Pond dipping Froyle 20th August 2017

Family fun –join us for a 1h dipping session on Sunday 20th August to see what underwater creatures we can find in the new wildlife pond near Gid Lane, Froyle (see plan).  Children will need to be accompanied by a responsible adult.  All equipment will be provided and numbers are limited so it is essential to book by emailing info@froylewildlife.co.uk., stating preference for 1.30pm or 2.30pm session.

Dragonflies have already found the new habitat as well as pond skaters, water boatmen and whirligig beetles. Advice from wildlife pond experts is to let the pond colonise naturally over time. So please do not introduce any fish, aquatic species or pond plants because this could bring in diseases or potentially invasive non-native species.

Update: Some photos taken on the day and how it all went well.

   

 

 

 

On a breezy but sunny August day the new wildlife pond welcomed 19 children with their accompanying parents and grandparents. It was perfect weather for pond dipping and children and adults had lots of fun finding and identifying many interesting inhabitants of the pond. These included greater and lesser boatmen, juvenile ramshorn snails, damselfly nymphs and at least three different species of dragonfly nymph.

Sam, aged 3 remarked, ‘I liked catching all the different creatures’. And Joe, aged 6 said, ‘My favourite thing was catching a massive dragonfly nymph’.  Frankie aged 6 said he absolutely loved it. Bea aged 11 said she thought it would be babyish but it wasn’t and she loved looking at the really tiny creatures under the microscope. Eryka said, ‘I’ve never been pond dipping before, it was so cool!  I caught a waterboatman.  I would like to do it again.’

It was a wonderfully fun and educational day and hopefully the first of many that Froyle Wildlife will hold in the future. Special thanks should go to the Froyle Parish Council who kindly paid for the pond dipping equipment.

Butterfly walk at Bentley Station Meadow 29th July 2017

Join us for a leisurely stroll (about 1 mile) around Bentley Station Meadow, 10.30am-12.00 on Saturday 29th July 2017. This SSSI is owned and managed by Butterfly Conservation and borders Alice Holt Forest – a large Ancient Semi Natural Woodland so many woodland species can be seen on the reserve. We expect to see the large and graceful Silver-washed Fritillary  whose caterpillar foodplant is Common Dog-violet growing in shady or semi-shady positions.

Meet at the reserve entrance 10.30am or share lifts from Froyle Village Hall leaving at 10.15am. Please note that the date may be postponed at short notice if the weather forecast is unfavourable. Parking at Bentley Station, cross the railway line and walk 100m along the tarmac path to the reserve entrance.

 

Pond opening Froyle 25th June 2017

All welcome on Sunday 25th June, 3-5pm to an opening event for the new wildlife pond and meadow near Gid Lane, Froyle. If arriving by car (see map), please park at Froyle Park which is about 400m from the pond.

Enjoy some refreshments courtesy of Froyle Park after 3pm and view information displays about the importance of fresh water habitats. Then walk down the Lime Avenue to the pond for the ‘ribbon cutting’ event at 4pm. See the wildflower meadow that surrounds ‘Froyle Park Pond’ and linger to observe what’s flying and flowering. Dragonflies have already found the new habitat and the wildflower seed sown last year is blooming. The pond area will then be open at all times to members of Froyle Wildlife and can also be seen from the adjacent public footpath. This project was funded by developer contributions through East Hampshire District Council and completed with the kind permission of Froyle Park Ltd.

Conditions of our access licence include visitors using only the stile for entry/exit (see plan) and no fires, BBQs or picnics. Advice from wildlife pond experts is to let the pond colonise naturally over time. So please do not introduce any fish, aquatic species or pond plants because this could bring in diseases or potentially invasive non-native species.

Mill Farm Organic open day 18th June 2017

Mill Farm Organic are holding an open day on Sunday 18th June 10 am – 4 pm, all welcome, see the link www.millfarmorganic.com.

  • Learn about Organic Farming
  • Farm Trail walks including a PIG HUNT…
  • Tractor and Trailer rides
  • Footy Fun with Binsted FC
  • Shearing Demonstrations
  • Children’s Activities
  • Barbecue
  • Treat Dad to a Fathers Day Beer & Burger
  • Tea and Cakes
  • and lots more . . .

Entry: Suggested donations of £2 /adult and £1 /child with all entry money being donated to Binsted FC.

Last September we enjoyed an evening walk at Mill Farm.

Hedgerows talk 16th Mar 2017

A talk on ‘Wildlife and Hedgerows’ by Jon Stokes, Thursday 16th March, 7.30pm Froyle Village Hall (doors open 7pm).

It’s surprising that the hedgerow network represents Britain’s largest nature reserve. Jon Stokes from the Tree Council will show us the importance of hedgerows and the how to improve them to boost their wildlife potential. Hedgerows adjacent to roads, green lanes, tracks and wooded ground tend to be particularly species-rich and can act as wildlife corridors.

All welcome, members £2, non members £3, children free, Refreshments.

Froyle Wildlife to become a Charity Feb 2017

Our application has been approved by the Charities Commission to become a ‘Charitable Incorporated Organisation’. This registered charity number 1171997 has the name ‘Froyle Wildlife’ and is proposed to replace the existing ‘Froyle Nature Conservation Group’.

