Events

All events are open to any bird watcher or nature watcher. Generally our outdoor events are not suitable for children under 12, but exceptions may be made. Up to the age of 16, children should be accompanied by an adult.
The coach trips last all day and usually travel to distant reserves outside the range of a normal day's birding.
The Bins and Boots walks are leisurely walks of up to two and a half hours in the Stoke area led by an experienced local bird watcher.
The car sharing trips are to reserves outside the local area but probably within 60 miles of Stoke-on-Trent. We want to be flexible about these and suggestions about these trips are welcomed. If you can offer a lift or would like a lift please contact Geoff Sales by telephone at least a week before the trip you wish to attend so that he can put interested parties in contact with each other. These trips usually continue into the afternoon so remember to bring a packed lunch.
If you are interested in taking part in our outside activities but do not have binoculars, we have three pairs to lend on a first come first served basis for the duration of the activity.
Appropriate clothing and footwear to guard against the elements are recommended for outdoor activities.

September 2018

Wed
19

September Indoor Meeting 2018

Location: North Staffordshire Conference Centre/Medical Institute, Hartshill Road, STOKE-ON-TRENT
Postcode: ST4 7NY (Google map)

SECRET WILDLIFE OF THE FOREST OF DEAN
NICK MARTIN
Nick has worked in conservation for over 20 years, now working full time as Site Manager for RSPB at Middleton Lakes. He is a lifelong naturalist and passionate wildlife enthusiast and photographer.
Join us tonight for an illustrated talk on the beautiful Forest of Dean in Gloucestershire, home to a wide range of woodland wildlife including many secretive animals and birds. We'll look for the elusive goshawk, the shy dipper and the exotic mandarin duck. Find out where adders hide, dormice feed and about the exciting return of the wild boar to the woodland scene.

Time: 7.30 pm

Price: Group Member £2.50, Non-members £4.00 and Children under 16 (accompanied by an adult) Free

Telephone: 01782 618152

E-mail: sgeoff31@gmail.com

Sun
23

Birdwatching Trip to RSPB Burton Mere Wetlands 2018

Location: RSPB Burton Mere Wetlands, Wirral
Latitude/longitude: 53.257862,-3.021908 (Google map)

This is a coach trip organised by the North Staffs Group and open to any bird watchers or nature watchers.
This is our fourth visit to RSPB Burton Mere Wetlands, a newly developed reserve on the Dee estuary. We are going at a good time of the year - early autumn with the chance of passage migrants. The reserve is well-watched as many scarce migrant birds have been seen in previous years, including little stints, green, curlew and wood sandpipers. Little egret numbers are at their highest now as the chicks have fledged and large roosts make it worthwhile being here just before dusk. Also, small numbers of wild geese begin to arrive.
Facilities on the reserve include a visitor centre with toilets and a refreshments area where you can get a hot or cold drink and a snack. There are also two hides with 360-degree views, several view points and over 3 km of new footpaths to explore.

Time: All day

Price: Price to be announced

Booking essential

Telephone: 01782 614535

E-mail: ik.worden@ntlworld.com

Thu
27

Car Share Birding Trip to Carsington Water 2018

Location: Carsington Water, Derbyshire OS Ref. SK241518.
From the Potteries take the A52 towards Ashbourne and then the B5035 towards Wirkworth. Carsington Water is approximately 5½ miles on the right. Park in the main Visitor Centre car park, off Big Lane/Millfield Lane (Fee Payable).
Facilities include toilets, a restaurant, and shops, including an RSPB shop.

Postcode: DE6 1ST (Google map)

This is a car share trip organised by the North Staffs Group and open to any bird watchers or nature watchers. The reservoir is owned by Severn Trent Water and it is possible to walk the 8 mile circuit. In autumn/winter the reservoir holds large numbers of wildfowl and great northern divers visit on a fairly regular basis. There are 4 hides and over 215 bird species have been recorded at the site. There may well be passage migrants in late September, so scoter, whimbrel, redshank, red kites or godwits are all possible together with flocks of resident lapwing. The fields and hedges hold red-legged partridge whilst the woods harbour kestrel, sparrowhawk and buzzards.
Leader - Geoff Sales

Time: 10.30 am

Price: Share cost of petrol for the journey.

