If you visit the reserve you will find it much easier to walk round parts of it. Active Newham has organised armies of corporate volunteers, mostly from the Financial Conduct Authority, to lay new paths. They are made of crushed concrete from demolished buildings. It is very hard work barrowing the material then raking and treading, but results in a dry path that is solid enough for wheelchairs and pushchairs. We are very pleased with the paths, which will save an enormous amount of time in path clearing. They also look very good and blend in as if they have always been there.
We have started a survey of the common lizards and slow worms at the nature reserve. Results so far are very exciting. We are an exceptional site for slow worms, according to the Frog Life criteria. As of 22nd August, we are a good site for common lizards. This makes us exceptional because we have large populations of 2 species of reptiles.
We are making log piles in the grassland areas to attract the common lizards and make it easier to see them.
You may find pieces of roofing felt, metal and carpet as you go round the site. These are refugia to attract reptiles, particularly the slow worms, which hide under them. The common lizards are mainly found on the ant hills or on top of the roofing felt. Please do not move the refugia. If you look under them, please put them back carefully.
Good news from Active Newham
Active Newham are now in charge of the nature reserve for a three year term, instead of the old system of three months at a time. This should make it easier to plan in the longer term. They are looking to get money from the airport and are proposing to do a survey of the flora and fauna of the site.
Peter has written a very interesting article for the Wren Group newsletter. If you would like to read it, you can download it here Hedge layingV2
Grant from the Wren Group
The Wren Group, who are based in Wanstead Park have kindly voted to give us £300 to use for tools and equipment.
We have planted wildflower seed in an area of Cricket Meadow. They were supplied free by Kew, as part of their Grow Wild initiative. Go to www.growwilduk.com for more information.
As you walk round the site you may have noticed wooden posts with numbers on them. These were a nature trail when the Nature Reserve was actively used. We are going to rewrite the leaflet and update the trail, so schools and other visitors can use it.