Conservation group review of the year

Photo of volunteers standing by the newly constructed disabled access gate into Savages Wood.

By Sara Messenger of Bradley Stoke’s Three Brooks Nature Conservation Group.

Well that was yet another very busy year which seemed to fly by, if only our goals could have achieved the same speed! But for all its challenges, annoyances, foul weather and delays, it has, I feel, still been a satisfying year for us. Although our now swan-less lake is still full of silt, our bridges are rotting and we mourn the loss of our water voles and our skylarks, we do now have grizzled skipper and small egger butterflies, stoats and some decent paths. What’s more, our otters have returned and we won the battle of the balsam!

The Savages Wood paths project has been a long hard slog but it has been worth it. Now that we have approved methods and contractors, we hope to be able to improve more paths on the reserve, including those by the lake. And if we could manage these projects ourselves, it would keep the costs down.

The disabled access gate, located behind the sports hall at Bradley Stoke Leisure Centre (see map below) has been a good addition to the reserve, not only for mobility scooters but for push chairs too. It’s been a joy to see another generation discover all that the reserve has to offer whether that’s hunting for bugs, catching falling leaves or watching the squirrels play in the slanting sunlight high up in the trees.

Looking forward to 2020, we hope to have more of our hugely popular foraging forays and bat walks, fewer fires, less vandalism, more water vole and butterfly improvements and fewer diseased and falling trees. We also have plans to install a star-gazing bed with its own planisphere! We have applied for a British Science Week 2020 grant and hope to be able to ‘launch’ the bed during British science week (6th-15th March).

Photo of Kamil.

This just leaves me just enough time to say a heartfelt thank you to everyone who has volunteered their time or stopped to say ‘thank you’ and to all those who have come along to one of our walks and filled the air with fun and laughter … and finally to wish bezpieczna podróż to our volunteer Kamil as he leaves us to take up a new job.

We hope you enjoyed the reserve as much as we did in 2019 and that maybe 2020 is the year that you come and join us, either for our annual hedgelaying or on another of our workdays or walks.

• How to contact the Three Brooks Nature Conservation Group…

t: 07497 006676
Facebook: Three Brooks Nature Conservation Group

Map showing accessible paths in Savages Wood.

This article originally appeared in the January 2020 issue of the Bradley Stoke Journal magazine (on pages 18 & 19). The magazine is delivered FREE, nine times a year, to ALL 8,700 homes in Bradley Stoke. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.

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