Abdon District Community Wildlife Group
We are now part of the county-wide family of Community Wildlife Groups. More information about these groups can be found at: www.shropscwgs.org.uk
News and Events 2021:
- 4th May - Citizenship Conservation Projects. I am writing to let you know about two ways volunteers can get involved with citizen science around plants this year. We would be grateful to you for your support in disseminating or promoting both citizen science opportunities.
- Cowslip survey – simple, for anyone, quick. Plantlife is partnering with the university of Tartu, Estonia and supporting their European-wide Cowslip Survey which is now live. The survey explores heterostyly in cowslips (people are asked to look at the flower on an individual plant) and record whether the plant is an S-Morph or L-Morph. The ratio of these morphs can help us understand the health of a grassland habitat. I have attached more information about the survey and the link to the page is below, together with a link to a You Tube presentation about the survey. https://bit.ly/329hqAG https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UombI9-BWHo
- National Plant Monitoring Scheme - Now in its 7th year, data from the scheme has been used to input into the UK Biodiversity Set as part of C7 Plants of the Wider Countryside indicator UK Habitat Condition Indicator. Further work is expected on the indicator and vital habitat information is being explored across the dataset. The partnership project (JNCC, UKCEH, Plantlife, BSBI and DAERA) is the only long-term monitoring scheme of plants and habitats of it’s kind. Approximately 1500 volunteers are currently allocated a 1km square to survey and monitor across 5 plots twice a year every year. The robust methodology and long term monitoring of plants and habitats is already providing essential data on how are plant communities are fairing under increasing pressures and drivers of change. Please head to the website here for more information or watch our videos on our YouTube channel here. We also have a series of Webinars about the NPMS and habitat training webinars also, registration is here. Alternatively contact me regarding any queries or request for further information.
- Sarah Shuttleworth, National Plant Monitoring Scheme, Tel: 07711 922098, Sarah.Shuttleworth@plantlife.org.uk
- Saturday 1st May - Dawn Chorus Walk, Ditton Priors 5am. We are delighted to say that we can hold our first field meeting of the year! The walk will start 5am prompt in Ditton and head into the Powkesmoore area. It is expected to take 60 to 90 minutes, and will finish at the Willows Café in Ditton for bacon butties and tea/coffee. However, due to Covid regulations we have to limit the size of a group, and therefore we have to ask you to make a booking. Full “joining instructions” will then be emailed to those that have booked.
- 21st April - New West Midlands Moths website launched http://westmidlandsmoths.co.uk/ The site will give you information on all the moths recorded in the West Midlands region, their distribution and conservation status. It is still a work in progress in some respects as we are still updating the species accounts, but hopefully you will all find this to be a valuable resource.
- 21st April - Update from Shropshire Wildlife Trust (SWT). Firstly, I would like to thank Leo for all the information provided on the CWGs and how you operate. I would also like to thank Jacky for nominating herself as CWG representative for the NRN Partnership; I am delighted that this steering group now has representation for citizen scientists in the county. Currently, this partnership is led by SWT through myself; however, I have recently started a secondment with the national Wildlife Trust working on national NRN guidance and this has reduced my capacity to push forward the work with the steering group. Any progress on this will involve Jacky and thus, she will be able to update you. My second point is a request for your help as CWGs. The NRN project Jacky referenced in her latest email is all about SWT training volunteers in habitat surveying to increase the amount of habitat data we hold for the county. We need to collect further habitat data to feed in to our NRN map which will identify opportunity areas for habitat restoration and creation. The project seeks to train novice volunteers in habitat surveying techniques utilising firstly, a consultant ecologist, and then secondly, 'peer mentors'. This is where my request comes in. The volunteers will not become experts overnight and will require further support after formal training from the ecologist. One way we want to support them is through 'peer mentors' accompanying them on surveys to help build their knowledge and confidence. I recognise that there are numerous members of many of the CWGs who have good experience and knowledge in habitat surveying and SWT would like to utilise these people and their skills as peer mentors. The support of peer mentors is invaluable; a peer mentor will ensure volunteers develop into competent habitat surveyors and thus, ensure SWT receive accurate and reliable habitat data to feed in to our NRN map. I am asking if you could please circulate this with your members and ask that anyone who feels they could potentially be, and are interested in becoming, a peer mentor, contact me. I would also happily set up a virtual meeting for all of the CWGs to discuss the project, and the role of peer mentors, further. Joseph Phillips MSc PGCE BSc(Hons), Conservation Officer - Evidence and Data, firstname.lastname@example.org, 07783846178.
