New nest boxes in Froyle Feb 2021

In February 2021 twelve RSPB nest boxes were put up on trees in Froyle. These will provide more nesting opportunities for small birds around Froyle recreation ground and near the wildlife pond area. The ‘standard’ boxes are for birds such as blue tits and great tits. The open fronted are for robins and wrens typically.

The natural pale wood will soon weather and darken to be less visible and some will disappear from obvious view when the leaves are on the trees. Thanks to the local volunteers that helped and who worked during lockdown as individual households.

Tree planting on Froyle Rec Nov 2020

Several trees have died in recent years leaving gaps on the eastern edge of Froyle recreation ground (see photo) that could be filled. The tree species planned are Wild Cherry, Whitebeam and Rowan, these would be purchased from British grown stock. Planting by volunteers would then be done November 2020 at the earliest. Information about these tree species can be found in the proposal approved by Froyle Parish Council.

Small young trees will transplant better and after several years will outperform large planted trees. So this will not be an instant effect project but one that should benefit wildlife in the future as well as adding interest for people. Native trees provide food and shelter for local wildlife and give seasonal interest throughout the year. From cascades of blossom in spring to a blaze of autumn leaf colour and fruits.

Update: Volunteers planted 6 new trees on Froyle recreation ground on Saturday 28th November 2020. This was largely done with one household per tree, using their own tools and with social distancing to others. The standard trees were 2 each of Whitebeam, Wild Cherry and Rowan, 2.4m to 3.0m tall, native trees grown in Hampshire. The bare rooted trees were only lifted from the ground the previous day and delivered fresh from Mill Farm Trees, Winchester. We look forward to seeing buds of growth next Spring and the seasonal changes through the year.

   

 

Turtle Doves in Froyle, June 2020

In the last month, a pair of Turtle Doves has occasionally visited a garden in Upper Froyle. They used to be widespread but have suffered a 94% UK population decline since 1995. At this current rate of change if we don’t find a way to help them scientists calculate that complete UK extinction as a breeding species will be a real possibility within just a few years. In Hampshire there are just a few sites where these birds hang on. Finding extra food in gardens can be an important source of nutrition for the birds. Turtle Doves are ground feeders, although you may see them on a bird table and even at a hanging feeder. They often struggle to find sources of water in the summer so please do fill up any bird baths that you may have – or simply put out a shallow dish with water.

Keith Betton is the County Bird Recorder for Hampshire and is keen to hear from anybody who sees these birds around Froyle – or hears their gentle purring call when out on walks. If you can help with sightings (which will not be made public) please contact Keith on 07809 671468 or at keithbetton@hotmail.com.

Rybridge stream overflows Froyle Feb 2020

The wildlife pond and surrounding meadow near Gid Lane is adjacent to Ryebridge Stream that rises from springs in Upper Froyle and flows down to the River Wey. It’s seasonal flow usually dries up in summer and appears to be no more than small ditch. After this year’s exceptional rainfall in February the stream overflowed into the field like a river and made a temporary new lake about 200x20m in size. By mid-March the flood had subsided and the overflow ceased.

Froyle Wildlife photo competition 2019

What better way to connect with nature than to capture images of what you see.  So get out and about with your camera or phone to record what makes Froyle appealing to you. The competition is open to all.

Photographs must have been taken within the parish of Froyle and could include views, wildflowers, trees, animals or insects -whatever you enjoy about local nature. See previous entries and our photo galleries.

The winning photos will be displayed on the Froyle Wildlife website along with at least one photo from each person entering. Entries from under 14’s will be judged as a separate category.

Please submit up to 4 entries by 30th September 2019 either by email to info@froylewildlife.co.uk or at one of our walks and talks. Images should preferably be in landscape format sent as .jpg files or prints maximum 7”x5” size.

Update in October click to see the competition results.

Bentley parish wildlife group 12th April 2019

Are you interested in wildlife and reconnecting with nature? Then come along to the Bentley Wildlife Launch Event on 7.30pm Friday 12th April at Bentley Memorial Hall. Come and hear illustrated talks on

  • The Story of Froyle Wildlife by Barry Clark

and

  • Wildlife Recording in Hampshire by Lizzy Peat from HBIC*

followed by Q & A session and discussion to take the Bentley Wildlife Group forward.

We need a logo! Bring your designs along and you decide which one should be the Bentley Wildlife logo! All entries will be recorded on our facebook group.

