News archive

January 2016

Saturday, 30 January 2016

Family watching garden birds

Big Garden Bird Watch weekend (30th/31st)

Hoping that more than half a million people from across the UK took part by counting the birds in their gardens over the weekend of 30-31 January, 2016. Plus making a record of the other wildlife seen throughout the year, providing a vital snapshot of UK nature.

Just an hour was all it took and was suitable for all ages and abilities.

If you click on the link below, it will take you to the RSPB BGBW website pages for more info and how to submit your findings.

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Grange Farm

Grange Farm

As usual in January, we fitted in a quick AGM first while our three speakers patiently waited for their turn!

The 90 acres of the Grange Farm Centre include the wildlife-friendly Chigwell Meadows and a home for Essex Wildlife Trust, who manage the Roding Valley Nature Reserve just over the bridge.

Roger Neville (a Trustee) told us about the history of this local site showing us old photos from the 1950s of the outdoor pool, sun terrace, football pitch etc. Many changes have taken place over the years and a few battles fought to stop it disappearing under houses!

Some land had to be sold to provide funds and put the Grange Farm Centre on a secure financial footing. The coming of the M11 split the site and there were various issues about Great Crested Newts!
Rob Draper described the activities that occur now at the centre that he is responsible for - being particularly proud of the high quality of the football pitches (as he comes from a sports background). One of the photos that hang in the centre is of Bobby Moore on the old football pitch (in black and white and in short shorts!).
There is a fairly new Centre building with all the facilities that the visiting football teams need plus a room which is very popular with community groups. He was a little frustrated that the Great Crested Newts don't seem to realise that they are supposed to use the field specially created for them!

After the break, Mike Poole talked about aspects of the site that the Essex Wildlife Trust look after, particularly the Roding Valley Nature Reserve. He described the different types of wildlife that make it their home with some excellent photos of a Little Owl peering at us and a coiled Grass Snake enjoying the sun.

They were all very keen to encourage more local people to visit and make use of this community-orientated facility.

I'm sure many in the audience felt they must make an effort to visit after this interesting and informative talk.

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.

Download file