News archive

August 2016

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

RSPB Tonbridge Group Programme

The programme for this year is now available. You can download it here, fold it and keep it as a reminder of all the interesting talks coming up.

You may also be interested in coming on one of our Field Trips. They are a great opportunity to learn more about birds and you will be given lots of help to ensure you have a good time... though we can't guarantee the weather!

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Wednesday, 3 August 2016

RSPB Tonbridge Group Newsletter

The latest edition of our Group Newsletter is now available. If you are a local RSPB member you will be sent a copy by email, if that was your choice. Hand deliveries will be made by volunteers over the next few weeks.

If you would like an early preview, or if you are not a member, you can download it here.

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Wednesday, 3 August 2016

News from our local reserves

News from our local reserves

Here's all the latest news from the RSPB Weald Reserves...

The hot weather recently has encouraged quite a few insects to start emerging on the reserves. Silver washed fritillaries have been seen at all the reserves, with large numbers at Tudeley and Fore Wood; white admirals have also been seen and one of our butterfly survey volunteers, Barry Richardson, was even lucky enough to see purple emperor in the car park at Tudeley! . This time of year is also a good time to get outside to look for dragonflies, 13 species were recorded on a survey at Broadwater last week including one of the larger species golden ringed. Bird sightings include, spotted flycatchers, woodlark, nightjar and a kingfisher at decoy pond on Broadwater Warren.

Broadwater Warren

The new leaflets for Broadwater have arrived and the trails are now in place. New maps are available showing the new Nature trail and Heathland and Woodland trail, which should give visitors to the reserve an idea of the habitats at Broadwater from lowland heath to wet woodland. Next time you are down at the reserve pick up your copy of the new leaflet and explore our new trails! The new heathland viewpoint should give you a landscape of purple flowers soon, as the ling heather is just starting to come into flower.

Tudeley Woods - Restoration of Brakeybank Meadow
Progress so far (January 2016 - July 2016)
Following the ground works over the winter, the new areas of potential meadow have been allowed to dry out and soften up a bit. As the ground dried, the surface became bumpy and uneven. Due to this, a tractor was brought in to harrow and level the ground. It is now in a condition suitable for future mowing using the preferred cut and collect machine. This process of disturbance also created conditions suitable for the spreading of seed carrying green hay.

New way marker posts, welcome panels, benches and trail guides were delivered. The trail has now been installed and is fully operational, and trail guides are available to guide visitors around. The benches and interpretation panels are due to be installed during July.

Since being reshaped for ecological benefit, the pond has already started greening up, and we have seen dragonflies colonising already. Dragonflies seen include black-tailed skimmers, broad-bodied chasers and Britain's largest species; emperor. The abundance of dragonflies found in the meadow has not been witnessed for a very long time.

We held an official trail opening day, coinciding with Plantlife's National Meadows Day, on 2nd July 2016. The event involved a short guided walk to Brakeybank Meadow, some wildlife hunting in the meadow and an opportunity to take part in its restoration. We took hay from the existing meadow, and participants helped to spread the hay and the seeds it contains over the newly created bare ground. Participants also got involved in carrying out a survey of the meadow to identify as many positive indicator species as they could find. These positive indicator species help paint a picture of the overall health of the meadow.