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.

New pond near Gid Lane, April 2016

Start of pond excavations
Start of pond excavations

Good news! Work started on the new pond near Gid Lane in April with permission from Froyle Park Ltd. The contractor digging the pond is expected take 3-6 weeks and excavations can be seen from the footpath along the Lime Avenue. The project is funded by developer contributions through East Hampshire District Council. Once completed, our advice from wildlife pond experts is to let the pond colonise naturally over time, so please do not introduce any fish or pond plants.

Our planning application ref 56422/001 for the pond was approved by EHDC in February 2016 and here is a link for more information:- supporting statement, site location plan and pond plan. The bare soil exposed by the ground works will be sown with tussocky grass and wildflower meadow seed. This is dependant on soil conditions and seasonal timing. After the works are finished and the ground prepared for wildflower seed sowing there will be permitted access for members of ‘Froyle Wildlife’, a group that anyone can join.

Progress updates: Photo of levelling the pond perimeter, view from the Lime Avenue and the filled pond.

Levelling the perimeterFroyle Pond 3Froyle Pond 4

Froyle Wildlife news Nov 2015

Our first AGM followed by a Barn Owl talk was well attended by about 60 people on 30th October. Thanks to those that helped to organise the evening and provide the drinks and nibbles. Your generous contributions boosted our funds by £231 after £100 was donated to the Hawk and Owl Trust.

A new wildflower area on Froyle recreation ground was sown this autumn with the help of 14 individuals after over 100 hours of volunteer time. The meadow mixture of Spring/summer flowering perennials have germinated with cornfield annuals included to provide a display in 2016 and act as a nurse crop for the perennials that take longer to establish.

The plan for a wildlife pond near Gid Lane had to be changed to a single pond 300m2 area when the topographical survey revealed buried pipes on the site. Recently the required planning application has been submitted to EHDC ref 56422, comments by 15 Jan 2016. The owners of Froyle Park have been asked to permit access for local residents to the proposed pond area.

_1st Pale tussock moth caterpillar by MBOur 2015 competition of photos taken in Froyle had a variety of interesting wildlife images. Congratulation to the winning entries; a Pale Tussock moth caterpillar by MB and a Peacock butterfly by WB in the junior category.

Species recording in Froyle this year noted a significant increase in the number of dragonflies and damselflies seen and demonstrates the benefit of new wildlife ponds. Bird recording for 11 target species has produced 134 records for 245 sightings. Red Kite and Skylark were the species most often reported.

Wildlife pond planning application Oct 2015

Site location plan 1in2500 at A4 lqAfter a slow start, the plan for two wildlife ponds near Gid Lane had to be changed to a single pond 300m2 area when the topographical survey revealed buried pipes. Recently the required planning application has been submitted to EHDC reference 56422 and here is a link to the documents:- supporting statement, site location plan, block plan and cross section. Froyle Park developers NJG say they are committed to completing this project to enhance biodiversity. An experienced contractor has been recommended to carry out the work and the soonest that pond digging could begin is Spring 2016.

Wildflower area July-Sept 2015

Work has started with the help of volunteers to create a wildflower area on Froyle recreation ground.  A turf cutter was hired as part of removing the top layer to leave bare soil.  Thanks to the 10 helpers who rolled and lifted the 3 tons of turves then stacked them into two habitat piles layered with wooden pallets.  These potential ‘homes for wildlife’ can benefit lacewings, solitary bees, beetles, toads and other species –so lets us know what you see there.

Turf cuttersRolling the turfStarting the turf stack

Stacking the habitat pileHomes for wildlifeBare ground for wildflower area

Next we will hoe weeds every 3 weeks on Sundays 9th and 30th August and 20th September at 9am and again assistance would be appreciated.  The Wildflower seed should be sown in late September depending on weather.

Updates-  On 9th August we removed deep rooted weeds such as dandelions and started to hoe. The ground was too dry and hard to easily break up the soil. By 30th August, rain had softened the ground and 5 volunteers lightly forked over part of the area and weeded. The loan of a vintage ‘Merry Tiller’ the following week proved invaluable to cultivate the whole area. On 20th September we raked and levelled the soil to produce a good tilth, then broadcast sowed the seed before it rained the next day.

Vintage Merry Tiller 8Sep15 Wildflower seed sowing 20Sep15