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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. 

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 We are delighted to have been awarded £2,433.20 from the Coop Local Community Fund – MANY THANKS TO THE COOP & OUR LOCAL COMMUNITY MEMBERS WHO SUPPORTED US.  This is a fantastic achievement and we will soon be shopping for more bat detectors to enhance our bat work in the local villages, especially with children and young people.

 

Read the latest YACWAG Newsletter here February 2017 

 

YACWAG EVENTS GUIDE:-

Celebrating St George’s Day with a visit to our Stowey Reserve to see the Marsh Marigolds WP_20170323_14_15_10_Pro

Saturday 29 April, 10am-noon – Workparty at St Mary’s Churchyard, Yatton All welcome to join this workparty and work at your own pace.  Tools provided and there will be a break at half-time for refreshments in the Chapter House.

Monday 1 May, 7am – Early Spring Bank Holiday walk along the Strawberry Line led by Trevor Riddle.  Meet at the Yatton Station end of the S Line – stout footwear recommended.  Sorry no dogs please. The walk will last about 2 1/2 hours – breakfast afterwards at the Strawberry Line Cafe (if open) is optional.  The walk will be cancelled if it is raining.

Friday 5 May, 8.15pm – Evening Family Bat Walk on Cadbury Hill – All welcome to join us and try out our new bat equipment with help from members of our Bat Group.  Stout footwear essential – please bring a torch and a bat detector if you have one.  Meet at the car park at the very end of Henley Lane, Yatton (not the Cricket Club car park).

Tuesday 23 May, 7.30pm- YACWAG AGM @ Hangstones Pavilion, Stowey Road, Yatton – Light refreshments available from 7pm.  The meeting will be followed by a presentation by Higgy on the Marvellous Moths found in his Yatton garden.  At the end of the meeting (weather permitting) those who wish may like to visit Harry’s Plot in a nearby field – this small plot of land was recently bequeathed to YACWAG.  Stout footwear essential for the walk.

WEDNESDAY 14 JUNE – SUMMER VISIT TO THE AVALON MARSHES – A day out in Bluey, the Congresbury Community minibus, to RSPB Ham Wall and Shapwick Heath National Nature Reserves. Leaving Congresbury at 9.30am, return around 5pm.  We will be hoping to see the speciality species at these large Reserves, namely, Bittern, Great White Egret, Marsh Harrier and Hobby. Otter, Cuckoo and Bearded Tit are possible if we are lucky as well as eight warbler species. Steady flat walking on good pathways.  More details from and bookings to Trevor on trid@btinternet.com or 835208. Cost around £5 – £8 depending on numbers.

Spring Birdsong Walk, Cadbury Hill – 9 April 2017

Fourteen of us met on a fantastic Spring morning, ideal for listening to bird song. We were straight into Chiffchaff and Blackcap with Robins and Wrens joining in. A Great Spotted Woodpecker was calling and gave us a brief flight view. We stopped to look at the stock pond restored by YACWAG members a few years ago and Viv who helped was able to answer questions about the project. We steadily climbed up the slope and a Nuthatch sang ; there was a close contact and brief views later. A Willow Warbler sang wistfully and a Bullfinch called as we admired the ancient Oaks at the north east corner of the hill. Song Thrushes and a possible Mistle Thrush were next but the top of the hill proved attractive to butterflies with, Orange Tip, Brimstone, Holly Blue and Peacock all seen. Three Buzzards soared over but the Eagle Owl was definitely at the Bird of Prey centre below us.

We took time to enjoy the views and as we looked west over Yatton a Sparrowhawk shot over and Speckled Wood as we neared the car park marked the end of a very enjoyable morning.   Trevor R.

Strawberry Line birds – 31 March 2017

The first survey of the twentieth season took place on the 31st March on a breezy mild morning, much warmer than on most first surveys in past years.

Chiffchaffs were everywhere ( well almost); there were 17 singing and several others ( females don’t sing) besides. Five Blackcaps were pouring out their lovely musical warble and two Willow Warblers were singing their descending notes song. Willow Warblers are migrant birds here now: they will move on to breed, probably in the North west of the U.K. Our two regular Cettis Warblers made themselves heard ( as only Cetti’s can).  These birds are resident all year and are the rarest breeding bird species on the YACWAG reserves.

Song Thrush and Reed Bunting were also in song, both Green and Great Spotted Woodpeckers were heard and seen respectively, a couple of Herons flew over and a Kestrel was on the Congresbury Moor reserve. All the usual suspects were present in good numbers: let’s hope for a warm Spring and Summer so that there will be lots of baby birds this year.

Trevor

Great talk by Chris Sperring MBE – 16 March

We were delighted with the high turnout for Chris’s talk at Congresbury.  Wildlife is facing a lot of threats at the moment, but Chris reminded us that the answers to some of the issues are simple. We can all help by providing more homes for wildlife in our gardens and letting decision-makers know that nature is important to us.

