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.

Pond dipping Froyle 26th August 2018

Update 25th August CANCELLED: The weather has beaten us again with a forecast of heavy rain.

Family fun –join us for a 1h dipping session on Sunday 26th August (postponned from 29th July) to see what underwater creatures we can find in the 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 2pm or 3pm session.

Dragonflies have thrived in 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.

The wildflower meadow surrounding the pond will be in flower attracting butterflies and other insects. Explore the paths to see what you can spot.

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!

   

 

‘Drop-in’ at wildlife pond, Froyle 1st July 2018

On Sunday 1st July 10-12am & 2-4pm call in to visit the wildlife pond and meadow, near Gid Lane, Froyle. There will be plenty to see especially if it’s a sunny day, so do come along and see what’s flying and flowering.  Members of Froyle Wildlife will be on hand to assist with identification of dragonflies, butterflies and wildflowers. Species to look out for include; knapweed, lady’s bedstraw, rough hawkbit, self heal, purple loosestrife, water figwort, bird’s-foot trefoil, emperor dragonfly, four-spotted chaser, azure damselfly, meadow brown.

Last year we recorded 22 butterfly species, 13 dragonfly species and over 80 flowering plants at ‘Froyle Park Pond’, see species list 2017.

The pond area is 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.

 

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.

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.

 

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.

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.

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.

 

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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