PL26 8JF
Volunteer Garden Day 2022, 14 May 11am – 4pm, Kestle Barton, Manaccan, TR12 6HU
Open invitation to all to join the team for their next Volunteer Garden Day. The day consists of communal weeding, followed by a delicious lunch… and then more communal weeding…
Bumblebee Conservation Trust offers free bumblebee identification courses in May.
South West Real Farming Conference 20-22 September 2022
This two-day event will be at Nancarrow Farm, near Truro in Cornwall. They will be welcoming farmers, fishers, food producers and many others from Bristol, Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Gloucestershire, Somerset and beyond to discuss and reflect on farming and food issues particular to the South West.
“Silent Earth” by Dave Goulson. A loud wake-up call for all of us to look after insects. Recommended by Maggie Freegard
“Where have all the Flowers Gone?” by Charles Flower. It’s a beautiful book covering the heritage and destruction of UK hay meadows and how to help bring back our native wildflowers. Wonderful photography - my copy is dog eared and taped together after showing it to lots of children and community groups.**Warning - please IGNORE all Charles’ recommendations to prepare/ manage land using chemicals!** Recommended by Melissa Ralph, who works with https://letstalk.cornwall.gov.uk/making-space-for-nature.
Live talk by Ben Rawlence, the author of “The Tree Line” – a book recommended in our newsletter last month. Ben will be speaking about his book in Dolly’s Tearoom and Wine bar, Falmouth, on Thursday 26th May at 7pm. Book tickets here https://www.falmouth-bookseller.co.uk/
Radio 4 Costing the Earth https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006r4wn, recommended by Belinda Edwards. There is also a podcast.
Wild Live! monthly webinars
For anyone who hasn’t been following these fascinating discussions, hosted by The Wildlife Trusts' Chief Executive, Craig Bennett, don’t worry, they can be found by clicking this link. https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/wild-live
Each month Craig is joined by fantastic special guests to chat about some of the really important issues relating to wildlife, the natural world and environment
Any contributions for June newsletter most welcome, send by 25th May to wildlifegroundswell@gmailcom>