Booking essential

Telephone: 01782 618152

E-mail: sgeoff31@gmail.com

October 2018

Wed
17

October Indoor Meeting 2018

Location: North Staffordshire Conference Centre/Medical Institute, Hartshill Road, STOKE-ON-TRENT
Postcode: ST4 7NY (Google map)

THE CHILDREN'S ETERNAL FOREST
MICHAEL LEACH
Long term members of the Group will need no introduction to Michael Leach. For those of you who have missed his earlier talks here are just a few reasons why you should not miss this one. Michael Leach has been a full-time wildlife author and photographer since 1977. He has travelled extensively to track down some of the world's most charismatic wildlife; working with polar bears in the Arctic, lemurs in Madagascar, mountain gorillas in Rwanda, orang-utans in Borneo, sperm whales around the Azores, monkeys in the Amazon rainforest and countless other species in their natural habitats. During this time he has seen birds and animals demonstrating some truly surprising behaviour.
Bosque Eterno de los Ninos is vast, one of the largest wildlife reserves in Central America. This cloud forest is home to howler monkeys, sloths, sabre-winged hummingbirds and species still undiscovered by science. It was saved by children - from around the world. They raised funds and contributed pocket money until there was enough to buy the forest. The children rescued a hugely important habitat and gave it, for ever, to the wildlife it supports. This talk tells the story of the forest and its salvation.
www.michael-leach.co.uk

Time: 7.30 pm

Price: Group Member £2.50, Non-members £4.00 and Children under 16 (accompanied by an adult) Free

Telephone: 01782 618152

E-mail: sgeoff31@gmail.com

Sun
21

Birdwatching Trip to Spurn Point 2018

Location: Spurn Point, Humberside, East Yorkshire.
Postcode: HU12 0UB (Google map)

This is a coach visit organised by the North Staffs Group and open to any bird watchers or nature watchers.
Spurn is one of Yorkshire Wildlife Trust's most iconic nature reserves. It is a wildlife-rich mosaic of beach, mudflats, saltmarsh, dunes, grassland, open water, saline lagoons and native sea buckthorn scrub.
Curlew, grey plover and knot use the saltmarsh to roost at high tide. Look out for merlin and peregrine which cause panic among the flocks of roosting waders when they start to hunt. Shelduck and brent geese are conspicuous on the mudflats at this time of year. Due to its prominent position, huge numbers of birds pass through Spurn during the autumn migration. The number and type of bird present varies literally from week to week and is influenced by the weather conditions.
At the crossroads, before you turn towards Spurn, there is the Spurn Heritage Coast Visitors Centre which has a small café. At the entrance to Spurn Point Nature Reserve is an information centre and bird observatory and the last toilet on Spurn.

Time: All Day

Price: Price to be announced

Booking essential

Telephone: 01782 614535

E-mail: ik.worden@ntlworld.com

Thu
25

Bins and Boots Walk - Westport Lake 2018

Location: Brownhills Road near Tunstall. O.S.Ref: SJ857500
From Trubshaw Cross roundabout bear left towards Tunstall. The turning is on the left at the top of the short hill. Follow the brown signs and park by the visitor centre. Toilets on site.
Postcode: ST6 4RZ (Google map)

This is a guided walk organised by the North Staffs Group and open to any bird watchers or nature watchers, to our local nature reserve, Westport Lake, is an important site in the Autumn for many water birds and unusual species are known to stop-off at the lake during migration. The conservation area at the northern end of the site is home to many birds and animals including kingfishers and woodland species. The reserve is managed by Staffordshire Wildlife Trust.
Leader: Ian Woodward

Time: 10.00 am

Price: Free

Telephone: 01782 618152

E-mail: sgeoff31@gmail.com

November 2018

Wed
14

November Indoor Meeting 2018

Location: North Staffordshire Conference Centre/Medical Institute, Hartshill Road, STOKE-ON-TRENT
Postcode: ST4 7NY (Google map)

MISTLETOE: FACT, MYTH & LEGEND
MIKE JONES
Dr Michael Jones is a retired Science Lecturer from Newman University, Birmingham. His interest in mistletoes derives from his post-doctoral research into parasitic plants (his PhD was on the parasitic genus of flowering plants, the Orobanche). More recently, his research has focused on the biology and cultural associations of mistletoes. Mike has worked in education, both here in the UK and in Africa and has always enjoyed sharing his enthusiasm for all aspects of natural history.
In this evening's talk Mike uncovers the mysteries of mistletoe, including an exploration of the role of birds in mistletoe seed dispersal.

