Tuesday, October 18, 2016
Found a Holly bush covered in lady birds in the park one problem these are Harlequin ladybirds and have been declared the UK’s fastest invading species after reaching almost every corner of the country in just a decade.
The cannibalistic ladybirds were first realised to have reached the UK in 2004 when they were seen in Essex and have since spread as far afield as the tip of Cornwall and the Shetland Islands, making it the fastest alien invasion of the UK on record. Grey squirrels, American mink, ring-necked parakeets and muntjac deer are advancing at a rate far behind them.
Scientists monitoring the spread of the voracious harlequin, which will prey on native ladybirds, said the warnings when it first arrived that it would colonise the country rapidly and was the world’s “most invasive ladybird” have proved correct.
The species is believed to be responsible for the decline of at least seven native ladybirds, including the popular two-spot, which when last assessed in 2012 had slumped 44%. Dr Roy said that there has been no sign of a recovery among two-spots.
The vandals have been at it again with the seat by the Gulf War memorial having names all over it
Greylag geese back at the park and Canada geese having a fly past
We have had the one swan on the lake after the father died but this week a signet has appeared looking very friendly with the other swan maybe he goes for older women
Some Autumn colours below these change daily but a lovely site
Saturday, October 15, 2016
Friday, September 30, 2016
As Autumn arrives its good to see the Robin in the park reminds you of Xmas
Our friend Woody The woodpecker you often here him but don't often see him
The flowers on the main drive are looking good but any day now they will be replaced with spring flowers ready for next year
A nice splash of colour by the lake
This tree is well on its way
The cycle frame that was vandalised now has all the wheel clamps missing
Sunday, September 11, 2016
A note on the badger cull is worth including here; the policy is being carried out in ten zones this year, with an upper limit of 14,213 badgers set by the licenses, and there's every indication it'll be carried out in South Cheshire in 2017. The given reason is to tackle bovine tuberculosis (bTB), a disease affecting cattle herds. Advocates of badger culling participate at their peril; there's very little scientific evidence to suggest this will help them at all, and in fact the opposite is likely to be true in some cases. In the Randomised Badger Culling Trial, a previous experiment that cost us 11,000+ badgers and £50 million, the conclusion was that badger culling makes no meaningful contribution to bTB control; in some areas of this experiment it even increased the disease prevalence.
This seems to be the situation now; bTB has increased in each of the three cull zones from 2015 if stats from May 2015 vs May 2016 are compared. The current cull has also cost us approximately £25 million for approximately 4,000 badgers (none of which are tested for bTB at all) according to DEFRA statistics reported in 'Badgered To Death', the new book of Dominic Dyer, current CEO of The Badger Trust. Because they aren't tested, there is absolutely no data on how prevalent the disease is amongst the badgers that are being killed. Perhaps if they were tested, it would make it even clearer that the disease is an issue stemming from the poor husbandry of intensively farmed cattle, subsequently spilling out into many wild hosts as what is essentially industrial pollution, infecting not just badgers, but rats, hedgehogs, otters & deer as well.
Warning you may find this video disturbing as badgers are often shot and scream for a long time in agony before they die and it can be a mother and her young will starve to death would farmers do this to their cattle?
It cost £7000 to cull a badger £300 to inoculate Under a vaccination programme being used in Wales, around 25,000 badgers could have been vaccinated for the same cost of killing just under 2,500 in Gloucestershire and Somerset, according to Dyer. The badger vaccine doesn't kill any TB but stops them infecting anything so those with TB die leaving health badgers. The TB test for cattle is ineffective many are killed as they show positive only to find on post mortem they were clean it is also very painful for cows.
Many if not all Badgers killed may not be infected with TB
The policy is unlikely to be stopped by appealing to the common sense of those who have already ignored the warnings of countless researchers & experts that have examined the evidence. But wildlife lovers in & around South Cheshire still have plenty they can do to help stop this;
How can you Help Save Badgers?Join us at Cheshire Against The Cull, and learn how to identify, map, monitor & protect badger setts,
as well as help with campaigning. The loaned cages that were being used by conservationists in order to vaccinate badgers in Cheshire have been recalled by the Government to instead kill them.
