Posts Tagged ‘Bradley Stoke in Bloom’

Woods Estate Agents, Bradley Stoke, Bristol

Bradley Stoke in Bloom: Ducklings & carrots!

Posted on Monday 11th June 2018 at 8:21 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of ducklings resting in grass beside the pond at The Common (East),.

An update from Sara Messenger of the Bradley Stoke in Bloom group.

The Common (East) – We are parents!

We were delighted to receive a message that we had ducklings on The Common (East) pond! We had, for a while, seen Millicent on the pond, but Maurice was nowhere to be seen. Then, to our relief, he finally appeared, oblivious to all our concerns, of course. We did what we could to encourage them to stay, but they seemed to disappear again, so we thought they had moved on – but now we know they were just nesting somewhere out of sight. Millicent managed to hatch ten ducklings and proudly revealed them to quite a large adoring crowd. While they were being given a hearty meal of porridge oats and grain by the primary school children, one young lad busily made them their own duckling-sized nest which I’m sure they appreciated. They are incredibly cute, whizzing around like small clockwork toys and taking tiny leaps to catch the low-flying insects. Please can we ask if you come to see them you bring some healthy food with you? Porridge oats, grain, unfrozen peas and shredded vegetable peelings should ensure that they grow up healthy and strong and that the water remains clear. Bread has very little nutritional value and pollutes the water, and mouldy bread can give the birds a fatal lung disease.

Thank you to Adrienne Wheeler who designed a poster for the Three Brooks lake, which we’ve borrowed again for the pond.

Apologies to whoever left the half dozen alcohol security tags on the island, we’ve returned them to the store and the bottles of wine went in the bin. (Although it was done with a very heavy heart as it was a wine I’m rather partial to.)

You may notice in the ‘insect hotels’ bowls of water with marbles in. Please don’t take them! These are bee or insect waterers – the marbles give the insects a safe place to land so they can drink without drowning. They are a huge help to our struggling wildlife and are very easy for your children to make, so we’re hoping every garden in Bradley Stoke will soon boast its own bee waterer.

More: Giant "carrots" at ‘Rabbit Roundabout’ »

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Bradley Stoke in Bloom spring 2018 report

Posted on Wednesday 9th May 2018 at 11:55 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of BSiB volunteers standing behind an assortment of rubbish that they collected during their Big Spring Clean.

An update from Sara Messenger of the Bradley Stoke in Bloom group.

Big Spring Clean

I had put in a request for good weather, but I think the email got lost as we took part in the annual Big Spring Clean on what must have been one of the coldest days of the year! Although we only went from the Brook Way Activity Centre to Patchway Brook Roundabout, and then onto the Aztec West Roundabout, we managed to collect 22 bags, as well as a strange assortment of other rubbish. We stopped at the central verge on the A38 to cut back the bramble which has been annoying me for the last year (when we get a spare afternoon, we plan to replace it with some periwinkle), but by lunchtime it was below zero degrees, and we could no longer feel our fingers or toes, so we called it a day and managed to get home just as the snow came down. Several additional hours have been spent, mainly at The Common East, cleaning off graffiti and picking up empty cans and pizza boxes, smashed glass and another used syringe, which is not really how I want to spend my afternoon off!

The Common East

We received an email from South Gloucestershire Council (SGC) informing us that the pond here was overflowing. We checked the overflow pipe and cleared away some debris that was slowing the drainage. Feeling accomplished, we were a bit surprised a few minutes later when a dog walker pointed out that the water was now flooding the road around the corner! And it was! The road was now ankle deep in pond water. The good news was that we could identity it by the large amount of duck weed we’d managed to get out of the pond. We checked the ditch, which was clear, but talking to residents we found out that the drain leading to the ditch has been blocked for a couple of years and, although it has been reported to StreetCare several times, nothing has yet been done. We’ve also reported it to StreetCare and there is nothing else that we can do.