*Hampshire Biodiversity Information Centre

Wasp spider in Froyle August 2018

A Froyle resident spotted an unusual spider this summer while out walking and sent us some photos. Forbes said:-

“Living in Westburn Fields I regularly walk my dog Stanley around the Froyle Recreational Ground and especially enjoyed the wildflower area during the summer.  This summer I was fortunate to spot a wasp spider on the poppy stems.  With striking yellow and black markings and an impressive spiral orb web, the wasp spider makes for an impressive sight and I was pleased that the photos came out.  It was mid August with the early morning dew really showing off the spiral orb web.”

Forbes also included some photos of the cornfield annuals with poppies in full bloom at the beginning of July.

Wildflowers, butterflies and dragonflies thrive in Froyle, July 2018

One of our members, Simon sent us photos about his afternoon in Froyle, he wrote …

Visiting the wildflower area on Froyle Recreation Ground this Friday revealed a wealth of diverse wildlife. The meadow had a lovely mix of Common Poppies, Corn Flowers, Oxeye Daisies, and Corn Marigolds amongst others. Can you also see the Meadow Brown hiding in the wildflowers meadow picture. The Common Poppies are in various stages of development, from just appearing out of their buds as they un-crease and unfold, to losing their petals for bees to collect the remaining nectar, whilst others have lost all their petals with a 7-spot lady bird and soldier beetle racing to the top. Finally a Gatekeeper and hoverfly gathering nectar from Corn Marigold.

   

   

I then decided to visit the wildlife pond near Gid Lane, Froyle which was teeming with life. There was an abundance of Blue-tailed Damselflies around, as well as Emperor Dragonflies laying eggs in the pond. There was a Meadow Brown butterfly resting on a Knapweed, as well as a freshly emerged Common Blue butterfly on a spent Ox-eye Daisy. You can see many wild flowers in various stages of development, shown here with a dead and new Ox-eye Daisy side by side. There was also a pretty pink and white wildflower -Wild Carrot (usually white flowered). As I then rested on the wooden stump watching the Damselflies and Dragonflies, there was a crack of thunder, followed by a rapidly increasing downpour. That was my time to leave!

   

 

Planned extension to wildflower area 2018

In Spring 2018 we plan to enlarge the wildflower area on Froyle recreation ground by sowing cornfield annuals.

Now all we need are volunteers to make it happen! Can you help on Saturday 24th February 2-4pm to roll up and remove turves? (The turf will have already have been cut by machine). If so please bring a garden spade and gloves, refreshments will be available. We will then cultivate the ground on Saturdays 17th March and 7th April at 2pm and again assistance would be appreciated. Update: The seed (Emorsgate EC2) was sown on 7th April after a total 40h of work by 9 different volunteers.

Previously in 2015 a 5x20m area of the recreation ground was stripped of turf and the ground cultivated to sow wildflower meadow seed mixture. In the following summer of 2016 cornfield annuals provided a magnificent display before the annual cut at end of July that allowed the perennials more space to grow. In late spring/summer 2017 the perennial wildflowers and meadow grasses all flowered well but were less colourful than the previous year. The end of July cut each year is essential to maintain the area as wildflower meadow. See photos at the link.

The plan is to cultivate a new 5x10m area and sow with cornfield annuals only. If sown before the end of April these should flower from July to September. This area would not be cut until the following year when the ground would again be cultivated in spring and sown with cornfield annuals. Volunteers from Froyle Wildlife would do this for 3 years to 2020 and then review with Froyle Parish Council. The area could then be grassed over again or continue as wildflowers.

An advantage of spring sown cornfield annuals is that they should flower at a different time of year to the perennial wildflower meadow area, lengthening the season to autumn. There should be a colourful display of cornfield annuals each year and more nectar for bees and other insects. The area will be lengthened in village hall direction and have a 2m wide grass strip between the cornfield annuals area and the perennial wildflower meadow area. The turf stripped from the new area will be put behind the existing stacks.

Update August 2018: The new area of cornfield annuals flowered well this summer despite the exceptional heat and lack of rain. In July the poppies were at their peak and then the corn marigolds and corn camomile extended the flowering season.

   

   

Froyle dragonflies and damselflies July 2017

After visiting the new wildlife pond near Gid Lane in Froyle, one of our junior members William sent in photos of dragonflies and damselflies seen. A mating pair of blue-tailed damselflies settled on his sister’s hand just perfectly for the camera. The freshly emerged common darter has yet to develop it’s full adult colours.

 

 

 

 

Do contact us if you can help with ongoing maintenance of the pond and meadow or if you want to tell us your sightings.

 

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