A summary of our year so far

This year the conservation society has been busy as always. So far, we’ve already continued our involvement with the signal crayfish and grizzled skipper projects, which are run by the Nottinghamshire Biodiversity Action Group (NottsBAG).

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  Catching signal crayfish    Scrub clearance for the grizzled skipper

We’ve also had some great trips: We visited Big Moor, where we got excellent views of the red deer (Cervus elaphus), and we also visited Langford Lowfields to see the bearded tits (Panurus biarmicus). Here we got a few brief glimpses of the tits and managed to see a peregrine (Falco peregrinus). Other notable birding trips include visiting Rufford to see hawfinches (Coccothraustes coccothraustes), going to Nottingham to see waxwings (Bombycilla garrulus), and seeing a large array of birds at Frampton Marsh, including a long billed dowitcher (Limnodromus scolopaceus) and hen harrier (Circus cyaneus).

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       Red deer at Big Moor                  Hawfinch at Rufford

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Waxwing in Nottingham          Goldeneye at Frampton Marsh

This year we’ve also been attending plenty of fascinating talks, including talks on long eared owls, hazel dormice, barn owls, and raptor persecution. We have plenty more of these in the calendar, such as a talk about the Lincolnshire coast.

As usual we’ve continued our moth trapping with plenty of catches so far, including mottled umbers (Erannis defoliaria), December moths (Poecilocampa populi), and a large quantity of winter moths (Operophtera brumata) (see a male with a wingless female below).

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      Male and female winter moths          December Moth

We have a great variety of events happening soon, such as coppicing, hedge laying, birding at Langford Lowfields, and bird ringing demonstrations on campus. We’ll be sure to keep the blog updated with how all of these events turn out!



Litter Pick at Brackenhurst

18th March, 2017
A recent estate walk with a couple of new NTU international exchange students highlighted (with embarrassment) the amount of litter on the verges of the A612, the main road that runs through our campus and estate. With this in mind it was decided that the time had arrived for Conseco’s first litter pick, not the most glamorous of tasks, but probably one of the more necessary, as these verges were once locally designated as sites of biological interest or SBI, a designation of which was recently removed. Some roadside verges in the UK have been given SSSI status, Sites of Special Scientific Interest.

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Heathland management at Budby

4th March, 2017

Today we made a visit to the northern side of Sherwood Forest, known as Budby South Forest and this is a very new RSPB reserve so there is a lot of management work to be done in order to fulfil the ecological potential of the site.

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Idle Valley… Northern Sector

15th February, 2017

So it was decided to return to the Idle Valley for a spot more bird watching, as we’d previously only covered the southern half which found us heading north from the visitor centre, along the River Idles course, as far as the village of Tiln. All previous recorded bird sightings (Notts. Birders) all stated that the ‘interesting stuff’ was all spotted to the north of where we last visited.

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Grizzled Skipper Work day

22nd January, 2017

The first Grizzled Skipper work party of 2017 saw a net turn out of 25, with six consoc members present. Simon and the minibus left Brackenhurst at 0900 sharp and made a city pickup before heading down Rushcliffe way to East Leake by 1000 to work on a stretch of railway embankment. It was a windless day with a light dusting of frost, so we carried the kit down the rail line to the site and got going as soon as possible to keep warm.

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Langford Lowfield Birding!

25th January, 2017

So ConSoc have recently come up with the great idea of loading a group of us keen birders into the minivan for some ‘spontaneous’  birdwatching. This week we decided to head to Langford Lowfields, Nottinghamshire, an RSPB nature reserve and a working quarry on the River Trent, which is currently being restored into the biggest reedbed in the East Midlands.

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19th October, 2016

Coppicing is a traditional method of woodland management where trees are cut low to just above the ground level. This technique opens up the tree canopy in the woodland area coppiced, which allows light to reach wildflowers the following spring. The ConSoc team manage part of the woodland by Sheepwalks pond on Brackenhurst Estate, which is populated by Willow spp, by using this traditional method.

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