June Volunteer Programme

Here’s our brand new volunteer task programme for June

June Volunteer Programme

Acting Senior Ranger Stuart

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Would you like to join BVCP?

I’m pleased to announce an exciting new Ranger Job opportunity.

Countryside Ranger HCC2541591

Acting Senior Ranger Stuart

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Small But Mighty Moths

Spring is my favourite time of year. The sun begins to shine and all sorts of wildlife come out of the woodwork (in some cases literally). A welcome sight today (although a bit unusual for a night creature) was a Small Magpie moth, Anania hortulata.

Small Magpie Moth Ash Lock

Small Magpie moth

These moths are identifiable by their size (wingspan 24-28mm), black and white dot and border pattern on their wings and their orange bodies. Usually seen flying from June through July, their main foodplant is nettle. Keep an eye out for these beautiful creatures and more.

Acting Ranger Jenny

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Daring Digging at Darby Green Pond

Local volunteers joined students from the Royal Grammar School in Guildford recently to lend a hand in Darby Green. They got stuck into a range of jobs including; digging out old concrete bench bases, felling a hazardous tree,  removing the alien invasive Skunk Cabbage and cutting back the stream. The main task was donning life jackets and chest waders to pull the remaining Parrot’s Feather (Myriophyllum aquaticum) out of the pond.

Testing the water

Back in November the volunteers started removing this non-native invasive plant which had swamped the pond in a tangled mat over a foot thick. I’m very pleased to report that after all our hard work, the pond now looks like a pond with open water. All that remain are patches around the margins, which we will keep on top on over the coming years. These are one of the areas the students tackled by raking the weed out with chromes.

Using chromes to pull out the Parrot’s Feather

The transformation from before we started work is very dramatic, when the Parrot’s Feather formed a solid mat.

Darby Green Pond full of Parrot’s Feather in October

The proud volunteers

Acting Senior Ranger Stuart

 

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Dog finds a new home!

On the 2nd May I found a little lost Bichon Frise at Wellesley Woodlands and so many of you shared and liked his post, that I’ve done a bit of phoning round to find out how he’s getting on so we can have a happy ending to his story!

I contact Rushmoor Borough Council, who came out straight away with a microchip scanner to see if we could find out where he’d come from and this is where the puzzle started!  His contact details led back to a home in Liverpool and after phoning the number, it turns out he was rehomed over 2 years ago, but the microchip was never updated.

Rushmoor Borough Council then took him in to hold him for 7 days to see if an owner would come forward, but unfortunately nobody did, so he was taken to a dog home for rehoming.  He already has a new home with a family who fell in love with him straight away.  (I’m not surprised, he was very sweet).

It’s great to hear he’s safe and loved now, but please use this as a reminder to keep your dogs contact details up to date on their collars and microchips!

Assistant Ranger Laura

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Mammals for Members of Moor Green Lakes

Last Saturday Moor Green Lakes Group members joined Camberley Natural History Society members for a small mammal trapping session, led by Blackwater Valley Countryside’s own Bernard Baverstock.

The live capture traps are designed not to harm. They contain tasty treats and are placed in a way that they should stay dry.

On Friday Bernard set the 45 traps along the Northern bank of Colebrook Lake North and caught seven animals.  Six of these were Wood Mice, three of each sex, and one a Common Shrew!  All the Wood Mice were in fine condition, one was pregnant and the others were just coming into breeding condition. 

Though the visitors (15) outnumbered the trapped animals, most likely due to the wet weather, it was still a pleasant morning to be discovering our smaller mammals.

A special thanks from Bernard to Mary, Grant and Chris who helped setting up and to the other people who came and helped on the Saturday.

Acting Countryside Ranger Jenny

 

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Machine Manoeuvres at Moor Green Lakes

Today the volunteers, Stu and I joined Jenny to cut all the paths on her site. In an unprecedented move we arrived with lots of machines, nasher (our ride on brushcutter) and our tractor flail. Thank you to the amazing efforts of everyone we successfully cut back all the public and internal paths at Moor Green Lakes- all 4km worth!

We also found the tractor made light work of opening up the internal access tracks and hoiking out old rabbit fencing by our newly laid hedge by the river.

Acting Senior Ranger Stuart

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