Time: 7.30 pm

Price: Group Member £2.50, Non-members £4.00 and Children under 16 (accompanied by an adult) Free

Telephone: 01782 618152

E-mail: sgeoff31@gmail.com

Sun
18

Birdwatching Trip to WWT Martin Mere 2018

Location: WWT Martin Mere, near Burscough, Lancashire
Postcode: L40 0TA (Google map)

This is a coach visit organised by the North Staffs Group and open to any bird watchers or nature watchers. Those of you who are regular trip members need no introduction to Martin Mere. This WWT reserve, featuring nine hides, is best known for the thousands of pink-footed geese it attracts each winter and for its internationally important numbers of migrant whooper swans. You may also like to take a leisurely stroll through the extensive series of enclosures featuring wildfowl collected from all around the world.
The feeding station (i.e. the restaurant) is extremely comfortable and sells a wide range of delicious goodies.

Time: All Day

Price: Price to be announced

Booking essential

Telephone: 01782 614535

E-mail: ik.worden@ntlworld.com

Tue
20

Bins and Boots Walk - Deep Hayes Country Park 2018

Location: Park Lane, Nr. Cheddleton OS Ref: SJ960533
Meet at the Visitor Centre Car Park.
Take the A53 from Stoke on Trent Towards Leek. After passing through Endon in 2 miles turn right at the old New Inn pub in Longsdon. Fork left after ¼ mile and continue to a T-junction. Turn right crossing the canal and railway bridges. The entrance to the park is up a steep slope on the right just over a second canal bridge. Toilets available on site.
Postcode: ST13 7JS (Google map)

This is a guided walk organised by the North Staffs Group and open to any bird watchers or nature watchers.
The Country Park is on the site of a former reservoir which provided compensation water to the River Churnet. It was drained some years ago and a series of small lakes was created, linked by streams and a couple of waterfalls. Many species of waterfowl are present together with Autumn migrants. The mature woodlands hold most of the common species typical of this habitat and there is always a chance of seeing kingfishers, dippers and wagtails along the streams. There is also a hide to visit within this woodland setting.
Leader - Peter Durnall
Lunch has been arranged (obviously at your own expense) at The Hollybush Inn immediately after the walk. Please advise Geoff Sales if you intend to come for lunch by email or telephone.

Time: 10.00 am

Price: Free

Telephone: 01782 618152

E-mail: sgeoff31@gmail.com

December 2018

Wed
12

December Indoor Meeting 2018

Location: North Staffordshire Conference Centre/Medical Institute, Hartshill Road, STOKE-ON-TRENT
Postcode: ST4 7NY (Google map)

SCILLY PELAGIC MAGIC
JIM ALMOND
Jim, a retired Biomedical Scientist, is no stranger to the Group, having spoken to us as recently as February 2013, when he gave a superb talk with spectacular photographs about a birding 'long weekend' in Vancouver.
He usually talks about land based birding, especially in his home county of Shropshire, but this time he has ventured off shore. After 18 pelagic trips from St Mary's on Scilly, Jim has plenty of photos and stories to tell! From the ubiquitous gulls, fulmars and gannets, there are rarer sightings of skuas, petrels and shearwaters, together with dolphins and sunfish, plus some of the blue sharks landed for tagging studies. Jim will share some of his most exhilarating birding moments ever, including an epic encounter with a Fea's Petrel.

