August Biodiversity Group Update

Diary dates:  25th August and 29th September 9-12.   Owl nest box building, Avonleigh.

** 12th September 10 -2pm. Volunteers needed for the annual rake up of the wildflower meadow at Bearfield, off Ashley Road. We will also be clearing in front of the hedge and removing guards. Refreshments supplied as are tools and gloves.  Long trousers and long sleeved tops are recommended to protect against nettles and brambles.  Please come along and help us

Need to know who to contact if you find an injured or displaced animal?

There are 2 Wildlife Hospitals in Wiltshire: Wiltshire Wildlife Hospital at Newton Tony, nr Salisbury (01980629470 for enquiries and 07850778752 for emergencies) and the Oak and Furrows wildlife Rescue Centre at Cricklade (01793 751412 between 1-5pm). Local vets are also usually sympathetic to wildlife casualties.

Injured hedgehogs or orphaned ones should be put in a high sided box with nesting material (e.g. ripped up newspaper) with a hot water bottle to keep them warm. Honey in water in a non tippable dish (NOT milk). Food can be dry based cat food BUT not mealworms.

Good news: It has been a good summer for butterflies especially painted ladies; one count in 15 minutes I heard of was 43 in a garden. Sadly the great butterfly count is finished (Aug 11th) but don’t be discouraged as records of all wildlife are gladly received at the Biological Records Office.

Sad news: the great giant freshwater species are in steep decline mostly due to human activity. Biodiversity loss is one of the biggest challenges facing our planet and yet animals like the beaver can help in flood management.   Rivers are being affected by climate change – either too much or too little water depending on where you live. The upper reaches of a river are where most flood prevention work using natural resources can be undertaken. Do you know where our river Avon starts? Look on a map or go here. The source is only 5 miles from the source of the Thames. If you enjoy walking then there is a guide to walking along the Rivers Tyne in Northumberland called ‘River Tyne Trail: sources to the sea’ written with OS maps listed on which the trails are shown. It is a ‘The daft as a brush Cancer Patient Walk’ all 135 miles.    Liz Stephens