YACWAG aims to establish and maintain nature reserves in the Parishes of Yatton
and Congresbury for the benefit of the public, and to advance education in natural history and nature conservation.
Mosaic Seat Unveiled – 17th June 2013
Artist Barbara Disney has recently refurbished the mosaic seat on the Yatton section of the Strawberry Line. Barbara projected designs produced by students from Yatton Junior School on to ceramic tiles using a photographic process. The seat shows many of the wildlife creatures which can be found in this area.
Funding for this project came from YACWAG and the Strawberry Line Society.
Bristol Festival of Nature – 15th/16th June 2013
YACWAG’s stand at this festival featured the work of the Otter Group and photographs of wildlife found on YACWAG’s reserves. Thanks to Gill and David Brown and Higgy for organising this and to those who helped during the two days of the festival. The new Otter Group banner was much admired.
Hedgehog Tunnel – not just for hedgehogs! June 2013
Look here to see the visitors.
1st June 2013
The May YACWAG newsletter is now online – click here to read it.
Go here for reports on recent small mammal surveying/monitoring.
Birds update – 1st June 2013
“With the better weather the plants are growing, insects are emerging and the birds are trying to catch up with their nesting activities………” for Trevor’s full report, look at the Birds category within Wildlife on the left hand side of the page.
Marsh Marigolds at Stowey Reserve – May 2013
Propagation of our own Marsh Marigold seeds collected at Stowey has been highly successful. Richard Croucher has raised the plants , lovingly cared for them for two years and then we planted them out. They are doing really well, thanks to the very wet weather. When we acquired the fields at Stowey there were only 13-17 plants but now the grips (the field drains) are really quite full of them.
Cattle drinking points have been put in so that the fields can be grazed because it has not been possible due to the weather to cut hay for the past two years - the Dexter cattle will nicely take off the thatch and recondition the grass.
Small mammal surveys have shown that we have harvest mice and lots of small mammals benefiting from the longer grass, so we will be careful not to graze it too much.
Members have nurtured the seeds and plants which have now been planted out in the field drains at Stowey Reserve. There has been a massive increase in plants this year.
Jubilee Tree Planting Project - update 27th May 2013
Please go to the Jubilee Tree Planting Project page for the full Project Update report. A brief summary is outlined below.
Some essential maintenance has been carried out on some of the trees planted in the winter.
Young trees are very susceptible to drying out, particularly if they were bare-rooted when planted, as most of the small ‘feeding’ roots will have been destroyed in the transplanting process. They need a couple of seasons to develop a good root system before they really start to grow much above the ground.
Trees that were container-grown have their own problems. They are often very top-heavy, with a huge amount of leaves to support for the size of the rootball, and also not very steady on their ‘legs’. Sensible staking is necessary.
If you live near one of our Jubilee trees, please pop out with your waste washing up water and water it now and again. These new trees need 6 gallons a week and cannot get too much, so the more people looking out for them the better.
Birds update - 8th May, 2013
The warmer weather over the spring bank holiday brought more migrants and in particular reed warblers to the Strawberry Line. Considering the wet summer last year, this is encouraging and quite surprising.
Thanks to members reporting a regular cuckoo at Congresbury. They are pretty scarce now away from very large nature reserves in the south west and a new theory suggests that a lack of food (rather than host species) may be a cause.
Sorry to report that a visit to Littlewood by Chris Sperring MBE revealed that our tawny owls had failed. Chris said that 2013 was not looking a good year for this species. The very cold weather in March and April perhaps reduced prey items as they were trying to breed.
Just a single swift reported over Yatton, but a small group over Clevedon but Siskins still visiting gardens. Trevor Riddle
YACWAG Surveying – 28th April, 2013
The survey season is well under way and there are reports on the Dormice and Small Mammals and Bat pages on the first surveys. Surveying dates can be found on the website calendar.
Latest bird news from Trevor - 28th April, 2013
Spring is coming – slowly.
All of the usual summer warbler species had returned to the Strawberry Line today, albeit in small numbers. Blackcaps and chiffchaffs were interspersing singing and feeding – it looks as if they are still catching up and trying to get into breeding condition. There were 4 reed warblers singing, a sedge warbler, 2 Cetti’s warblers, 2 Whitethroats and a lesser Whitethroat. A kestrel was in one of the boxes and a few swallows were hawking insects.
Meanwhile, I am still getting reports of redpolls and Siskins in gardens – these are really winter birds.
First cuckoo report – 20 April, 2013.
Our dormouse surveyors heard a cuckoo on Cadbury Hill on 20 April. Let us know if you hear a cuckoo in the Yatton or Congresbury area.
Strawberry Line bird survey 18th April, 2013
Our second Strawberry Line bird survey took place this morning (April 18) and at last the chiffchaffs have started singing – we heard 12 of them. Many more chiffchaffs were busy feeding with a few blackcaps and at least one willow warbler. Three blackcaps were singing intermittently, but star bird was a Cetti’s Warbler which not only sang but perched on top of a bush in full view!
There were plenty of swallows around and a pair of sparrowhawks were displaying over the Station area.
YACWAG Christmas bird survey 2012
Thanks to all who joined in our 7th Survey. The blackbird retained the No.1 spot appearing in most gardens as it has done every year. The robin and blue tit tied for 2nd place. Read all about it here CHRISTMASBIRDSURVEY2012 REPORT .
Jubilee Tree Planting Project 8th December, 2012.
On 8 December Councillor Terry Porter, Chairman of North Somerset Council, joined us at Yatton Library for the grand finale of the project – the planting of a hornbeam thanks to the generous support of Yatton Horticultural Society and North Somerset Council. To date over 100 trees have been planted in Yatton and Congresbury and more will be added in the spring. Many thanks to everyone who has supported this project. Pictured below – Councillor and Mrs Porter are joined by Ivor Astle, Chairman of Yatton Horticultural Society and Tony Moulin, Chairman of YACWAG as the tree is planted.
For a full up-to-date report on the project click on Jubilee Tree Planting Project page.
Tree Dressing December 2012
Thanks to all the children who helped dress trees at Yatton Library and St Andrew’s School in Congresbury to celebrate how good trees are for us and the environment. The theme for the tree dressing this year was the planting of 60 trees in Yatton and in Congresbury by YACWAG to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. Small red, white and blue trees were numbered 1 to 60 (with the odd Union Jack tree) and the children wrote on them the things they liked about trees.
Articles on the home page are now also posted in their associated categories.
For home page items posted prior to October 2012, click here.