Time: 7.30 pm

Price: Group Member £2.50, Non-members £4.00 and Children under 16 (accompanied by an adult) Free

Telephone: 01782 618152

E-mail: sgeoff31@gmail.com

January 2019

Wed
16

January Indoor Meeting 2019

Location: North Staffordshire Conference Centre/Medical Institute, Hartshill Road, STOKE-ON-TRENT
Postcode: ST4 7NY (Google map)

RSPB'S WORK IN AFRICA: FOREST, MARSH & MOUNTAIN
CHRIS MAGIN
Dr Magin obtained his PhD on hyraxes from Cambridge University. He has subsequently lived and worked in a variety of countries in the Americas, Africa and Asia for conservation organisations including IUCN, WWF, FFl, and Birdlife International. Since 2004 he has worked for the International Section of the RSPB.
Tonight's presentation will outline the exciting work he has undertaken in a range of habitats in various African nations.

Time: 7.30 pm

Price: Group Member £2.50, Non-members £4.00 and Children under 16 (accompanied by an adult) Free

Telephone: 01782 618152

E-mail: sgeoff31@gmail.com

Sun
20

Birdwatching Trip to RSPB Old Moor 2019

Location: RSPB Old Moor, Barnsley, Yorkshire
Postcode: S73 0YF (Google map)

This is a coach visit organised by the North Staffs Group and open to any bird watchers or nature watchers.
Situated right at the heart of the Dearne Valley near Barnsley, Old Moor is a wonderful place to come and watch wildlife from the two nature trails. The skies, fields and open water are teeming with birds throughout the year. There are seven hides and two viewing screens out on the reserve and one overlooking the bird-feeding garden. There are two viewing platforms in the pond and picnic area. The bird feeding garden is at its busiest at this time of year, with tree sparrows, greenfinches, goldfinches and tits on the feeders. Spectacular flocks of golden plovers and lapwings take to the air, attracting peregrines on the lookout for a meal. The winter highlights include hundreds of colourful ducks such as teal and wigeon in full breeding plumage, yellowhammers and tree sparrows in the hedges, barn owls hunting during the day as food gets harder to find and watch the berry-covered trees for winter thrushes.
Facilities include toilets, a cafe (open 9.30 - 16.00 providing hot and cold drinks and lunches, cakes and biscuits) and a shop.

Time: All Day

Price: Price to be announced

Booking essential

Telephone: 01782 614535

E-mail: ik.worden@ntlworld.com

Thu
24

Bins and Boots Walk - Dane-in-Shaw Pasture 2019

Location: The Castle Inn, Congleton, O.S. Ref: SJ883613
Meet in the pub car park.
From the A500 take the A527 to Biddulph and after the bypass, continue to the outskirts of Congleton still on the A527. Pass under a bridge and after 200metres turn right into the Castle Inn car park.

Postcode: CW12 3LP (Google map)

This is a guided walk organised by the North Staffs Group and open to any bird watchers or nature watchers. The walk will traverse a range of habitats including woodland, canal towpath and pastureland along the valley of the River Dane. Dane-in-Shaw Pasture is an SSSI, which in the winter provides a home for several finch species together with dipper and kingfisher along the river.
Leader: Roger Birch
Lunch has been arranged (obviously at your own expense) at the Castle Inn immediately after the walk. Please advise Geoff Sales if you intend to come for lunch by email or telephone.

Time: 10.00 am

Price: Free

Telephone: 01782 618152

E-mail: sgeoff31@gmail.com

February 2019

Wed
20

February Indoor Meeting 2019

Location: North Staffordshire Conference Centre/Medical Institute, Hartshill Road, STOKE-ON-TRENT
Postcode: ST4 7NY (Google map)

BIRDING IN THE ISLE OF AVALON
MIKE ROBERTS
Mike is currently Trees and Woodlands Officer for St.Helens Council. Prior to taking on this position, he has worked for many years as a ranger then a land manager for the Mersey Valley Partnership. He has travelled widely and developed an interest in wildlife photography over the last 35 years, making regular visits to the Somerset Levels and Glastonbury,
This evening's talk is based on the images Mike has taken in and around the Somerset Levels over the last 15 years.

