Saturday, November 01, 2014

Nature Conservation in Redbridge

From our valuable and excellent, but nevertheless at risk from austerity cuts, Nature Conservation Team.

Exciting Sightings around the Borough
We keep species records of anything and everything spotted in Redbridge; these are then sent to our local records centre - Greenspace Information for Greater London (GIGL). Recent records have included an eel spotted in the River Roding, a female sparrowhawk taking a starling in Ray Park and Valentino, the Mediterranean gull, who has returned to Valentines Park Boating Lake for his 15th winter!
If you’re a local wildlife watcher and would like to submit your records to us, please get in touch.

Tree Planting Season Commences
Our tree planting season is kicking off this Saturday (1st November) with an event at Nutter Lane Recreation ground. Later in the month we will be planting more standard trees at Ray Park and there are more projects planned for the New Year. Get in touch if you would like to help out.

Loxford Park Tree Trail – Have your say
We hope to work with the charity Trees for Cities again this winter on a tree planting project in Loxford Park. The proposal is to plant an edible tree trail of 30 large trees along the eastern boundary of the park, all the trees will produce edible fruits or nuts or leaves and park users will be encouraged to pick their own. Do you live near Loxford Park? Do you like the idea of an edible tree trail and would you make use of the produce? If you have any questions or would like to make comments or suggestions, please get in touch with Jonathan Dean at Trees for Cities: jonathan@treesforcities.org

Helping the Threatened Great Crested Newt
Working with volunteers we have recently completed works at a pond at Redbridge Cycle Centre, the pond is an important breeding site in the borough for great crested newts but was becoming very shaded from overhanging willows and other vegetation. After two days of cutting and slashing and lopping, the pond has been transformed and we hope to see an increase in great crested newt numbers there when we survey in the spring. Next week we will be creating a new pond at a neighbouring site, Hainault Lodge Local Nature Reserve, which we hope in time will become an additional breeding site.
Great crested newts are the largest of Britain’s 3 newt species. They are endangered and protected at a European level. Unfortunately they’re not alone in that 41% of all amphibians worldwide face extinction (and more bad news this week has informed us of the spread of a skin-eating fungus threatening salamanders and newts across Europe - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-29831384). Bearing this in mind we need to do all we can to protect amphibians, manage their habitats to ensure they’re in a favourable condition and prevent the spread of diseases.

Grow Wild Competition
Have you heard about Kew Garden’s Grow Wild competition? On offer is £120,000 of funding for a community group to create an inspiring wild flower haven for everyone to enjoy, there are five finalists and the winner is decided by a public vote. One of the finalists, Cody Wilds, is based just up the road along the River Lea. They are looking to transform Cody Dock into an urban wildflower parkland, removing the final obstacle to a continuous 26-mile riverside walk from Hertfordshire to the Thames. Voting ends on 4th November so if you would like to lend the project your support (or learn more about the other finalists) please follow the link and vote: http://www.vote.growwilduk.com/#

Best wishes,
Nature Conservation Ranger Team
Vision Redbridge Culture & Leisure (VRCL)
In partnership with London Borough of Redbridge
Nature Conservation Ranger Team
James Leal Centre, Ray Park
Snakes Lane East
Woodford Green, Essex IG8 7JQ
Tel: 020 8559 2316
Nature.conservation@visionrcl.org.uk

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