AGM and talk Ancient Woodland and Trees 18th Oct 2019

We welcome Hugh Milner to tell us about our wonderful Ancient Woodlands and trees on Friday 18th October. Sympathetic management of ancient woodland can create ecological impact, enhance biodiversity and benefit ancient trees. All welcome, Froyle Village Hall doors open 6.30pm, AGM starts at 7pm, talk starts 7.30pm, entrance free for members, £3 non-members, teas and coffee.

Hugh worked for many years at nearby Alice Holt for the Forestry Commission as Head Forester. He says ancient woods have been his passion for nearly 30 years, quite a transformation from his commercial career. Hugh has visited some of the woodlands in Froyle, many of which are SINCs (Site of Importance for Nature Conservation), see map.

Think of an ancient tree and words that might come to mind are gnarled, knobbly, huge, bent and hollow. These sorts of characteristics are just as important as the actual age of the tree. The Ancient Tree Forum has information about the descriptions of old trees, whether they are Ancient, Veteran, Heritage, Notable or Champion. All support a wide range of wildlife including fungi, invertebrate, lichens and birds. They are irreplaceable in our lifetime.

A 1771 survey of woodlands and coppices on sundry estates in Froyle can be viewed at the Hampshire Record Office, reference 49M68/172 or download .pdf (5MB). Locally there are no trees in Froyle mentioned in the Woodland Trust’s inventory. The nearest are the Yew in Bentley churchyard, girth 3.97m and the Neatham Manor Oak, girth 9.08m. It would be brilliant to find trees in Froyle that could be added to this national inventory.

 

2nd Oct update: Please note there is a change of speaker as Jon Stokes is unavailable.

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Pond dipping Froyle 11th August 2019

Family fun –join us for a 1h dipping session on Sunday 11th August to see what underwater creatures we can find in the wildlife pond near Gid Lane, Upper Froyle (see location 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 1.30pm or 2.30pm session.

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Walk at Old Winchester Hill 7th August 2019

Join us for an afternoon walk 2pm on Wednesday 7th August 2019 at Old Winchester Hill, National Nature Reserve for flowers, views and butterflies. Most of our 3 mile, 2h route along the hilltop is relatively flat but it should be worthwhile to descend the steep ‘south slope’ where the chalkhill blue can sometimes be seen in huge numbers on sunny days. The flower rich grasslands have developed on the thin chalky soils that are low in nutrients, and prevent vigorous species from dominating the finer herbs.

Meet 2pm at the public car park OS Grid ref SU646213, about 2km south of West Meon or share lifts from Froyle Village Hall leaving at 1.20pm. For more information about this NNR, a leaflet can be downloaded as a .pdf from Natural England.

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‘Drop-in’ at wildlife pond, Froyle 7th July 2019

Call in between 10am and 4pm on Sunday 7th July to visit the wildlife pond and meadow, near Gid Lane, Upper Froyle (see location map).  There should be plenty to see especially if it’s a sunny day.

Members of Froyle Wildlife will be on hand to assist with identification of wildflowers, dragonflies’ and butterflies.  Species to look out for include; knapweed, lady’s bedstraw, rough hawkbit, self heal, purple loosestrife, water figwort and bird’s-foot trefoil.  Last year emperor and four-spotted chaser dragonflies and meadow brown, large skipper and marbled white butterflies amongst others were on the wing.  Do pop in and see what you can spot.

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Walk at Noar Hill SSSI 26th June 2019

Join us for a walk on Wednesday 26th June 10am at Noar Hill SSSI when we hope to see at least 4 species of wild orchid.  This 20 hectare nature reserve, managed by Hampshire Wildlife Trust, was originally formed by medieval chalk workings.  Over hundreds of years the mounds and hollows were colonised by a great variety of beautiful chalk downland flowers now rare in the wider countryside.  Many species enjoy the micro climates amongst the undulations with over 30 butterfly species recorded.

Meet there 10am or preferably share lifts from Froyle Village Hall leaving at 9.30am. as there is very limited roadside parking, OS grid reference SU737321 near Charity Farm.

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Woodland coppice walk 27th April 2019

Join Mark Howard, hurdle maker for a Spring walk through Coppice Woodland near Crondall on Saturday 27th April at 4.30pm. Appreciate the benefits of traditional woodland management and hedge laying to wildlife. Please let us know if you plan to come along (by email to info@froylewildlife.co.uk) so that we have an idea of numbers.

Meet at SU785483 (see map) T-junction on the Well Rd at Jonathan Kilns Cottages to look at some hedge laying first then on to the wood. As parking is limited, please share lifts if possible from Froyle Village Hall leaving at 4.15pm sharp.

Mark says that he set out with a simple philosophy 25 years ago; to supply sustainable woodland products from local ancient woods, which, although they had probably been managed by man for at least two thousand years, had sadly been neglected previously. Based on a traditional management practice called coppicing, which relies on the ability of many tree species, after being cut, to produce new shoots, these rods or poles are harvested after a number of years and the cycle begins again. This management over the centuries has created a unique ecology for a diverse range of species such as our much-loved bluebell, nightingales and fritillary butterflies.

Update after the walk: We braved the end of Storm Hannah for a fascinating and entertaining afternoon, some photos taken on the day are shown below.

 

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‘Farnham Heath, the story so far’ talk 30th April 2019

We welcome Mike Coates from the RSPB to tell us about the birds and wildlife of this restored heathland. Once a gloomy conifer plantation, 100 hectares have been transformed into a beautiful heathland with views across the Weald, abundant with wildlife that includes roe deer, crossbills, nightjars, woodcocks and tree pipits.

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

Over the past couple of centuries Surrey has lost almost 90% of its heathland. As the habitat vanished, so did the species dependent upon it. A key feature of heathland is poor acidic sandy soils and areas of bare ground. These are important for many species of reptile and invertebrates. At Farnham Heath reserve there are now breeding Dartford warblers, nightjars, woodlarks, tree pipits, silver studded blue and grayling butterflies. Some species have also been reintroduced such as the stunning sand lizard and chirping field cricket.

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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.

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‘Plight of the Bumblebee’ talk 22nd March 2019

On Friday 22nd March 7.30pm, we welcome Dr Nikki Gammans from the Bumblebee Conservation Trust. We’ll find out about the three types of bees -solitary, honey and bumblebee their lifecycle and ecology, their decline and how we can help focusing on gardening through the seasons. Nikki will give an introduction to bumblebee identification and also include her work on, The short-haired bumblebee project.

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

Information summarised from Bumble Conservation Trust website:- Declines of bumblebee populations in the last century have occurred with large-scale changes to the way the countryside is managed. Bumblebees only feed on flowers and because of their colony-based lifestyle, need to have enough flowers available to sustain 40-400 sterile worker bees for the lifespan of the colony (potentially several months March-October) in order to produce the new reproductive individuals – males and queens – at the end of the colony lifecycle.

We can all help bumblebees by planting some bee-friendly plants in our gardens, to flower between March and September. As gardens cover over one million acres in the UK, this presents a great opportunity to provide food for bumblebees. By using these spaces more effectively, everyone can get involved in making the landscape friendlier to bumblebees, and help reverse the declines of the past century. Whether you have a window box, allotment or large garden, bee-friendly flowers can help boost your local bumblebee population. In return, they will dutifully pollinate our flowers, crops, fruits and vegetables.

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