We can be contacted on Facebook or by email at http://tinyurl.com/gu6uahu
email Click Here to Send us a Mail email@example.com.
We’d also recommend you sign the current government e- petition to stop the cull -
Finally, we’ll leave you with the statement given to Professor John Bourne by a senior government official… ‘Fine John, we accept your science. But we have to offer the farmers a carrot and the only carrot we can possibly give them is culling badgers’.
If anyone knows of a badger sett in Cheshire please let us know with as much detail as possible so we can inspect and protect it you can use the form foxyform
Tuesday, August 23, 2016
Mallards have new babies this nice little one it late for them to have them now
Heron ready for fishing hope he has a rod licence
Blue tit taken with a canon eos1300d 300mm lense
The green flag awarded to the park now has its new flag pole displaying it
Sunday, August 14, 2016
The father swan has died he and his daughter were the only 2 swans left in the lake but he has died believed to be from eating mouldy bread. People have started on social media quoting Angel Wing as a problem and clearly this has never happened and it only normally happen in young duck fed very high protein. Above the heron coming in to land
Tits in the park and even new baby ducks which are late this year and may struggle if we get an early winter
The vandals have been in at work again breaking the cycle stand and one more tree near the rack has been cut down
Wild Life master plan
A plan for wildlife in the park was compiled with the help of visiting experts in many fields to cover all aspects of the habitat.
Nesting for wildlife on the lake is none existent we have had Grebe in the past but these and others cant leave the water so need nesting on the lake a simple way is to create the floating nest see http://bthbgcm.blogspot.co.uk/2012/01/building-mallard-duck-nesting-tubes.html
One year we had floating islands for the grebe and they had young all that was used was a pallet and some straw and it worked well. The problem is now with the boats they cant be on that side of the lake as we have seen people in the boat reach onto the island and smash eggs. The only place is in the middle of the fishing side which should be far enough out so fishermen are not affected pallets around the bottom island would work as well grebe are a protected species. Cut down trees could be used tied together then tied to the island so it can rise and fall with the lake plenty of old dead trees at Tipkinder You can build a floating island very simple and cheap this also cleans the water as well as providing nesting https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P28PNf2JjF0
Many of the duck struggle to bread as there is no safe /suitable place for them to breed nesting boxes would solve that http://norfolkwildfowl.co.uk/?p=duck.nest.boxes
The full answer is to plant more suitable plants in the lake which provide natural nesting sites provide food and improve the water for fish and wildlife
Suggested planting along part of the edge of the lake - a fringe of reed mace, yellow flag iris, meadowsweet and other wetland plants would create a habitat for many creatures as well as birds (N.B. reed-mace can spread rapidly, however it cannot move into deep water, so it should be OK in the lake.
The two steep banks of grass either side of Burma island on the south side are never used as they are to steep and are hard to mow so we want to cover with dense shrubs which would look nice and give wildlife a place to bread this would help wildlife and reduce the need for regular mowing. They could be used for fishing as it doesn’t put people in danger when walking past while people are casting. Possibly the area by the main road that is a bank on the north side could have the same treatment. The wildlife meadow on the South side has helped to bring in insects and should be continued
To encourage wildlife we need to start at the bottom of the food chain by putting lots of compost areas and rotting log piles this needs to be balanced with not looking a mess so it’s a matter of agreeing areas in bushes that wont generally be seen for these we are talking small piles which will barley be seen not huge ones. Other discreet project are log piles and bee hotels again discreetly situated to benefit things like hedgehogs etc. This will fit in with school projects and we would help with an educational resource
More plants are required for wildlife which would include. More bird boxes are also needed and our members are putting up bird feeders to feed birds through the winter.
• Spring: flowering currant, Berberis, Forsythia, guelder rose.
• Summer: Hebe, lavender, honeysuckle, elder
• Autumn: Buddleja, heather, Hypericum, Fatsia
• Winter: Mahonia, ivy, witch hazel, Sarcococca
Much of the winter work is collecting leaves and transporting them this is a natural resource which is being wasted by moving them a few feet into the bush's they improve soil, provide things for nature and put nitrogen back into the soil and will take half the time. A lot of bush's around the fences are cut back in winter and in a lot of cases the denser the area the better there is more for wildlife and it help security by making it harder to break into the park. When that is done all around the park railings you can see self seeded trees and these are never touched. The ANTS could spend a day just removing self seeded trees all over the site.
