Images courtesy of Simon Booker stokerpix.com
A group of enthusiastic South Stoke naturalists have got together to form the South Stoke Wildlife & Conservation Group. We are Paul Jenkins, Ian Haslam, John Lindley and Ali Brazenor, with some expert helpers from around the village. We’d like to welcome people of all ages to get involved in learning more about the wildlife in the parish of South Stoke, and find ways of helping it thrive.
Our aim is to confirm what wildlife there is in the area, record it, map it, and then help protect, enhance and conserve it. We also hope to improve the management of some areas, to maintain and enhance biodiversity, and create new habitats for wildlife where possible.
It’s an opportunity for everybody in the parish to be part of - with lots of fun and learning along the way!
Wildlife as diverse as otters, water voles, turtle doves, Soprano Pipistrelle bats, the wonderfully named Cetti’s Warbler and Azure Hawker dragonflies have all been spotted and recorded locally.
We’re proud of our wonderful parish and its natural environment and want it to be protected and improved!
Most importantly, whenever you're out and about in the countryside, please be aware of and respect the five main points of the Countryside Code:
Be safe, plan ahead and follow any signs
Leave gates and property as you find them. ...
Protect plants and animals and take your litter home. ...
Keep dogs under close control. ...
Consider other people
LODDON LILIES or 'summer snowflakes' - our May 'top species' - abound around South Stoke (lucky us) and we're keen to know exactly where so that we can map and track them. If you see any in the parish, please report them and we'll add them to our species map and also update the national iRecord datatabase.
e-Newsletter second edition is coming soon! We've got articles on glow worms, an exemplary South Stoke conservation project, news of a new hedgerow initiative and a guest piece by infamous local wildlife photographer Simon Booker! Please sign up if you haven't already done so.
New activity mid July: GLOW WORM VILLAGE WALK & SPOTTING SESSION has been added to the Projects & Activities form. Book now as spaces will have to be limited!
Are you ready for 30 Days Wild? Sign up now
HEDGEHOG PROJECT update! Historical sightings map and survey update results here
17th March 2021. Councils across England are transforming roadside verges to support wildflowers as pressure grows to reverse declines in wildlife, as reported by Plantlife
March 2nd, 2021. Watch the inspirational hedgerow project film from Watlington Climate Action Group
February 26th, 2021. 'Ecological Emergency' declared by South Oxfordshire District Council.
For a pdf of SODC's Corporate Plan 2020-2024 including the sections 'Protect & Restore our Natural World' and 'Action on the Climate Emergency', please click here
February 16th, 2021. Great news! Our Wildlife and Conservation Group has been awarded a grant of £1000 from South Oxfordshire District Council, arranged for us by our local district councillor, Maggie Filipova-Rivers, through her 'Councillor Community Grant'. She is keen to support new environmental initiatives in the area and the timely launch of our conservation group seems to fit the bill perfectly. The money is planned to be used on equipment needed for our upcoming species surveys, including a couple of trail cameras, planting and possibly laying some hedges and covering expenditure in setting up and maintaining the website. We'd like to thank Maggie, and Bryan Urbick who facilitated the application, and look forward to using the money to further the aims of the group.
February 24th, 2021. We have just launched our brand-new website and its sister Facebook page. We are looking for people who are interested in helping us do stuff. We hope to get some projects going but how much and how soon will depend on who comes forward. Please contact us and let us know what you can do; whether it's planting trees, reporting sightings, doing surveys, writing articles, providing photos or helping with our accounts, any help will be welcomed!
Click here for some great ideas on what you can do to protect and enjoy the flora and fauna around you.
Why not build a BEE HOTEL for your garden? Head to the Top Tips page for a simple guide on how to do it...
Planting guide for an insect friendly garden: the more diverse the flowers and plants you have in your garden, the more pollinators you will attract. Use this Wildlife Trusts handy monthly calendar guide to attract insects to your garden
Beetle Mania. Do you know what the most famous beetle in the UK is and that there are over 4,000 beetle species scuttling all around us? Click here for the answers and to discover 17 of the most colourful British beetles. More beetle mania links on our Top Tips page
Blooming April. Spring has sprung and WILDFLOWERS are appearing. Plantlife have published brilliant 'Spotting Sheets' to help you identify wildflowers month by month. Have fun and please join our wildflower survey!
Hedgehogs have been hibernating over winter and are starting to become active again. How active? Did you know that a hedgehog can swim and run up to 2km per night in search of food? Please keep an eye out and use our Species Sighting Form to let us know if you see one!
WILD GARLIC - responsible foraging and yummy recipes
THE TOP FIVE SIGNS OF SPRING - find out which bird uses cobwebs to make their nests, and which gets their gladrags on for the breeding season.
WHICH BIRDSONG IS THAT? The RSPB's guide to identifying some of the most common contributors to the spring dawn chorus
Handy and fun guide to identifying agile hunters of the sky.
THE PERFECT PAD FOR BLUETITS & ROBINS. There's lots of house hunting going on in your garden right now with many birds on the lookout for a place to nest.
events of interest
2nd - 8th May - Hedgehog Awareness Week https://www.twinkl.co.uk/blog/hedgehog-awareness-week
22nd-31st May 2021 'Every Flower Counts' week. So… join in the fun with #NoMowMay and the Every Flower Counts Survey to get your own Personal Nectar Score
May 2021 - 'Be Nice to Nettles Week' - is it really a thing?!
20th May - World Bee Day https://www.un.org/en/observances/bee-day
30th May 2021 - Otter Day
27th June 2021 - Open Farm Sunday
5th June - World Environment Day https://www.un.org/en/observances/environment-day
8th-10th July - Moth Night https://www.mothnight.info/
July 2021 - National Meadows Day
Late July - Dragonfly Week https://british-dragonflies.org.uk/what-we-do/outreach-projects/dragonfly-week/
27th November 2021 - National Tree Week
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