Exciting year of bat work ahead

Our new bat monitoring project was launched on 17 March and there are many ways to get involved. You don’t need to have had previous experience, just a willingness to help YACWAG find out more about our local bats. There are indoor jobs, helping with analysis, sedentary surveys – sitting by a hedge counting bats as they fly past, and walking surveys. There will also be some high adrenalin activity chasing a radio-tagged bat around the countryside to find out where it is going. We have some great new equipment and some enthusiastic bat licensed teachers, so please come and learn with us. We can really make a difference to the survival of bats in this area. First event 5th May- a family bat walk on Cadbury Hill (details on the Events Guide).   If you want to help, and haven’t already contacted us, please get in touch  contact@yacwag.org.uk

Big Schools Birdwatch at St Andrew’s, Congresbury. 25 January

The school chose 25th January for their birdwatch, and what a lovely sunny still morning they picked.  There was a Green Woodpecker in the paddock between the Church and the School as we unpacked, with a Greenfinch tuning up nearby.

Five classes came ( separately) into the playground to record the birds seen and all morning Rooks were at their nests and in view through the telescope. A Redwing was spotted as well as Chaffinch, Goldfinches, Robin, Blue Tit and Woodpigeon. Black headed gulls and Jackdaws flew over. It was a very enjoyable hour.

After a welcome cuppa in the staff room we checked and cleaned out the nest boxes. As last year all of the boxes in the school grounds had been used, a very satisfying outcome. Whilst we were doing this we heard and then saw a Nuthatch, a species I had not recorded in the village before ( they are resident in Kings Wood and on Cadbury Hill).

Thanks to Sue Lovesey and John Croxton for their help.

Trevor R.

Visit to RSPB West Sedgemoor & Greylake Reserves. Weds 18 January

Fifteen members and friends set off in Bluey heading south for the sun and it worked; blue sky, no wind and glorious sunshine by the time we reached West Sedgemoor near Curry Rivel.

(Click on the image to enlarge it)

We were met by our guide, long serving RSPB volunteer Nigel Smith ( this reserve can only be visited on organised tours) and he took us to a vantage point overlooking part of the Reserve. Nigel explained the history and management regime whilst clouds of Lapwings and Golden Plover filled the sky – a brilliant sight in the sunny weather. We moved on to the observation hide ( an upstairs in a barn but with hide Windows, seats and tea and biscuits).

Nigel soon picked out a Great White Egret which he said was unusual and then a perched Marsh Harrier that stayed for most of the morning. This was much viewed and photographed through various telescopes. There were lots of Wigeon with lesser numbers of Teal and Shoveler. A second Marsh Harrier gave us a fly past and put up some of the Lapwings, Golden Plover and ducks. Then as we made our way back a pair of Cranes flew in and proceeded to dance – a great end to our visit.

We drove to the Greylake Reserve for lunch,  there were great views of Redwings and Reed Buntings from the car park as we arrived. From the hides the ducks were very close and we were soon spotting patrolling Marsh Harriers. There were several Snipe and a Peregrine on a pylon that interacted with a Raven on the next pylon. For good measure there was a Buzzard on another pylon – what did they do before the advent of electricity?

We walked up to the screen hide and I spotted a Merlin which had been harassing ( but not seriously threatening) the Lapwings but it flew just as a queue formed at my telescope to view it – you can’t win them all! A very enjoyable day was had by all.

Trevor R.

Click on the link to see the YACWAG 2016 CHRISTMAS BIRD SURVEY REPORT

YACWAG provides a new home for Tawny Owls

In May last year visitors to the Strawberry Line found two small Tawny Owl chicks grounded under a box near Congresbury old station. They managed to contact the Hawk and Owl Trust and Chris Sperring, Carrie Riches and her husband attended, repaired the box (the bottom had fallen out) , the chicks were put back and successfully fledged.

The old box was erected under a North Somerset Council scheme but YACWAG offered to provide a replacement box. The splendid new box was made by our member Alan Walker and erected by him and Bob Lowman on the 16thDecember (see picture).

We hope that the local Tawny Owls will like their new home and that the box will produce lots more Owlets in the future.  TR

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Tree Dressing  – 3/4 December 2016

This weekend we have decorated 22 trees and installed 6 strings of bunting in Yatton, Congresbury and Claverham featuring 278 brightly coloured leaves knitted by YACWAG members – we hope people will enjoy seeing our leaves and appreciate our message that trees are amazing and diverse and of benefit to the environment, to wildlife and ourselves.

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 Read the latest YACWAG Newsletter here September 2016

GOOD NEWS!

YACWAG HAS WON THE ENVIRONMENTAL HERO AWARD in the North Somerset Mercury Hero Awards.  Tony and Faith Moulin attended the award ceremony at Cadbury House on 25 November and were presented with a framed certificate which will be on show at our next public events.  Look out for the coverage in next week’s free paper!

NEW Jubilee Tree Website   www.yacwagstreasuredtrees.webs.com

For the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee we planted 60 trees in Yatton and another 60 at St Andrew’s School, Congresbury.  We now have a website on which you can learn more about the trees we planted and the wildlife associated with them, and keep up-to-date with the progress of these trees. Thanks to Higgy for all his hard work on this website.  In due course we hope to include information about other ‘treasured trees’ in the two parishes.

YACWAG’S approach to development

With so many planning applications for housing in Yatton and Congresbury  in the pipeline, YACWAG Chairman, Tony Moulin, has prepared a statement detailing YACWAG’s approach to development.  Click on the link to read the statement.

Wetland Wildlife on The Strawberry Line

To see a copy of the information posters on the Strawberry Line notice boards, click here.

Articles on the home page are now also posted in their associated categories.

For home page items posted prior to October 2012, click here.