Saturday, August 31, 2013

Nature Notes: Bats and more

From our Redbridge Nature Conservation Team

Bat Walks in Redbridge this fall: Join the rangers for a night-time walk in the park and learn all about these mystical creatures. Bat detectors will be provided. Walk will last approximately 1 hour. Details here.

New Venue: The nature conservation team, along with their loyal band of volunteers, will be doing a lot more practical conservation work at Hainault Forest Country Park this winter thanks to our successful application to the English Woodland Grant Scheme. If you are local to the area and would like to gain some experience in woodland work or just want to spend some time outdoors, get fitter and meet new people then why not join us on one of our workdays? There is no need to pre-book, just wear old clothes, sturdy footwear and bring a packed lunch. Free tea and biscuit are provided as an extra incentive!

PDSA PetCheck – free healthchecks for dogs: Vision Redbridge Culture and Leisure is once again teaming up with PDSA, the UK’s leading veterinary charity to host its PetCheck service. Details here.

Outdoor Classroom Success: The Outdoor Classroom created within Ray Park’s walled garden has proved a hit with local school children. The space has been lovingly transformed over the last 18 months from a skip graveyard into an exciting “secret garden” complete with a large pond, meadow, minibeast hunting zone and bird hide. Over 400 school children visited the space in the summer term and we received lots of positive feedback. A host of wildlife has been using the space too including newts (in their hundreds), frogs, stag beetles and a variety of garden birds.

RSPB talk: Mike Dilger - "The BBC: A Wildlife Habitat". Ecologist, writer and natural history presenter (notably The One Show) Mike Dilger has become one of the familiar faces of wildlife programmes. He has filmed everything from British beavers to booming bitterns. For recreation, he turned his garden into a wildlife sanctuary. Details here.

Species Sightings: Did you know the nature conservation team collects species records for the borough? These are all passed on to our local records centre (Greenspace Information for Greater London). Recent interesting sightings have included hedgehogs, stag beetles, a kingfisher, a treecreeper and an American mink. If you have spotted anything of interest (in particular rare or endangered or unusual for the area) and would like to inform us, please email us the details of the sightings. We would need to know the following information as a minimum:
  • Species name
  • Observer’s name
  • Date
  • Location (ideally a grid reference, but a postcode or road name will also suffice)
We can also collect other supplementary information such as abundance, condition (dead/alive), age (adult/juvenile) or any other comments.

New recruit: After 5 years with the nature conservation team, Ranger Julia Coulson is taking a 6 month break from Redbridge to go and see a bit more of the world. She plans to return to the post in March. In the meantime, Tess Pettinger is joining the team and looking forward to getting stuck in!

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 


  1. I appreciate immensely the help given by our Nature Conservation Team. They are invaluable in their advice to us on how to do our best for the conservation of precious wild species when using our allotments.
    Their task is immense and their generosity with their help and advice is immense too.
    A big 'Thank You'.

  2. There are bats which circle and probably "hang out" on the Tomswood Playing field - is there any conservation priority for them and any other creature on the field should the threat of over 1000 homes be built on this ground?