Very sadly, you will know that because of Lockdown all our events are, for the time being, cancelled. So, instead of offering guided Field Trips, we will do our best to provide some information that might enable you to Do Your Own - keeping within the lockdown rules, of course
22 May 2020 David Holroyd, ex-Kew Gardens: River Nadder - invertebrate survey
Treasurer Dick Budden writes:
I do trust you are all well.
This is just to remind you that next Saturday, 30 May, we were due to go on the second of this year’s excursion trips, in search of invertebrates in the River Nadder.
The plan was for David Holroyd, Secretary of the Teffont Fishing club, to lead us to a suitably shallow stretch of the river, probably near Dinton, where we could conveniently wade to seek out the myriad forms of life amongst the stone and shingle on the river bottom. As it happens this is something I’ve done previously, on a river fly monitoring course run by the Wiltshire Wildlife Trust, so I know just how fascinating it is to look really closely, and with someone experienced who can explain to you what you are seeing.
This is absolutely the right time of year for such a trip. All along the river mayflies are hatching and rising to go through their brief mating flights. We watched them from the river bank last evening, for all the world like micro-mini chinooks going up and down as if attached to the sky by invisible threads of elastic. When we lived beside the River Kennet in Reading, at this time of year the exhausted males, mating done, would land to end their short lives on the walls of our third-floor flat – see the pictures, below.
Be assured, the invertebrates trip isn’t OFF, merely deferred for another time. Meanwhile, you will see from local maps that there are many places where footpaths and bridleways cross the river, which will provide excellent vantage points for observing life above and below the surface.
Saturday, 2 May
Several things to share with you ahead of the day we were due to make the first field trip excursion of the summer.
We were going to walk from Semley to Gutch Common, traversing Oysters Coppice en route, guided by Ashley White, Southern Reserves Manager for the Wiltshire Wildlife Trust, along with Debbie Carter who, as well as being on our committee and the Tisbury Tree Warden, looks after the Coppice day-to-day. That, of course, is on hold indefinitely. But to see just what we’re missing, take a look at the most interesting blog written by Glen Coy about the visit he made to Oysters Coppice almost exactly a year ago https://www.hiddenwiltshire.com/post/oysters-coppice-gutch-common .
Another place to read about the route from Semley to Oysters is on the website http://www.discovernadder.org.uk/uploads/images/countryside_activities/Walk9_SemleyAges.pdf which notes local landmarks including the base of a former medieval cross on the outskirts of Semley that has been known as the Plague Stone ever since 1665 when Semley residents left food there for parishioners of Donhead St. Mary during an outbreak of plague - which casts a new light on social distancing and queuing outside the Tisbury Co-op!
The enforced stasis of recent weeks has given us all an opportunity to observe the natural world more closely than ever. It would be great if the Society could provide the means to record and share anything of interest either via our website or our Facebook page. If you have any observations of plants or wildlife that you’d like to share, do please email them to firstname.lastname@example.org
By way of inspiration for those of us mortals less gifted than others, we have two wonderful wildlife photographers living in our area - Abby Eaton has provided the lovely bird photographs for our pages, and her website https://absfab.com/recent-shots demonstrates what we could see, were we able to be up at dawn and sit for hours without moving! And you may be interested to read the observations of one attentive and enthusiastic teenage observer of the natural world, Peter Shallcross’s near neighbour Izzy Fry, by going to: https://mynatureandphotographyblog.wordpress.com/
Keep well, and enjoy the natural world around us.
The remaining events in the published programme of Field Trips this year was as follows:
Thursday 18 June, 6pm - Martin Green, Farmer and archaeologist Down Farm, Sixpenny Handley - wildlife and archaeology. Coordinator Peter Shallcross
Saturday 11 July - Wiltshire Wildlife Trust Coombe Bisset Down Reserve - open day and guided walks Coordinator Debbie Carter 01747 871311
Saturday 25 July - Jasper Bacon and Peter Shallcross Home Farm, Teffont - wildlife Coordinator Peter Shallcross
Wednesday 14 October - Dorset Wildlife Trust Brownsea Island Nature Reserve - guided walk. Coordinator Dick Budden at email@example.com