November in the Three Brooks nature reserve

Three Brooks Nature Conservation Group, Bradley Stoke, Bristol.

An update from Sara Messenger of Bradley Stoke’s Three Brooks Nature Conservation Group.

We’ve had a very busy couple of months on the reserve, as well as the usual maintenance work, meetings, training courses and organising public walks we’ve added dog rescue and calendars to our résumé!

Owl prowl and bird boxes

We were lucky enough to have Chris Sperring MBE – Conservation Officer with the Hawk and Owl Trust (HOT) lead this year’s Owl Prowl. Although less than 50% of the people who had booked tickets turned up, those who did were in for a treat as they were stalked through the woods by one of our Tawny Owls. Whether they were attracted by Chris impersonating the different calls of male and female owls or by him pretending to be a mouse in distress we will never know!

We have a few owl and hawk boxes on the reserve but hope to have more next year which could be monitored by HOT. Many of our other bird boxes have been vandalised or damaged by squirrels, so we are looking to replace them. It has been suggested that residents could either donate a bird box or they could sponsor one, and we will be looking into this.

Walks calendar

As part of our tenth anniversary celebrations, we agreed to support the Alveston Inter-Parish Walks Calendar and, appropriately for our sunny natures, we are July! Although there were many fabulous pictures to chose from, ‘Sunlight through the trees’ taken by local photographer and group member Ed Soldat was finally chosen to represent the reserve. The calendars are available to buy for just £5.00 either from or from 07497 006676. We will use the money raised from sales to buy some more chest waders.

Release programmes

After a visit to Secret World Wildlife Rescue, we are in discussions about using the reserve as a release site for harvest mice, as SGC have already given their permission for this we are hopeful it may happen sooner rather than later. We also asked for permission for two squirrels to be released, but that was not possible. I personally love hares and would love to see them up on the tump, so if anyone knows of a few spare ones that are looking for a home…

Thank you to Andy Wynn for allowing the group to use, for free, the conference room at the Willow Brook Centre for our meetings, this has meant that we will be able to use the money saved for the benefit of the reserve. At our last meeting there were some concerns raised about the proposed lighting on the reserve, although not opposed to the idea per se, it was felt that this is a nature reserve, not a street, and any lighting should be sympathetic to its surroundings.

For further information, visit our website,, email or phone 07497 006676.

This article originally appeared in the December 2015 edition of the Bradley Stoke Journal news magazine, delivered FREE, EVERY MONTH, to 9,500 homes in Bradley Stoke, Little Stoke and Stoke Lodge. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.

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