Posts Tagged ‘Three Brooks Nature Conservation Group’

New information panels installed in Three Brooks nature reserve

Posted on Saturday 16th June 2018 at 1:49 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of the panel unveiling in the community orchard. L-r: Jamie Bowkett (senior ecologist, Wessex Water), Robin Jones (chair, Three Brooks Nature Conservation Group) and Cllr Rachel Hunt (chair, South Gloucestershire Council).

A set of five new interpretation panels has been installed at places of particular interest within Bradley Stoke’s Three Brooks Local Nature Reserve.

The panels were funded by Wessex Water, which has recently completed a major tunnelling project within the reserve, as part of the Frome Valley Relief Sewer scheme.

The information on the panels was put together by volunteers from the Three Brooks Nature Conservation Group, who wanted to raise awareness about the plants and the wildlife – including swans and slow worms – which can be found within the reserve.

The interpretation panels have been placed around the reserve at separate locations, with each describing a different habitat. There is one at the lake, one on the Tump, one in the community orchard (behind BSCS), one in Savages Wood and another in Bowsland Meadow.

The panel in the community orchard was formally unveiled by Cllr Rachael Hunt, the newly appointed chair of South Gloucestershire Council, on Tuesday 22nd May, in the presence of several members of the conservation group.

• For more information, visit www.three-brooks.info

Photo: Panel unveiling in the community orchard. L-r: Jamie Bowkett (senior ecologist, Wessex Water), Robin Jones (chair, Three Brooks Nature Conservation Group) and Cllr Rachel Hunt (chair, South Gloucestershire Council).

More; Photo of the interpretation panel at the lake »

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April in the Three Brooks nature reserve

Posted on Sunday 13th May 2018 at 11:30 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of the new pond that has appeared beside the main path behind BSCS.

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

Green Gym

The Green Gym have, as always, been very busy. Our tasks this month have included clearing the school bank of bramble, removing burnt-out motorbikes, cleaning off graffiti, making a new pond, planting rowans and starting the annual slog of Himalayan balsam bashing. Considering the weather we’ve had, it is a little early for balsam bashing, but, armed with hoes, we like to remove the first growth as soon as it appears. It’s an uncommon method but one that seems to be paying off as each year we have less and less balsam to contend with. The team have also created a new pond alongside the main path (behind BSCS), although maybe the underground spring created it, we just tidied it up a bit! We were asked to remove the attractive tree in front to get some light onto the water but we decided to remove the dead and unattractive blackthorn behind it instead and we now have a sizeable pond. We have in the past found a couple of newts in the water here, but as we’ve been asked not to put in plants but to let it colonise naturally, it will be a long time before it would be a suitable habitat for them to breed in. As well as some pretty ancient litter, we also found a professional dog walker’s collar and returned it, but no good deed goes unpunished and now we just need to find for her the other four that her charges left behind!

Green Gym have also managed to plant on the side bank of the Tump another 20 rowan trees supplied by SGC. The previous 60 supplied by BSTC were too small to be planted in established grass, so were planted around the community orchard. At the new site we also found an old established den, made from motorway fencing and neatly decorated with the carpet from under our harrow, and two areas where the grass had been set alight. Hopefully, the occupants will be too busy to trash the new trees, but only time will tell.

More: Wessex Water have finally removed all their equipment »

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Concern over “oil spill” in Stoke Brook

Posted on Saturday 21st April 2018 at 11:44 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo showing a rainbow sheen on the surface of the water at one of the weirs on Stoke Brook.

Rob Williams of Bradley Stoke’s Three Brooks Nature Conservation Group writes:

As the snow disappeared  at the beginning of March and everybody breathed a sigh of relief that they could go back to work and school on the Monday, the melt-water was bringing an unwelcome delivery for our local nature reserves. Somewhere upstream of Forty Acres in Stoke Gifford, an oily substance had found its way into the Stoke Brook and was flowing downstream through the area.

The Environment Agency were contacted, as they are responsible for investigating pollution events in the water courses. South Gloucestershire Council and the town council were also informed and there were many messages and comments on the TBNCG Facebook page. The concern and interest from the public has been enormous.

The Environment Agency, along with Wessex Water, have spent many hours out searching for the source of the pollution. It may sound like a simple job to walk back up the brook until the culprit is found, but the brook is culverted under the railway and splits in several places. The oily substance is a light hydrocarbon and easily mixes with water, only showing on the surface where the water flow is slow. This means that booms or sponges in the brook won’t retain or absorb the oil and therefore haven’t been deployed.

The extent of the leak appears to be diminishing at the time of writing [mid-March] and there have been no visible effects on the local wildlife, yet. With events like this, it is very important that the public help by reporting direct to the Environment Agency. Investigations can then be conducted straight away.

If you spot a worsening of this spill, please phone 0800 807060 and quote incident reference number 1594021. Please also report any future spills on the same number.

Photo: A rainbow sheen on the surface of the water at one of the weirs on Stoke Brook is a tell-tale indicator of a pollution incident upstream in Stoke Gifford  or Filton

This article originally appeared in the April 2018 issue of the Bradley Stoke Journal news magazine (on page 11). The magazine is delivered FREE, EVERY MONTH, to 9,200 homes in Bradley Stoke and Little Stoke. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.

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March in the Three Brooks nature reserve

Posted on Thursday 5th April 2018 at 9:27 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of people tobogganing on the Tump.

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

Snow

I’m not sure who were the most excited to see the snow, the children or the dogs! Although for many, both two- and four-legged visitors, this was the first time they had seen proper snow, and they were all determined to make the most of it.

While Juniper Way and the community orchard (behind Bradley Stoke Community School) both have small slopes, the Tump slope proved the most popular, and it was heaving with squealing youngsters trying out their toboggans. We were pleased to see parents standing in front of the boulders at the bottom to avoid any crashes, and to my knowledge the only thing that got hurt was the parents’ pride when racing their kids to the bottom and being soundly beaten. No names mentioned!

We were really pleased to see that, unlike other places, our reserve was not left littered with rubbish and broken toboggans, so either the litter fairy cleared it all away or we have much more considerate residents here in Bradley Stoke – you’re all greatly appreciated. By the way, a set of car keys was found on Juniper Way; are they yours?

For the first time in 12 years I cancelled our weekly Green Gym. Stepping outside to be greeted by -13°C gusts, knee-deep drifts of snow and a car that wouldn’t start, I was persuaded that maybe we should give this one a miss. Harry and I had attended a first aid course the night before, but it didn’t cover frostbite, so I think it was a wise decision. Well done to Frank though, who didn’t see the early email and battled his way through only to realise that the rest of us were wussies!

Our Saturday workday was also affected, as it wasn’t possible to coppice trees in deep snow, so we took a walk around the reserve, clearing patches of snow and putting down seed for the birds. Our swans Brooke and Nugget were also fed; we thought of breaking the ice so they could get to the bench, but they managed to find us so we left it and then adjourned to the pub to thaw out.

We were a bit concerned to see very small (children’s) footprints on the ice on the newt pond though. Our ponds can be quite deep and, judging by the hole, the ice wasn’t thick enough to support the child’s weight. Fortunately, it looked as though only a foot went through, but it’s something we’d suggest they don’t try again.

More: Vandalism in the reserve is "hugely demoralising" »

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