Time: 7.30 pm

Price: Group Member £2.50, Non-members £4.00 and Children under 16 (accompanied by an adult) Free

Telephone: 01782 618152

E-mail: sgeoff31@gmail.com

Sun
24

Birdwatching Trip to Brandon Marsh Nature Reserve 2019

Location: Brandon Marsh Nature Reserve, near Coventry
Postcode: CV3 3GW (Google map)

This is a coach visit organised by the North Staffs Group and open to any bird watchers or nature watchers.
Brandon Marsh is a superb mosaic of open water, wetland and grassland which attracts a wonderful variety of wildlife. It is especially important for birds throughout the year. At the end of the nineteenth century the area was enclosed farmland with two small woodlands and small wetland areas in the flood plain of the River Avon. Today the landscape is totally different due to coal mining causing subsidence which led to the formation of "Brandon Floods", a large lake linked directly to the river, which first attracted wetland birds and birdwatchers to the site. Then from the 1950's to the 1980's quarrying creating further areas of open water and opportunities for wetland plants to colonise. Birdwatchers worked alongside the gravel company to enhance the area's wildlife value. In 1973 the importance of the site was recognised through its designation as Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). Then in 1981 Warwickshire Wildlife Trust entered into a formal agreement with the gravel company and has worked in partnership with the volunteer group and the company to create the marsh of today. Quarrying ceased in 1989 and today all that remains is a superb wetland nature reserve.
Facilities include visitor centre, tea room, eight hides, toilets and a shop.

Time: All Day

Price: Price to be announced

Booking essential

Telephone: 01782 614535

E-mail: ik.worden@ntlworld.com

Tue
26

Bins and Boots Walk - Sandbach Flashes 2019

Location: Sandbach Flashes Known as Elton Hall Nature Reserve O.S Ref: SJ727596
Take M6 north to Junction 17. Turn left on to A534. Continue straight on at Sandbach traffic lights bearing left opposite Waitrose, staying on the A534 towards Crewe. After passing through next roundabout in a ¼ mile turn right in to Elton Lane. In ¾ of a mile turn right at the junction, pass under the railway bridge and after 1 mile the Flashes are located on either side of the road. Parking is on the verges. No toilets.
Latitude/longitude: 53.132663,-2.412883 (Google map)

This is a guided walk organised by the North Staffs Group and open to any bird watchers or nature watchers. These flashes (pools) caused by subsidence due to salt mining are one of the best locations for wintering migrants in the area and are all designated SSSI's. There is a dedicated viewing area on the main Elton Hall Flash, the others being from the roadside. Many rare species have been seen here including glossy ibis and Iceland gull. Common species in the winter are wigeon, teal, pochard, gadwall, curlew, lapwing, shelduck, black-tailed godwit, ruff, redshank and snipe. The flash also hosts one of the largest gull roosts in the area.
Leaders: Geoff Sales and Peter Durnall

Time: 10.00 am

Price: Free

Telephone: 01782 618152

E-mail: sgeoff31@gmail.com

March 2019

Wed
20

March Indoor Meeting 2019

Location: North Staffordshire Conference Centre/Medical Institute, Hartshill Road, STOKE-ON-TRENT
Postcode: ST4 7NY (Google map)

AN EVENING OF WILDLIFE FILMS
PETER DURNALL
Peter, who worked for many years as a professional photographer, has been a member of our Group for many years and since retirement has developed a keen interest in the moving image. He specialises in wildlife as well as local history and has produced several films of the wildlife to be seen in our own backyard, principally in the wonderful Staffordshire Moorlands. In recent years Peter has travelled to South Wales and Scotland documenting his wildlife encounters on film
Join us tonight to see Peter's latest superb, award winning films.

Time: 7.30 pm

Price: Group Member £2.50, Non-members £4.00 and Children under 16 (accompanied by an adult) Free

Telephone: 01782 618152

E-mail: gsales@madasafish.com

Sun
24

Birdwatching Trip to Far Ings 2019

Location: RSPB Far Ings Nature Reserve, Lincolshire
Postcode: DN18 5RG (Google map)

