An update from Sara Messenger of Bradley Stoke’s Three Brooks Nature Conservation Group (TBNCG).
Well, that was a busy year, although I’m not sure where half of it went! And don’t even start me on the challenges that the weather sent our way. It has really been a two steps forward one step back sort of year, but maybe that is part of the fun. Despite the rain, the thorns and the aching feet, there is much fun to be had as part of our Green Gym and our Conservation Group. There has to be, or we wouldn’t do it. We’re all volunteers juggling work and family with our commitment to the reserve and all those swim, walk or fly within it.
I can tell you that the TBNCG has this year put in 1,800 hours and that Green Gym has put in 1,850 hours, but I don’t like to think of what we do just in those terms. Our unit of production isn’t the hours we work, but the intangible difference we make during those hours. Something I feel that the landowners, South Gloucestershire Council (SGC), sometimes lose sight of. Although I’m asked each quarter to log the number of hours we’ve worked (their equivalent of GNP), regretfully I’m never asked what our ‘GN satisfaction’ is, or for our ‘GN sense of achievement’. We do what we do not to bolster their figures, but because we feel it matters, because we enjoy it and learn from it, because it’s interesting, because we’re glad to be part of something bigger than ourselves and because when we’re gone we know that something we did made a difference, to ourselves, to the reserve and to our community.
The new year (2019) will, for several reasons, be quite a challenging year for our small committee. Although Martin Luther King gave the “I have a dream” speech, not the “I have a plan” speech, we have been working hard on several plans which we hope to see finalised. (We’ve quite a few dreams as well, they’re just harder to get SGC to agree to!)
If we can finalise the funding, we have plans to finally get the lake dredged and to have several new paths put in, mainly in Savages Wood and, hopefully, around the lake.
We hope to improve the Tump for the grizzled skipper butterfly and for the skylarks, and to improve the brooks for the water voles. Hopefully, we will also be allowed to put in a couple of otter holts and I have an ambition to see hares once again streaking across the Tump. This is in addition to our agreed five-year management plan and the accompanying five-mile-high pile of paperwork!
We hope you enjoyed the reserve as much as we did in 2018 and that maybe 2019 is the year that you come and join us, either on 5th/6th January for our annual hedgelaying weekend or on another of our workdays or walks.
• How to contact the Three Brooks Nature Conservation Group…
This article originally appeared in the January 2019 issue of the Bradley Stoke Journal magazine (on page 19). The magazine is delivered FREE, EVERY MONTH (except August), to ALL 8,700 homes in Bradley Stoke. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.