News archive

January 2015

Friday, 16 January 2015

Thursday 12th February, 'Sand Martins and Minerals Sites - Restoring Quarries for Wildlife and People' by Liz Harris

Thursday 12th February, 'Sand Martins and Minerals Sites - Restoring Quarries for Wildlife and People' by Liz Harris

Liz Harris, from the RSPB's Nature After Minerals Team, will take you on a tour around some of the fantastic active and restored quarries across the UK and northwest Europe. She will look at how RSPB and others are re-creating our most rare and fragmented habitats at a landscape scale, and creating new spaces for wildlife and local communities.

The talk will look at how the RSPB's work provides new spaces for numerous threatened (as well as common) species, including sand martin, bittern, a spider-eating wasp, and white-clawed crayfish. Liz will also describe the habitat work by conservation partners in the Netherlands on eagle owl and yellow bellied toad.
One of the main beneficiaries of quarry restoration work is the sand martin, (also known as the bitter bank or bitterie, literally the 'biter of banks'), which uses its beak to burrow into sand banks to make its nest. Liz will describe the life cycle and characteristics of the sand martin, and the latest des-res sand martin bank at RSPB's Langford Lowfields reserve.

Nature After Minerals (NAM) is a partnership between Natural England and RSPB, with support from the minerals industry. It looks to promote high quality habitat creation on mineral sites. The programme works with mineral planners, industry, statutory bodies, conservation organizations and local communities, to create paces for wildlife and provide richer places for people to enjoy.

Liz Harris is NAM's Restoration Adviser. Liz provides site-based advice on restoration to mineral operators and also works with a number of mineral planning authorities, helping inform restoration plans and policy.

Venue: St. Columba's Church Hall, Pont St. London SW1. £4.00 RSPB members, £5.00 non-members.

Doors open for tea and biscuits at 6.15pm. Talk starts at 6.45pm
St Columba's Church Hall is the big, white stone Scottish church on the corner of Pont St and Lennox Gardens SW1, 3-4 minutes' walk from the back of Harrods.

Tube: Knightsbridge (Piccadilly Line) 5-8 mins' walk; Sloane Square (District & Circle Lines) 15 mins.

Bus: 9, 10, 52 (Knightsbridge); 14, 74, 414, C1 (Brompton Rd, passing Beauchamp Place, nearest stops are Knightsbridge/Harrods and Brompton Square); 19, 22, 137, 452, C1 (Sloane St, passing eastern end of Pont St).

Parking: some around the church (free after 18.30h). St Columba's is outside the congestion charge zone.

Friday, 16 January 2015

Sunday 8th February, Day trip to Two Tree Island NNR, Essex.

Sunday 8th February, Day trip to Two Tree Island NNR, Essex.

This 640 acre island is situated south of Leigh on Sea train station. The island itself consists of grassland, scrub, reedbed and lagoons and supports a wide variety of birds, particularly migrants. Avocets breed on the island each year.

Meet at 10am at Leigh-on-Sea Station (the 09.10 train from Fenchurch Street Station arrives Leigh-on-Sea at 09.57). Reclaimed from the sea in the 18th century when a seawall was built around the saltmarsh, the island is now managed by Essex Wildlife Trust. It consists of grassland, scrub, reedbed and lagoons while mudflats support dense beds of eel-grass and provide food for thousands of wildfowl and waders including brent geese. Curlew, dunlin, redshank and grey plover can be seen in significant numbers. Raptors and short-eared owls are possible. There are hides but no other facilities on the island. Bring lunch. Leader Annette Warrick
No need to book. For reserve information go to: