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

Prepare ground wildflower area July 2015

Planned area for wildflowers
Planned area for wildflowers

An area 5x20m on the northern edge of Froyle recreation ground is going to be sown with native wildflower seed this autumn.  A meadow mixture of Spring/summer flowering perennials is planned with cornfield annuals included to provide a display in 2016 and act as a nurse crop for the perennials that take longer to establish. Thanks to Froyle Parish Council for purchasing the seed from Emorsgate Seeds, EM5 Meadow mixture and EC1 Cornfield annuals (link to a list of the 27 species Wildflower seed list).

Emorsgate EC1 cornfield annuals
Emorsgate EC1 cornfield annuals
Emorsgate EM5 meadow mix
Emorsgate EM5 meadow mix

Now all we need are volunteers to make it happen! Can you help on Sunday 19th July 9-12am to remove and stack turves into habitat piles? (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 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. An idea of numbers would be appreciated so please contact us if you can help.

Froyle wildlife photo competition 2015

What better way to connect with nature than to capture images of what you see.

Common frogPhotos must have been taken within the parish of Froyle and depict what you value in local wildlife.

Images should preferably be landscape format with a max .jpg file size 2MB or prints max 7”x5” size.  The winning photos will be displayed on the website froylewildlife.co.uk 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 31st October 2015 either by email to photo15@froylewildlife.co.uk or at the village hall Meeting Place on the last Friday of each month by the Froyle Nature Conservation Group table

Update Nov 2015, link to winning photos.

Planned wildflower area Froyle rec.

Proposed area for wildflowers
Proposed area for wildflowers

A plan to sow native wildflower seeds in autumn 2015 has been approved by Froyle Parish Council. The proposed area 5x20m is on Froyle recreation ground (link to detailed plan). Initial cultivation will be done by volunteers including Froyle Nature Conservation Group. Maintenance is planned to be an annual late summer cut by volunteers for the next 5 years.

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