This is a coach trip organised by the North Staffs Group and open to any bird watchers or nature watchers. Ings is an old English word for wet pastures. Far Ings lies to the west of Barton and, before the embankment was built , was part of the Humber flood plain. Since Roman times the underlying clay has been used to make bricks and tiles. Supplies of clay began to run out during the early 20th century when many yards were abandoned. The clay workings soon filled with water and were colonised by reed and willow, forming a haven for many wildflowers, insects and birds. In 1983 the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust acquired the 100 acres of old pits which now form the Far Ings Nature Reserve. The varied habitats support more than 230 species of wild flowers, 50 nesting bird species, and a wealth of invertebrates including more than 250 species of moths. The reserve is well known for its wildfowl, bittern, bearded tits and marsh harrier. There are three way-marked trails with seven hides.
The Visitor Centre provides commanding views of the reserve and there are displays which help visitors to understand and appreciate the wildlife of the nature reserve. There is also a shop which sells wildlife gifts and souvenirs.

Time: All Day

Price: Price to be announced

Booking essential

Telephone: 01782 614535

E-mail: ik.worden@ntlworld.com

Thu
28

Bins and Boots Walk - Parkhall Country Park 2019

Location: Parkhall Country Park, Weston Coyney. Park at the Ranger Station
Landranger: SJ 928454
Toilets available on site.
Postcode: ST3 5BH (Google map)

This is a guided walk organised by the North Staffs Group and open to any bird watchers or nature watchers.
Park Hall Country Park is one of the city's most important natural sites. It was declared Stoke-on-Trent's only National Nature Reserve in 2002 and the sandstone canyons are a SSSI for their geology. The sandstone canyons and heath are important nesting sites for kestrels and little owls and sand martins breed nearby. The heath land and woods provide a habitat for long-eared owls, skylarks, meadow pipits and partridge and the gorse is valuable for linnets. A field which can be seen from the reserve usually has considerable numbers of golden plovers in winter. The park is worth a visit at any time of year.
If you are interested in taking part in our outside activities but do not have binoculars, we have three pairs to lend on a first come basis for the duration of the activity.
Leader: Geoff Sales

Time: 10.00 am

Price: Free

Telephone: 01782 618152

E-mail: sgeoff31@gmail.com

April 2019

Wed
17

April Indoor Meeting 2019

Location: North Staffordshire Conference Centre/Medical Institute, Hartshill Road, STOKE-ON-TRENT
Postcode: ST4 7NY (Google map)

TO BE ADVISED

Time: 7.30 pm

Price: Group Member £2.50, Non-members £4.00 and Children under 16 (accompanied by an adult) Free

Telephone: 01782 618152

E-mail: sgeoff31@gmail.com

Thu
25

Bins and Boots Walk - Ladderedge Country Park 2019

Location: Ladderedge Country Park, O.S. Ref: SJ975552
Take the A53 from Stoke, at the bottom of Ladderedge Hill pass Westwood Golf Course on the left and take the first right onto the industrial estate. Take the first right and drive to the car park at the end of the road past Aimee's Coach Depot. No toilets.
Postcode: ST13 5RJ (Google map)

This is a guided walk organised by the North Staffs Group and open to any bird watchers or nature watchers. The Country Park comprises woodland along the valley sides of the River Churnet and is traversed by the Caldon Canal. At this time of year we can expect Spring migrants together with water birds such as dipper and kingfisher.
Leader: Peter Durnall

Time: 10.00 am

Price: Free

Telephone: 01782 618152

E-mail: sgeoff31@gmail.com

Sun
28

Birdwatching Trip to RSPB Leighton Moss 2019

Location: RSPB Leighton Moss, Silverdale, nr. Carnforth, Lancashire
Postcode: LA5 0SW (Google map)

This is a coach visit organised by the North Staffs Group and open to any bird watchers or nature watchers.
Leighton Moss is the largest reedbed in north-west England, and home to some really special birds such as breeding bitterns, bearded tits and marsh harriers - you might see deer too. Choose from a selection of trails and hides and get right to the heart of the reedbed. Alternatively take the nature trail alongside two coastal lagoons to see lots of wading and water birds. Rarely have we been to Leighton Moss and not seen marsh harriers. Bearded tits are often seen on the grit trays along the causeway. Even the feeding station at the visitor centre can be exciting and from the Eric Morecambe hide there is a good chance of seeing migrant black-tailed godwits, avocets or even a merlin sitting in its favourite spot. The seven hides at Leighton Moss offer the opportunity to observe plenty of wildlife action - this is a good reserve to visit if you are new to birding.
We will stop before reaching the reserve to allow visits to the Eric Morecambe hide from where it is a very pleasant walk to the visitor centre. Facilities include toilets, RSPB shop and a very fine cafe.

