Images courtesy of Simon Booker stokerpix.com
project & activities calendar
We aim to undertake a variety of projects and activities. At the moment we are limited by the Covid situation, but we have chosen four initial projects to get us started. Don't worry, we'll provide all the information and ideas for you to be able to get involved in your gardens or whilst out in the countryside!
As soon as the situation allows, we will publish the details of our Projects & Activities calendar for group involvement. Some activities (eg parish bird watching walks) will have to be number limited so please keep an eye on the calendar and book your space(s) as soon as possible!
March/April - Hedgehog survey and family activity program led by Ali Brazenor
May - Dawn Chorus Walk led by Simon Booker and Paul, Saturday 22nd May. FULLY BOOKED
June- Riverbank and Private Garden Dragonfly Walk led by John Lindley (Sunday 13th June, 10am). Fully booked
June - Dragonfly Survey led by John Lindley
July - Wildflowers in our Parish walk and talk led by Paul Jenkins - Sunday 18th July, 3pm
July - Glow Worm Survey
Community wildflower site preparation: Sunday 26th September at 3pm
Community wildflower planting session: Saturday 2nd October at 10am
Hedgerow and tree survey: Sunday 3rd October 1500-1700
To book your place, please sign up here
We’ve got a list of potential projects as long as your arm. These are the ones we selected to start us off in our first year.
hedgerow and tree survey
As part of our aim to survey and record the flora and fauna present in the parish, we are going to do a survey in September/October of as many hedges and trees as possible, and plot these on maps. We are particularly interested to see what wildlife corridors exist, connecting the various habitats around us. The survey results should give us an idea of the quality and variety of the hedges, and help identify any scope for improvement. If you'd like to help out, please sign up here
How many hedgehogs have we got and where are they? We want to find out. We might then be able to see how we could improve things for them. People love hedgehogs, so it would be great to know what we can do to reverse their decline. Historical sightings map and survey update results here Plus...we're testing out a trail camera. It takes 20 second videos in night-time mode and will be available for villagers to borrow. Here's some recent footage captured on 9th and 10th May 2021
We aim to survey the wildflowers of South Stoke, to see what grows where. We think there is a huge variety, but nobody has worked out exactly what. We plan to choose around 4 or 5 sites and undertake a baseline survey and then monitor these sites over a number of years to see what changes occur. The sites will be in differing habitats and will either be on public land or, with the written consent of the landowner, private terrain. We will be looking for woodland, hedgerow, chalk grassland, alluvial grassland and wet sites. The surveys will be done through the summer when wildflowers and grasses are most likely to be in bloom. Ideally, we would have a group of up to 5 or 6 to spread the work, and we might need to work out how to do this safely regarding Covid. If anyone comes forward with botanical knowledge that would be very helpful! This could be an interesting opportunity to learn about our local flora and to gain, or improve, identification skills.
Our first project was to build some nesting boxes for solitary bees. We made a couple of dozen to distribute around the village. They are all installed now, a metre or more above ground and in sunny sites. We’ll be monitoring their success. There are about 240 species of solitary bee in the UK, 10% of which are facing extinction. Some solitary bees nest in hollow spaces like the ones in these nest boxes and the commonest locally is the Red Mason Bee Osmia bicornis. They nest between April and July, they don’t sting and are great pollinators.
glow worm survey
We only have one street light, but there are dozens of Glow worms. They can be found along the Ridgeway path and sometimes, on the edges of the Glebe field. What is it about these places that they like, and what would we need to do to increase their range? We aim to find out.
There are at least 11 species of dragonfly and damselfly in the parish and probably more. Dragonflies have been around for hundreds of millions of years and we'd like to know exactly which ones are here. We will do a survey in conjunction with The British Dragonfly Society, you could help.