This blog is written by employees of Nottinghamshire County Council, the views in this blog are personal and may not be shared by the County Council.

Saturday, 27 June 2015

Flying the nest......

Once again the Swallow's set up camp near our office, and along with a few other pairs have successfully fledged 4 baby swallows, feeding up for their long maiden flight back to Africa. Swallow's will nest in the same spot most years.

Above are some pictures of the tentative young Swallow's, awaiting instructions and life lessons from their parents.

Friday, 26 June 2015

Himalayan Balsam pulling.

Last year the Himalayan Balsam made it to the stage of flowering in a very small area so this year we tackled it early, with help of our Conservation Volunteers, Wild Sherwood and the team. Luckily we have spotted none flowering this year (see picture below).

The team donned some waders and ventured out as some had been spotted on one of our floating islands. Previously we did some work in the Wetland Conservation Area.

Friday, 5 June 2015

All A bit Batty!

Rufford has all been a favorite of the local bat population for many years and recent surveys have identified a total of 7 species using the site with at least 4 of these species breeding.

Bats that have recently been recorded by Nottinghamshire Bat group and a recent ecology surveyor are:

Brown long-eared 
Soprano pips 

Common pip 

We are really lucky to have this many species on site and  taylor our woodland management to reflect this by using minimal intervention techniques in the woodland such as just clearing dangerous trees and a proportion of the scrub layer. We do this to improve the structure and diversity of the woodland as a whole and to ensure younger saplings and ground flora have a chance to take off , this in turn encourages insects into the woodland which are a bats favorite food. 

The other bonus we have here at Rufford which bats just love is the lake. On a warm summers evening they can been seen doing aerial acrobatics over the open water catching insects as they go putting on a fantastic display for whoever might be passing at that moment.

So next time your out for a summers evening walk just before dusk, head to the lake to see if you can catch the show.

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Pesticides, pond dipping and fledglings.

A busy week has seen many things happen at Rufford.
Lots of young birds have decided to make their way in the world, fledglings spotted include House Sparrow, Blue tit (see below), Robin and Swallows about to make the leap.

Alongside this a college group from North Notts College cam out to do some water surveying for us. They split into two groups and pond dipped off two platforms to see what was frequenting our Wetland Conservation Area. Results were counted and verified and the species listed below were found;
  • Water Boatmen
  • A huge Dragonfly nymph
  • Lots of other nymphs
  • Leech
  • Stickleback fish
  • Water Mite
  • Loads of tadpoles in various stages, some with legs forming
  • Freshwater Hoglouse
And to finish off on a positive note we all passed our PA6 Pesticides assessment.