Volunteer Event 10 October – Wildlife Explorers Join In!

October 27, 2010

Liz Humphreys of Fleet RSPB Wildlife Explorers writes:

“I am an Assistant Leader of Fleet RSPB Wildlife Explorers, which is a local RSPB youth group for 8-14 year olds (we used to be the Young Ornithologists).

We have nine outdoor meetings a year, and make sure that at least two of these are conservation activities. This helps our members to appreciate the importance of habitat management for our wildlife.

On the morning of Sunday 10 October 2010, 13 children and 10 adults from our Group met at the end of Chestnut Grove (at the Pond) and joined forces with members of Fleet Pond Society (FPS).

We had a safety talk, and then helped to clear vegetation from beside paths, and remove saplings from the reed beds. The weather was absolutely fantastic and a great time was had by all. The children enjoyed a tea break mid-morning, and then couldn’t wait to get back for more cutting, dragging and sawing!

Thanks to FPS for letting us join in.

For more information on our Group, please send an e-mail to FleetWEX@gmail.com


More Photography At The Pond

October 14, 2010

Some impressive photos of Fleet Pond spotted on the web here (or alternatively here) – well worth taking a look!

This year’s Fleet Pond Photographic Competition is here.

As an aside, please note that Fleet Pond now has some new jetties – see here.

Picture credit: Anthony Bouch (by permission, please see the link above for photo usage details).


Volunteer Event This Sunday – 10th October

October 8, 2010

Colin Gray writes:

“It has become necessary to change the location of this Sunday’s task.  The Gelvert and Fugelmere marshes clearance was included in the application for HLS (Higher Level Stewardship) funds to Natural England (NE) and Hart Council and NE have not yet signed the agreement.

We will instead do a couple or three tasks along the western side, starting at Chestnut Grove.  Overhanging vegetation to be removed from the seat area, scrub and sapling trees to be removed from Grasmere Marsh (not part of the HLS) and the alder “hedge” along the pond edge of Hemelite Bay to be cut down such that regrowth will be around waist height.

The marsh and hedge tasks will require wellington boots in view of recent rain.

See you all at the workshop at 9.15 a.m.”

Further information on the schedule and meeting arrangements here.


‘Minding The Garden’ Give A Helping Hand

October 8, 2010

Helping improve the view to the Pond

Amanda Conlon of Hart Voluntary Action writes:

On the afternoon of Thursday 9th September a team of 12 Minding the Garden (MtG) Volunteers met up with Colin Gray and others from The Fleet Pond Society to create a low hedge along Hemelite Bay.

The Minding the Garden Project joins forces with The Fleet Pond Society roughly every 6 – 8 weeks to tackle ongoing important tasks around the pond, Hampshire’s largest freshwater lake.

It was a fantastic afternoon with everyone working really hard and many good endorphins were released!! We were rewarded by big chunks of KitKat at half time, (kindly provided by Colin) – which created just enough energy to see us through to the end of the session!

Some of the hardworking ‘Minding the Garden’ team

We will be linking in with The Fleet Pond Society on Thursday, 21st October to make some Bug Boxes from bamboo we harvested from around the pond on a previous session.

MtG Project Officer Guy Clayton with Project Mentor Amanda Conlon

Minding the Garden is Hart Voluntary Action’s ecotherapy volunteer project. Individuals are introduced to volunteering as part of a safe and friendly team, delivering a much valued gardening support service locally.

Funded through Ecominds, via The National Lottery, The Minding the Garden Project provides a first step to volunteering for Hart residents who have experienced mental health distress.

For more details about The Minding the Garden project, call Amanda Conlon on 01252 815652 or email amanda.c@hartvolaction.org.uk.

Volunteer Event 12 September – New Season Starts!

October 4, 2010

The Starting Point

This event, which was the first of the 2010/2011 Sunday volunteering sessions, was a repeat of a similar activity carried out last year, see here. This gives an idea of how quickly nature takes over!

It was an excellent day, sunny and quite warm (as you can see by the t-shirts the volunteers are wearing).

There was a good turn-out of ‘regulars’ plus 5 new volunteers!

New Volunteers – Deciding What To Do!

The task was to cut down the small trees and and scrub in Gelvert Marsh. The small parts were made into heaps and then burnt whilst the larger items (tree trunks, large branches etc) were put together to provide a habitat for small animals and insects. All in all, a good morning’s work!

New Volunteers – Enjoying The Day!

On this occasion we started the fires early on in the task as the site cannot be left until the fires have terminated and water has been dowsed on the ashes. The local fire service are then phoned to let them know that this has taken place.

As you probably know, fires can easily start up in the reserve, see eg here (at the bottom).

Getting A Fire Going

Sometimes various interesting wildlife items are uncovered during a volunteer event. On this occasion a fully shed skin of an adder was found (see below, the head is on the rhs).

You can read more about adders on the web eg here:

(Adders) shed their skins in a process known as“sloughing” or by herpetologist’s as “ecdysis” which occurs twice a year, in late spring and late summer, though the number of times may be greater in juvenile specimens as they grow rapidly depending upon the availability of food.

A Shed Adder Skin Discovered In The Grass

The remaining events for this year can be found in a previous post (which also includes contact information). Please consider coming along – it’s good fun and you’ll be made very welcome!

The next event is this coming Sunday, 10th October.