Tuesday, 27 February 2007

Perivale Wood

Perivale Wood - Jewel in the Crown

Perivale Wood is without doubt a jewel in the crown of West London's wildlife sites and is the Borough of Ealing's 'flagship' nature reserve. It is an area of ancient oak/bluebell woodland hidden away in the suburbs of Ealing. It is the second oldest nature reserve in Britain and is owned and managed by the Selborne Society, the country's oldest nature conservation organisation. It is the first known site in the world for two species of fungi.

The Bluebells
Perivale Wood is best known for its bluebells - and rightly so. Although they occur in a few other countries in NW Europe, England is very much their "headquarters". Perivale Wood is one of the finest examples of a "bluebell wood". Spring is the most beautiful time as the dappled sunlight comes through the newly emerging leaves of the standard trees and coppiced hazel onto the carpet of over 4 million bluebells.

SSSI Designation
Perivale Wood used to be a "Site of Special Scientific Interest " (SSSI). This designation is given to the finest wildlife sites by the Government's conservation agency, English Nature. The designation is intended to afford statutory protection to such sites. Perivale Wood has lost none of its value since it became a Nature Reserve and was designated as a SSSI. Indeed, with the continued destruction of habitats and discovery of its unique fungi, it is now more important than ever. Nonetheless, English Nature has removed its SSSI status. Despite repeated requests, no clear explanation was ever given. The real reason is almost certainly that English Nature do want too many SSSIs. Each extra site tends to increase their workload, as English Nature then have to monitor its management and will have to comment if there are any threats to that site. They pointed out that there were other 'good' oak woodlands in the London area.

The Habitats
Perivale Wood is an 11 hectare (27 acre) area of ancient oak woodland in west London. It is bounded to the north by the Grand Union Canal, and to the south by a railway embankment and houses. To the east and west are warehouses, industrial units and recreational open space.

It includes a rich variety of habitats:

7 hectares (ha) of ancient mixed oak woodland
2 ha of grazed pasture land
1 ha of damp scrub
1 ha of relatively recently disturbed land, which has a very different vegetation from the rest of the wood
3 ponds and 2 small streams
Nearly half a km of hedgerow

The Wildlife
Perivale Wood is probably the richest wildlife site in the borough - it is certainly the best studied and recorded. Within the Reserve we have recorded over the years:

1000 species of fungi
300 species of moths
30 species of molluscs
17 species of mammals
24 species of trees
350 species of vascular plants
over 60 species of mosses and liverworts
115 species of birds, of which 40 breed regularly
many insects and other invertebrates (with untold numbers still to be recorded)

The Selborne Society
The Selborne Society was founded in 1885 to commemorate the eighteenth century naturalist Gilbert White, of Selborne in Hampshire. It was originally a national organisation, founded to continue the traditions of this pioneer of environmental study by correspondence between members about their observations of natural history. Today's Selborne Society was originally the Brent Valley branch of the national Society, and continues the work of its founders, observing and recording wildlife in part of west London and managing and conserving Perivale Wood Local Nature Reserve as the Gilbert White Memorial.

To find out more about Perivale Wood or to join the Selborne Society, visit Perivale Wood or send an e-mail to d.bender@ucl.ac.uk

Monday, 19 February 2007

Lee Valley Birdwatching & Wildlife Fair

I visited this fair yesterday with my son, despite becoming ill half way through the day, It was very enjoyable, my son had visited Lee Valley Park before but this was my first visit, It certainly wont be my last, to find such a oasis of wildlife so close to home was wonderfull, can thoughly recommend a visit to all wildlife lovers,


Tuesday, 13 February 2007

The River Wandle

This is a film showing the River Wandle's journey in South London from its source to where it joins the Thames.includes wildlife found along its banks

Via: Flixya

Monday, 12 February 2007

Lee Vally Birdwatching and Wildlife Fair 17-18th Feb 9.30am-4.30pm

In light of the recent discovery of bird flu in domestic turkeys in Suffolk, we wish to confirm that the Lee Valley Birdwatching and Wildlife Fair will continue as planned. This event does not involve the movement or collection of caged or domestic birds.
On advice from the British Trust for Ornithology, we will also continue with the planned bird ringing activity. All ringers ensure that the hygiene rules of the Ringing Scheme are adhered to by everyone visiting the area
We look forward to welcoming you to the event and hope that you enjoy observing the many birds and other wildlife in their natural habitat within our Country Park.

Things to look forward to!
Now in its 6th successful year, and one of the largest events of its type in the country, the event boasts over 50 exhibitors catering for all your birdwatching and wildlife needs. If that wasn't enough there is also a full programme of guided walks taking you into the River Lee Country Park, not to mention a packed lecture programme with talks from experts on a wide range of subjects and even some special celebrity guests.
Taking place at the Lee Valley Park Farms, near Waltham Abbey, in partnership with the East London Birders Forum, the fair is a fantastic opportunity to see many rare wintering birds, including Bittern.

Click This link to find out the latest news

Free Public Lecture Series, Spring 2007

Birkbeck College, University of London, in conjunction with the Ecology and Conservation Studies Society, is running a series of free public lectures on “Conservation and Sustainability - Living within our Environmental Limits”
Sustainability and conservation are of literally vital importance to our future. Human demands on Earth’s resources threaten the life support systems on which the future of our own species – and of countless others - depends. The significance of climate change is increasingly recognized. These complex, interlocking issues force us to consider urgently how best we can live within environmental limits; but the right strategic actions are hotly debated.
This lecture series will inform that debate. An introductory overview of global warming and world issues will be followed by lectures describing aspects of particular relevance for the UK: energy use; fresh water resources; land use; urban waste; the sea around us. Problems will be posed and solutions proposed.
Full details of the lecture series are available on the Birkbeck website.

Wednesday, 7 February 2007

Heron in Hyde Park

There are shots of the Grey Heron flying, fighting with Coots catching fish & good CU's in this short film. It took me about 8 months to film, Herons mostly stand still so it was difficult to get all these action shots - I hope you enjoy it.

Via: Flixya

Saturday, 3 February 2007

Spring as Sprung ?

It been a very spring like start to February, with the warmer weather in the last couple of days the birds have been getting exicted, was nice to see some sparrows about, once a common site in London, they have now become a rarity,I have also seen several bumble bees about, luckly there is also a number of flowers out for them to find, I never thought Id ever see rose's out in february!,

The frogs will soon be finding there way to the garden pounds, as they often start there mating in february and Im sure they will be of to a early start this year