News archive

January 2012

Saturday, 28 January 2012

Publicising coach trips run by Havering Local Group

Publicising coach trips run by Havering Local Group

At our AGM, we apologised for our current lack of organised walks. Our Walks Leader is not able to organise any for the next six months and at the moment we have not been able to arrange anything else.

One of the regular attendees at our Indoor talks (Mike Condon) is also a member of the Havering Local RSPB Group. Havering organise coach trips and for them to thrive they would like more people to go on the trips. Some people at the AGM were definitely interested so we agreed we would publicise them on our website.

Currently the first pick up point is at Romford at 7.30am but if there is sufficient interest, they would consider a Redbridge pick up at, say, 7.15am. We would need to find a suitable location, perhaps Redbridge station which is accessible via public transport and has car parking facilities.

Please let us know if you would be interested in this (phone or email us).

Obviously this cannot be put in place for next Saturday's trip to Lackford Lakes but we are sure you would be welcome if you contacted Havering Group (see our Events page for more details).

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Valentines Park - changes and new plans

Valentines Park - changes and new plans

Valentine's Park is far larger than many people realise and one of the richest wildlife areas in Redbridge, with many breeding birds.

Simon Litt, who manages the park, stepped out of his usual position in the audience to tell us about it.

Simon kindly let us have the first half an hour for our AGM - thanks to everyone who made the effort to arrive at the earlier time of 7.15 pm (which will now be the regular start time for future Talks).

Since Simon became manager, many changes have been made to improve the habitat for wildlife. The old Parks regime of mowing everything down to short turf with formal bedding areas has been replaced with a more sensitive approach to provide a variety of habitats.

The grass for sitting on and admiring the carpet bedding is still there and the play areas (with some impressive new wooden play structures - I'd like to have a go, especially on the 'Flying Carpet'!) but so are areas of long grass with paths cut through.
There are also areas with bog plants giving a marshy habitat, plants which are drought tolerant and innovative planting schemes such as an island bed with beetroot plants as an edging. When the beetroot plants became too tall and fell over, they were pulled up and left for visitors to help themselves - free fresh beetroot was definitely appreciated.

The old approach of cutting the hedges three times a year, including April / May (a disaster for nesting birds) has been replaced with a single cut in September so that's good news for the one small flock of around 26 sparrows who have managed to hang on in an area of the park where there are hedges.

A birding highlight was the arrival of a heron who decided she liked an alder tree and they successfully raised three young (excellent 'punk' photo). The alder tree unfortunately fell down but they did return, hidden this time in a pine tree. Herons have returned and hopes are high for this spring.

Valentines Mansion is being spruced up and the new nearby café looks excellent.
Did you spot it in 'The Great Bake Off'?
Tune in to the current celebrity 'The Great Sport Relief Bake Off' which was filmed in Valentines Park in October.

Simon finished by showing us a photo of the Dry Garden at the Beth Chatto Gardens - a future project for Valentines Park. We wish him every success.

If you click on the 'Download file' link, then you will see the striking poster that David (our Publicity officer) produced to advertise this talk.
We distribute the poster to libraries, supermarkets (many have Community Notice boards) and have managed to get it displayed on some of Redbridge's Community Notice boards (e.g. in Wanstead High Street).

If you have any suggestions of other places to advertise that may encourage more people to come to our talks, we would be glad to hear them.

Download file