Since the paths have been done wildlife have suffered as the old paths with holes had puddles for wildlife to drink now there is only Coronation walk left all thats needed is a few small holes that can retain water for wildlife as there is no were to get water as the lake is too steep for a lot of wildlife bird baths would be even better.
Wildlife cameras would be a good asset these would only be deplored as the park was closing and retrieved at opening time so there is no problem with that with these we could check how many badgers we check nest a class wildlife like swans and grebe and gain information on wildlife night life which may show wildlife we didnt know we had. They could be used as a security camera if there were problems at night to capture intruders. You can get cameras for bird boxes which would be interesting to observe the birds all this goes towards getting a better understanding of the needs of wildlife in the park.
Wildlife needs promoting in the park as its a crowed puller and bring responsible people into the park the need is there I tweet my wildlife photos on Twitter and often they are retweeted a 1000 times so people are interested follow on twitter @janmwright
Monday, July 25, 2016
Cheshire East Council scoops Green Flags award
Cheshire East Council’s parks are some of the very best in the UK – and that’s official.
Cheshire East has been awarded Green Flags for its outstanding parks.
The Green Flag award is given to authorities that deliver a parks service to an international standard. All parks are measured on how well they are maintained, how sustainable they are along with their contributions to conservation and heritage.
However, there are also more diverse criteria that parks are measured on, which include areas such as how they are marketed and managed.
Significant investment in Queens Park, Crewe means that it now joins Congleton and Sandbach parks along with the Moor in Knutsford, Bollington recreation ground, Brereton Heath local nature reserve, Tegg’s Nose country park and Tatton Park as having been awarded the Green Flag standard.
Tatton Park has also received the Green Heritage Award, which is given to places that achieve a high standard in management and interpretation of a site with local or national historic importance.
The awards were recognition of outstanding partnership working both with other local authorities and community groups. They were given out at Sheffield Town Hall in an event attended by many northern authorities.
Councillor David Brown, Deputy Leader of Cheshire East Council, said: “This is deserved recognition for a lot of hard work and dedication, not just from our own teams at Cheshire East but also the army of volunteers and community groups that make achievements like this possible.”
“The Green Flag is an international standard and the only national award for parks, so this is great praise for Cheshire East to be recognised in this way.”
Councillor John Hammond, Chairman of Ansa – who deliver parks services for Cheshire East – said: “Green Flag is a prestigious parks award which benchmarks the national standard for parks and green spaces in the UK. So I am delighted with this success.
“All of these parks look beautiful at this time and I must thank all our friends groups and partners for their outstanding efforts and contributions to make this happen.
“It was particularly satisfying that Queens Park in Crewe, was successful in obtaining the award this year, following the recent refurbishment and investment. We do hope you will take time to visit and support your local park!”
Its all about flowers this week as the summer bedding starts to develop but along with that the vandals are about and the Gulf War memorial a lot of the flowers have been pulled up
The Boer War memorial has a nice display and first time this year the banks on the south side have a wildlife garden which is brining in bees and butterfly's not at its best yet but it has been well received by visitors
The main drive flowers are doing well and the wildlife is still producing young as the mallard looks after her new brood
Wednesday, July 13, 2016
A lot of new duck this week a bit late but some out with mum this week
After problems with the illegal disturbing of badgers we were assured by the Chief Exec that they would be looked after as required by law
I quote from the letter from Peter Bates 17th June 2016:
“The latest incident you describe with the mowing was a result of the badger sett expanding into the open grassland and not being spotted by our staff.”
We are disappointed that this has happened again since we hoped that staff would now be
well informed and subsequently give the sett a wide birth with the mower.
But this week they went over setts with a mower this is not only a problem for badgers but it show CEC has no concept of safety of its staff if a mower drop down a hole and its ride on then the operator can be thrown off and with blades spinning be seriously hurt. There seems to be no communication from the top to staff on the ground
The bank on the south side is now starting to flower with the wildlife garden that was own