Time: All Day

Price: Price to be announced

Booking essential

Telephone: 01782 614535

E-mail: ik.worden@ntlworld.com

May 2019

Thu
2

Car Share Birding Trip to RSPB Sherwood Forest

Location: RSPB Sherwood Forest, near Mansfield - Landranger:
Meet at the reserve car park, post code NG21 9HN. No admission charge.

Postcode: NG21 9HN (Google map)

The brand-new Sherwood Forest visitor centre opened in Summer 2018, providing a modern gateway to this legendary landscape, home to Robin Hood and a host of wonderful wildlife.
The RSPB heads the partnership which manages this very special National Nature Reserve. Right in the heart of England you'll find the Sherwood Forest Futurescape; a mosaic of ancient woodland, heathlands, acidic grasslands, river corridors, man-made lakes and farmland. Once a royal hunting forest, now the internationally renowned Sherwood Forest National Nature Reserve contains more than 1,000 ancient oaks. Most are more than 500 years old. The most famous, the major oak, is thought to be nearly twice that age! Nightjars and woodlarks live on the heaths, lesser spotted woodpeckers, marsh tits, redstarts and woodcocks in the woodlands, which at this time of year should be full of migrant warblers.
These car-share trips usually continue into the afternoon so remember to bring a packed lunch if you do not wish to use the café in the Visitor Centre.
Leader - Roger Birch

Time: 10.30 am

Price: Share cost of petrol for the journey.

Booking essential

Telephone: 01782 519801

E-mail: sgeoff31@gmail.com

Wed
15

May Indoor Meeting 2019

Location: North Staffordshire Conference Centre/Medical Institute, Hartshill Road, STOKE-ON-TRENT
Postcode: ST4 7NY (Google map)

WILD BEES IN YOUR GARDEN
RON ROCK
A passionate advocate for the conservation and understanding of our wild bees and a Bumblebee Conservation Trust Volunteer, Ron joins us to talk about the intriguing natural history of the bees that visit our gardens.
Tonight's talk illustrates the link between bees and our food supply and how bees benefit other wildlife including birds. You will find out everything you need to know about these fascinating and wonderful insects and most importantly you will learn how you can help look after them.

Time: 7.30 pm

Price: Group Member £2.50, Non-members £4.00 and Children under 16 (accompanied by an adult) Free

Telephone: 01782 618152

E-mail: gsales@madasafish.com

Sun
19

Birdwatching Trip to RSPB Ynys Hir 2019

Location: RSPB Ynys Hir. Nearest town: Machynlleth, Powys
Postcode: SY20 8TA (Google map)

This is a coach visit organised by the North Staffs Group and open to any bird watchers or nature watchers.
We see this beautiful reserve in late spring after most of the migrants have arrived. Ynys Hir mixes Welsh oak woodland with wet grassland and salt marshes. In the spring the ground is carpeted in flowers and birdsong fills the air. You might see pied flycatchers and redstarts emerging from the nestboxes. Our last visit gave excellent views of wood warbler and cuckoos. We might also expect to see birds such as lapwings and redshanks and also some very special butterflies. Likely birds of prey include peregrines and red kites, together with distant views of nesting osprey. There are two main circular trails one 1.5 miles and the other 3 miles, giving access to five hides.
Facilities include toilets and a small visitor centre offering hot drinks and snacks.