On Thursday 16th March 2017 at Froyle Village Hall 7.30pm, there will be a brief Extraordinary General Meeting for members of ‘Froyle Nature Conservation Group’ to hear about the proposals and vote on the changes. Membership can then be transferred to the new charity, see notice for the EGM.

The committee of ‘Froyle Nature Conservation Group’ (FNCG) recommends the proposal to convert to ‘Froyle Wildlife’ (FW) a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO).

Benefits of being a CIO include:

• It is a company with a limitation of liability

• It is not taxable (being a charitable organisation)

• We can get gift aid back (so increasing our income)

• Compliance requirements are light

• It is free to set up

The existing committee are trustees of the new charity FW, see the list of trustees. The constitution of FW is based on a standard template available from the Charities Commission, see the constitution (20 pages). The aims of FNCG are maintained in the constitution of FW but written in a style to comply with the Charities Commission purposes, see the list of purposes and activities. Transfer of assets from ‘Froyle Nature Conservation Group’ to ‘Froyle Wildlife’, see the transfer agreement.

So come along on Thursday 16th March 2017 at Froyle Village Hall 7.30pm, for the brief Extraordinary General Meeting to hear about the changes and for members to vote on the resolutions.

Updated on 17th March: At the EGM, members approved becoming a charity by voting unanimously in favour of the resolutions.

Butterflies of Hampshire talk 23rd Feb 2017

This month we are delighted to welcome Dr Andy Barker of the charity ‘Butterfly Conservation’ www.butterfly-conservation.org/ as our first speaker of 2017. A talk on the Butterflies of Hampshire, Thursday 23rd Feb 2017 at 7.30pm, Froyle Village Hall (door open at 7pm).

There are 45 species of butterfly which can be seen in Hampshire and Andy will especially highlight those found in our local area (Froyle, East and North East Hampshire) and give us tips on identification.  We’ll also hear of important habitats such as woodland, chalk downland and heathland which sustain many of the less common species.  So forget the winter for a while, come along and be inspired to seek out some of these fascinating and sometimes elusive insects.

All welcome, members £2, non-members £3, children free, Refreshments

Wildlife pond aerial views January 2017

In January 2017, aerial photographs recorded the wildlife pond and surrounding ground area, thanks to Izon Aerial Imaging. This should help us to monitor how the vegetation changes in the coming years.

A virtual 3D model of the pond area can be visualised at this link.

Areas were sown with seed mixtures for wet or chalky soils depending on ground conditions that were disturbed by digging the pond. A list of the species sown can be downloaded as a .pdf.  The tussocky grasses sown in April 2016 and the wildflower meadow seed sown in September 2016 germinated well, although weed seedlings such as thistles, nettles and docks also came up.

The pond surface was still frozen when this photo was taken at normal ground level.

Thanks to the volunteers who helped to cultivate/weed the ground area and build the hibernaculum. This project was funded by developer contributions through  East Hampshire District Council and completed with the kind permission of Froyle Park Ltd.

 

AGM and talk ‘Return of the Red Kite’ 20th October 2016

All are invited to our short AGM at 7pm followed by a talk ‘Return of the Red Kite’ on Thursday 20th October 2016 in the village hall.  There will also be a display showing some of the local wildlife seen and an update of this year’s events in Froyle.  Non-members are welcome and drinks and nibbles will be available during the evening.

Red KiteOur excellent speaker Keith Betton has been studying Red Kites for seven years and is the Hampshire county bird recorder. Red Kites were exterminated in Hampshire in 1864 and have now returned only with help. In the 1990s chicks were brought over from Spain and released in the Chilterns. These were the ancestors of the birds we see in Froyle today. Keith will tell the story of their return and give us an insight into their lives.

For information about the reintroduction of the Red Kite click on the link and download the .pdf leaflet.

Wildlife pond Froyle, Sept 2016

Wildlife pond Aug16The new pond near Gid Lane was constructed in April 2016, by kind permission of Froyle Park Ltd. and funded by developer contributions through East Hampshire District Council. Although the area has looked rather bare this summer, advice from wildlife pond experts is to let the pond colonise naturally over time. So please do not introduce any fish or pond plants because this could bring in non-native species that are potentially invasive. The disturbed ground was sown in September with wildflower meadow mixtures for wet or chalky soils depending on the conditions. An area of tussocky grasses and wildflowers sown in April has grown well although we continue to weed out nettles, thistles and docks.

Emperor dragonfly egglaying Jul16Dragonflies have found the new habitat and three odanata species (Emperor Dragonfly, Common Blue Damselfly and Common Darter) were seen egglaying in the water. The marginal plants Blue Water-speedwell and Brooklime have naturally arrived to start growing. In July we saw two unidentified newts in the pond and then found a Great Crested Newt under a pile of stones. The wildflowers have attracted bees, hoverflies and butterflies. This increase in local biodiversity during the first few months demonstrates how we can help to give nature a home.

Hibernaculum Aug16As expected, the water level fell by about 50cm through the summer and rain in winter will then refill the pond. Thanks to the local volunteers who helped to cultivate the disturbed bare ground ready for seed sowing (link to seed list) and build a hibernaculum (pile of stones and wood topped with soil) as habitat for amphibians. A log pile is planned and the pond area can be seen from the public footpath along the Lime Avenue.

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