Walk at Magdalen Hill Down 1st August 2018

Join us on Wednesday 1st August 2018 for a walk at Magdalen Hill Down near Winchester. Enjoy a leisurely amble (about 1 mile) over chalk downland that is managed by Butterfly Conservation.  We anticipate seeing wildflowers and butterflies including the Chalk Hill Blue which breed on Horseshoe Vetch.  Some of the paths are steep and uneven in a few places so sturdy footwear is recommended and close focus binoculars are handy. Meet 2pm at the small gravel car park on B3404 (Arlesford Road) SU511294.

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Pond dipping Froyle 26th August 2018

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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.

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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!

   

 

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‘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.

 

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Heathland walk at Broxhead Common 27th July 2018

Join us on Wednesday 27th July 2018 for a walk at Broxhead Common. Enjoy a leisurely stroll (about 1 mile) over this SSSI heathland to see Silver-studded Blue butterflies which breed on the heather. Specific to heathland habitat this rare butterfly is small so close focus binoculars are handy. Meet 2pm at the layby on B3004 (Broxhead Farm Road) SU803373. Parking is limited so share lifts from Froyle Village Hall leaving at 1.40pm if you wish. The weather forecast is sunny 25C, so you may need hat, sunscreen and water.

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Wild Orchids of Hampshire talk 15th May 2018

Bee Orchid

On Tuesday 15th May 7.30pm, we welcome Rosemary Webb -wild orchid expert and top photographer as our speaker. We’ll find out about some of the 30+ species of orchid found in Hampshire over a variety of habitats that include chalk grassland, heathland, marshland and woodland.  Come along and be enthused to seek out some of these beauties for yourself.

All welcome, teas and coffees, entrance £2 members of Froyle Wildlife, £3 non members. Doors open 7pm for talk to start at 7.30pm.

Several orchid species including white helleborine and bee orchid have been recorded in Froyle, along with other wild flowers (see list of species)

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Hampshire’s Amphibians and Reptiles talk 19th April 2018

Do join us for a talk about ‘Hampshire’s Amphibians and Reptiles’ by John Buckley at Froyle Village Hall on Thursday 19th April 7.30pm. John is a dedicated conservationist of our native amphibians and reptiles. Find out how to identify our frogs, toads, newts, snakes and lizards and the importance of suitable habitats.

All welcome, teas and coffees, entrance £2 members of Froyle Wildlife, £3 non members. Doors open 7pm for talk to start at 7.30pm.

A familiar visitor to Froyle, John advised us about the design of the wildlife pond near Gid Lane. Previously he also led our small mammal identification walk near Mill Farm, Isington. John is collating records for an Atlas on the distribution of Hampshire’s amphibians and reptiles which is due for publication in 2 years time.  John would really like us to help by sending in records of all species from those seen in our own gardens to those we encounter whilst out and about. Every record counts from the lone frog to a pond full!

There are free identification guides from ARC that can be downloaded as .pdfs for amphibians and reptiles. John co-authored ‘Amphibian Habitat Management Handbook‘ that can also be downloaded as a .pdf.

A handy form with instructions on how to record your sightings is here.

Note after the talk: We were encouraged to record sightings of these creatures (in our gardens or elsewhere in Hampshire) on ‘Living Record’. Alternatively records can be sent to Hampshire Wildlife Trust, thereby contributing towards an Atlas of Hampshire’s amphibians and reptiles to be published in 2020.  Data collected from such surveys inform conservationists which species are doing well and which are in decline and prompt further investigations.

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Discover British mammals talk 8th Mar 2018

Thursday 8th March – ‘My Family and 50 Other Animals’, illustrated talk – Froyle Village Hall – 7.30pm

We welcome Dominic Couzens, naturalist, trip leader and author of nearly 30 wildlife books. Dominic comes highly recommended and will tell us all about his family’s unusual quest; – to see as many species of British mammals as possible in a single year (no mean feat with a three and five year old in tow!)  Where did they go? What did they see? Do come along and find out and bring your friends to what promises to be an amusing and informative night out.

Doors open 30 minutes before the start of talk. Entrance fees: Members £2, non members £3, children under 16 free. Light refreshments, Raffle.

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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.

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Seabirds of Skokholm talk 9th Nov 2017

A talk about the Seabirds of Skokholm on Thursday 9th November at Froyle Village Hall.

The island of Skokholm off the south west coast of Wales is of international importance for its breeding seabirds including Manx shearwater, storm petrel and puffin. Local enthusiast Alan Wynde will entertain us with a talk entitled ‘Skokholm: Men, Goats and Birds, but mainly Birds’.

Starting at 7.30pm, doors open from 7pm, entrance fee £2 members £3 non members, all welcome.

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