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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. 

YACWAG events guide:-

Thursday 23 February  7.30pm – The Strawberry Line Society are holding their AGM @ the Recreation Ground, Winscombe – their speaker will be Jeff Vinter on ‘Life after Beeching’ – or ‘What became of all the railways closed in the 1960s’.  All welcome

Friday 24 February 7.30pm-9pm – YACWAG Bat Talk  @ Claverham Meeting House, Meeting House Lane, Claverham BS49 5BL – Daniel Hargreaves will be talking about an exciting new bat project in North Somerset. An opportunity to learn more about bats and how to get involved in finding out where they live and where they feed.  All welcome. Free entry. Refreshments.  Please note that parking is VERY LIMITED in Meeting House Lane – please try to organise car-sharing.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT ACCESSING MEETING HOUSE LANE –  Work on the water pipe line is taking place in Meeting House Lane for 2 weeks starting on 20 February – we understand that access to M H Lane will not be possible from the A370 so if you are coming to the talk please come via Brockley Way in Claverham.  We will check the situation on Thursday and confirm the access here.

Saturday 25 February 10am-noon – Workparty at St Mary’s Churchyard, Yatton – All welcome, tools provided.  Break for coffee and cake in the Chapter House at half-time.  Join this friendly group and work at your own pace.  The workparty will be cancelled if it rains.

Friday 3 March 10am-noon  – Yatton Station – a spring clean of the area around Yatton Station organised by the Severnside Partnership –  If you would like to help pick up litter from the station area do come along.  Several YACWAG members helped with this last year and it was really satisfying to see the difference we made. Rubbish bags and hi viz jackets will be provided – you might like to bring some gloves. This is part of The Great British Spring Clean – a national project to tidy up Britain.

Thursday 16 March 7.30pm – The Owls of Congresbury Moor – talk by Chris Sperring MBE at the Old School Rooms, Congresbury.  There are only about 4,000 breeding pairs of barn owls in the UK – last year we had 3 on YACWAG reserves!  All welcome. Free entry. Refreshments.

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

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

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 from the Co-op

YACWAG has been selected to receive funding from the Co-op Local Community Fund – we have six months to collect as much money as we can through the Fund and if you are a Co-op member using the Yatton Store you can help us by registering YACWAG as the cause you wish to support – YACWAG  will get 1% of the value of your purchases of Co-op products and services when you use your membership card.  If you don’t register your choice by March 2017 your 1% will be divided by the Co-op among three local charities.

To register go online   www.coop.co.uk/membership   

The money we raise through the Fund will be used to support our work in Yatton Schools, Court de Wyck School, Claverham and St Andrew’s School , Congresbury.

Your support will be much appreciated.   Win Lowman, Secretary YACWAG 

Bat Walk @ Blagdon Lake – 7 October 2016

There was a good turnout on a beautiful mild evening and we had the opportunity to use some new bat equipment funded by a grant from Bristol Airport.  This equipment provides a visual display of bat calls to help with identification.  Thanks to Nigel Milbourne, a YACWAG member with a great interest in wildlife in the Blagdon area,  we were able to see Soprano Pipistrelles and Lesser Horseshow Bats roosting near the Lake – a real treat.

Great White Egret on Kenn Moor – 11 Sept 2016

A Great White Egret was present on Kenn Moor on 11th September and Higgy was on hand to capture these shots (taken at very long distance). This constitutes the first record for the YACWAG area and it would be a ‘mega’ for birdwatchers in other parts of the country. 2016 is only the third year that Great White Egrets have nested in the UK and all nests are in the Somerset Levels. Indications are that their numbers will increase ( perhaps not to the levels attained by Little Egrets) and this beautiful White heron will become a regular feature of our local wetlands. Many thanks, Higgy.

Trevor Riddle

click on pictures to enlarge in a new window ….

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.