More: Wild flowers on Brook Way. Best Front Garden Competition. »

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Bradley Stoke in Bloom February update

Posted on Tuesday 20th March 2018 at 8:58 pm by SH (Editor)

Bradley Stoke in Bloom volunteers at the rose garden on Brook Way.

An update from Sara Messenger of the Bradley Stoke in Bloom group.

For the last couple of months, we’ve felt like our daffodil bulbs – cold, wet and biding our time for warmer weather! Usually there is not much we can do in the winter months but plan for the spring. However, this year, this proved a bit harder to do as a third of our committee had gone on a long field trip to New Zealand!

January workday at The Common East

We weren’t entirely idle and our last workday saw us trying our hand at hedgelaying, which for most of the group was a first. The neighbours to the orchard on The Common East have had new fences put in which had opened up the boundaries, so rather than put in dull environmentally unfriendly wooden fences, we re-laid the hedge that had been put in by Patchway Conservation Group more than a decade ago. It’s quite a hard task, but what is not to like about being able to legally wander about with an axe in your hand! At the back of the orchard we put in what was known as a smugglers’ hedge, which is a double row with a gap in-between (this allowed the smugglers’ ponies to walk between the two hedges without being seen). Before any of you get ideas, it’s only a few feet long so you won’t get too far before you are spotted!

We also put in two hedgehog houses. We know it’s the wrong time of year, but we wanted them to be securely under the hedge before it establishes itself and we also managed to install another couple of bird boxes. Thank you to Judith H for the gift of two trees; we plan to use the rowan to fill in a gap in the orchard hedge.

Last year was the first year we pruned the orchard and we tried two different techniques. Not that I’m competitive, but judging by the amount of apples that still litter the ground where I did the ‘soft prune’, I think my method is the better one!

The weather was mostly kind on the day, although when Bristol promises rain, it never fails to deliver on its promise! But before we got drenched, we had a good day, made even better with homemade cakes made by the neighbour’s children and birthday cakes for both Rob and Ceri.

More: Lapwing Close and Manor Farm Roundabout »

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Bradley Stoke in Bloom report for November

Posted on Wednesday 13th December 2017 at 6:35 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of Bradley Stoke in Bloom volunteers at The Common East.

An update from Sara Messenger of the Bradley Stoke in Bloom group.

November workday at The Common East

Although the pond on The Common East has been looking very tired of late, newts were found during a licensed survey so we have had to resist going in to give it a tidy up until the beginning of the ‘closed season’, which is generally November to February. Although they have not been seen in the last few months, we still wanted to do everything possible to enhance their well-being and their habitat. Newts hibernate when the temperate drops below 6°C, although they will come out to forage if the weather is warm enough, as do frogs and toads. Generally, male frogs hibernate at the bottom of the pond, and the females under rocks and vegetation, for reasons that may not be suitable to print in a family paper!

Our November workday saw us clearing as much green duck weed from the surface as we could. This is a long and tedious task as the sticklebacks like to hide just under the weed, which meant that we needed to check each net-full to ensure they could be safely returned to the pond. We also found many water snails, ramshorn snails and, surprisingly, fresh water mussels. We also cleared the edge and the boys made a valiant effort to remove silt from the pond. We’d like to offer our apologies to their neighbours, who may have seen them dumping their very dirty and smelly clothes before they were allowed inside their back doors!

The decoy ducks Barry & Kate have returned. We will remove them again in the spring if our resident pair Maurice & Millicent return, although we have been told that Millicent has been seen without her mate, so we shall just have to wait and see. We have decided to not return the butterfly boxes that were thrown in the pond yet, and we are looking at how we can repair the bench, but we have topped up the insect hotel and have introduced a few new residents, including ‘Jerry’ the stag beetle. We put some wire across the front but have made sure the sides were left open so that the hedgehog (if she’s still there) can still get in and out easily, as well as the squirrel who seems to be using it as a winter store.

More: Group given a Scots pine through Tree Charter scheme »

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