Milham Ford Nature Park
For those who aren't already aware of this
(it seems there are some):
Updated 15 April 2014
Plan of the Park
Also, roundworm eggs in dogs' faeces can survive for up to 5 years in the soil. If they get into a person's system, they can cause total blindness - as with the toddler who lost the sight of an eye (click here) and a woman who had to have an eye removed 30 years after becoming infected (click here).
Fouling by dogs is an
increasing problem in the Park - click
Please don't bring any plants from your garden ponds to Milham Ford Park, no matter how attractive you might think they would be there - see 'Be Plant Wise' article.
Volunteering - Sunday, 14 April 2014
Another sunny day brought out the butterflies and bees. More clearing of female Willow saplings, further trimming of the large female Willow, and some pond maintenance. Yellow Rattle seed was sown in areas where it has not yet established itself.
For photos, click here
Volunteering - Sunday, 6 April 2014
Peter Somogyi (left) and Gunes Unal with homes made by
Peter for stock doves, jackdaws and kestrels.
Photo taken by Klara Somogyi
Next volunteering event in the Park
We got on really well today – thanks to the enthusiastic helpers! All potential seed-producing female willows were re-pollarded to stop willow seedlings making us more work next year. Anybody needing the willow twigs for pea sticks please help themselves. Male basket and grey willows were left. These were covered in pollen and nectar-bearing catkins and, just as we were packing up, a large queen buff-tailed bumble bee arrived to feast upon these catkins. What a joy to see! Yellow coltsfoot flowers are nearly over and their silvery seed heads pepper the site - good food for seed-eating birds such as goldfinches.
Peter Somogyi is to be congratulated for improving things for stock doves at Milham by installing a nest box. Hope they take up residence!
We also managed to cut back large, aggressive, brambles from the old yellow ant hills and raspberry canes near the old pond. Young willows on pond margins were removed. More than 150 Fritillary flowers [see photo lower down page] were out in their special corner. Plus, it is a pleasure to report that the cowslips are coming into flower in beautiful swathes all around the site and a good few common spotted orchid leaves are showing already near the westernmost pond.
Even more frog spawn clumps were seen in the ponds, plus hatched tadpoles. The best of all, however, was a big clump (tangled mass) of TOAD spawn in one of the ponds! This is the first time toads have spawned in the ponds in the five years since they were constructed.
The other amazing site was ‘Spring bee city’ – massed diggings and holes of solitary bees all along the hot, south-facing, sandy bank of the stream.
There is still more chopping of brambles to be done and a few willows need to be cleared, plus some digging out of thuggy plants along the stream corridor and around ponds. So there'll be another volunteering event before Easter on Sunday, 13 April, 10.30 am to 1 pm.
Future NMWG events
New! List of bees found in the park pdf
Fungi - information including list of species and link to slideshow of photos, click here.
Slideshow of fungi found in the Park.
Arable weeds of Milham Ford Park and why wildflowers are important
The Wildlife of the Park - Past, Present and Future: a talk given by Dr Judy Webb at the New Marston Wildlife Group 2012 AGM.
Judy Webb's involvement with Milham Ford Nature Park
The Fritillaries are in flower
Photo taken 31 03 2014
For more photos, click here
23 January 2014
Dr Jocelyne Hughes and Robert Aquilina led a survey by students on an Oxford University course in ecological survey techniques (Insect Taxonomy & Field Sampling Skills). The course was a collaboration between the Department for Continuing Education and the University Museum of Natural History. For a slideshow of the event, click here.