Time: All Day

Price: Price to be announced

Booking essential

Telephone: 01782 614535

E-mail: ik.worden@ntlworld.com

Tue
21

Bins and Boots Walk - RSPB Coombes Valley 2019

Location: RSPB Coombes Valley, Bradnop, Leek, O.S Ref: SK009534
Signposted off A523 Leek - Ashbourne Road.
Postcode: ST13 7EU (Google map)

This is a guided walk organised by the North Staffs Group and open to any bird watchers or nature watchers. Coombes Valley is a delightful oak woodland to walk through, especially in spring and early summer when lots of migrating birds come to breed on the reserve. Birds you may see on the steep valley sides include flycatchers, redstarts and a range of warblers. This is also a good site for spotting butterflies. Last time we visited this reserve on a Bins and Boot walk we did see pied flycatchers. Could history repeat itself? Come and see. Some parts of the walk are steep and may be muddy.
Leader: Roger Birch

Time: 10.00 am

Price: Free

Telephone: 01782 618152

E-mail: sgeoff31@gmail.com

June 2019

Thu
6

Bins and Boots Walk - Whitemore Nature Reserve 2019

Location: Meet at Biddulph Grange Country Park car park OS Ref: SJ893594
From the A500 take the A527 to Biddulph and after the bypass continue towards Congleton still on the A527. After passing St. Lawrence Church on the right, turn right into Grange Road. Pass the entrance to the National Trust Gardens and the Country Park car park is the next right (free). Toilets available at the Visitor Centre.
Latitude/longitude: 53.131710,-2.160922 (Google map)

From the car park, access to the reserve will be gained via Fold Lane. Whitemore Nature Reserve, owned by Staffordshire County Council, has a diverse springtime flora and woods both sides of the old railway line comprising mature birch, oak, ash and willow. A walk along the embankment should yield plenty of warblers and other woodland species, this will be followed by a descent to Biddulph Brook in the hope of spotting dipper and grey wagtail. Crossing the road at the Castle Inn will take us up along footpaths through farmland to Upper Whitemore Farm, with the chance of (at least hearing) green woodpecker. Then back via Lower Whitemore Farm and the old railway line to the start point.
Leader - Roger Birch

Time: 10.00 am

Price: Free

Telephone: 01782 618152

E-mail: sgeoff31@gmail.com

Sun
9

Birdwatching Trip to RSPB Titchwell Marsh 2019

Location: RSPB Titchwell Marsh, Titchwell, North Norfolk.
Postcode: PE31 8BB (Google map)

This is a coach visit organised by the North Staffs Group and open to any bird watchers or nature watchers.
This popular reserve on the north Norfolk coast has something for everyone. A walk from the visitor centre down to the sandy beach takes you past reedbeds and shallow lagoons, which are often full of birds. You can sit on benches or watch from spacious hides. In summer, marsh harriers float over the reeds, where bearded tits, reed warblers and sedge warblers nest. On the lagoons are avocets, waders, gulls and terns. It is with good reason that this reserve is the one we most often visit. We see up to 100 species every time we go. The beach can give good views of common scoter and waders such as sanderling. The long trip has always been worth it in that we have often been blessed with a beautiful day with lots of birds.
A well-stocked shop has a wide range of RSPB gifts and books and a large selection of telescopes and binoculars. There is a servery selling hot and cold meals and snacks with a fully covered and heated eating area.

Time: All Day

Price: Price to be announced

Booking essential

Telephone: 01782 614535

E-mail: ik.worden@ntlworld.com

July 2019

Fri
19

Butterfly & Botany Walk - Silverdale Country Park 2019

Location: Cannel Row near Silverdale Enterprise Centre OS Ref: SJ812469
Directions: Take Scot Hay Road out of Silverdale, passing over two mini-roundabouts. You shortly come to a set of traffic lights, turn right (signposted Silverdale Enterprise Centre) onto Kents Lane, then right again onto Cannel Row. Park towards the end (it's a dead end).
Postcode: ST5 6SR (Google map)

Weather permitting, an al fresco lunch (bring your own picnic), will be followed by a two hour walk around Silverdale Country Park led by Geoff Sales. The area provides suitable habitat for a range of blues, browns, coppers, skippers and vanessids together with day-flying moths such as the 5-spot and 6-spot burnet moths. Then there are the dragonflies... So come along and enjoy an afternoon out of doors with plenty to see!
Geoff Sales' Mobile 07397 169452

Time: Picnic 12.45 pm onwards; Guided Walk 1.30 pm.

Price: Free

Telephone: 01782 618152

E-mail: sgeoff31@gmail.com