- 6th April - Butterfly Recording. Butterflies are on the wing again and we want you to record them! Last year more than 770 butterfly sightings were recorded but by only a small number of us. Can we get more sightings and more people recording them this year please? Hopefully this year there will be the opportunity to access areas that we were unable to reach last year, with the strong possibility of finding species we didn't record last year. Last year Dark Green Fritillary and Purple Hairstreak were recorded for the first time! Can we find more? I hope you are feeling tempted? We have standardised the way that we want sightings recorded this year as having a number of different recording methods last year created a lot of work for Ruby and myself pulling them all together for our records and for forwarding to Butterfly Conservation, so please use the attached spreadsheet. (Enter your sightings on the sheet named Records. For details of what to enter in the fields see the sheet named Instructions. NB columns P & Q are not used. Any problems please contact Miles.) Please send a copy of your completed sheet to Ruby by the end of October-you will be reminded. If in the meantime you have interesting or unusual sightings do please share them on the Abdon Wildlife WhatsApp group, Facebook or email. Remember photographs particularly of less common species or ones you aren't sure of help identification and verification. Good hunting. Dee.
- 1st April - Wheatear Project. The Wheatear project postponed last year has got the go-ahead, so it will be starting shortly. Can you please support this project when you are walking on Clee Liberty. If you don't walk there normally why don't you give it a try as it is a lovely area! Please make sure that you record the time taken as this impacts on the funding of the project. If you have any queries please contact me. Either send the results direct to Leo or to Miles. Thank you for your support.
- As you know, the Common falls into two different tetrads. I’d be grateful if you could brief the two surveyors to keep a special lookout for Wheatears and record any they see on the attached map, please. The favoured areas are the short grass with rabbit burrows, east of Nordy Bank Fort, and the quarry up by the relay station at the top, but there might be others elsewhere. I’d also be grateful if you could send the map to everyone else in the CWG, and encourage them, if they go for a walk on Clee Liberty, to record Wheatear and either send a completed map, or, if they’d rather, an email with the number, sex, any young and location of any Wheatears seen. I’d be grateful if they could also record the time actually spent on the Common looking for birds / Wheatears, either on the map or in the separate email. We can count the value of volunteer time as match funding for the Lottery grant, so it’s important!!! Any questions, please ask. Thanks a lot!!! Leo.
- 26th March - Curlew update. Please see attached the following documents from Leo Smith the Shropshire Community Wildlife Groups Bird Surveys Co-ordinator:
- Shropshire Community Wildlife Groups Curlew Survey Results 2020. I hate to say it but a short but depressing and important, read.
- Shropshire Ornithological Society, SOS, Save our Curlews Campaign & Appeal. Describing positive conservation action to take place this season.
- I have also attached 2 documents detailing how you can make a donation to support this conservation effort. Our Curlews are back, it's wonderful to hear them calling again. But without our help and support we may not be hearing them for much longer. This year's Lapwing, Curlew & Other Birds Survey is now underway. Please let me know if you are able to provide any information on where Lapwings and particularly Curlews are or if you would like to help with the survey. Thank you for your support. Miles Leach.
- 8th March - Abdon Wildlife Group update. Great news! The first curlews of the season have been spotted and all around us, wildlife is waking up and getting active. Sue saw our first curlew and was looking for a quick way to share the news with ADCWG members. Following your (few!) responses to the email about Facebook and WhatsApp, we have decided to set up both groups and see how it goes. Of course, nobody has to join either group if they don’t want to. The Facebook group will be administered by Sue and will be set up so that it can be seen publicly, but only posted to by members of the group. You will be able to join this group by clicking on the ‘Join’ link on the FB page. The WhatsApp group will be set up by Ruby and will be a private group only for members of ADCWG – anybody in the group will be able to post to it. If you would like to join the WhatsApp group, please WhatsApp Ruby if you already have her number, otherwise, drop her an email. We hope that these two groups will enable us to share wildlife news in a quick and easy way. If you would like to join either or both groups but are not sure how to manage it, please contact either Ruby or Sue.
- 23rd February - Abdon District Community Wildlife Group Programme 2021 - attached below.
- 23rd February - Abdon District Community Wildlife Group Annual Report 2020 - attached below.
All our meetings and events are published on the News and Events page.