Worcestershire Record No. 20 April 2007 p. 30
Becky Lashley, Community Wildlife Officer
In my last article I wrote excitedly about the Vision Mapping events and activities that were planned within and around the project area following the inevitable initial period of preparation and promotion. I am pleased to say the reality is so far living up to the carefully crafted plan! The landowners event mentioned at the end of the November article was a huge success in late January, with representatives from Worcestershire Wildlife Trust, Butterfly Conservation, the Environment Agency, Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group and Rural Development Service (Defra) giving talks on farmland biodiversity to 28 local landowners. Thanks to the weather and the support of Mike Tarver, who farms the land to the west of Grafton Wood, we enjoyed a farm walk focussed on one of the county’s rarest species of butterfly, the Brown Hairstreak. One of the landowners who attended the event has subsequently got back in touch to say that he has found hairstreak eggs on his own land, providing one of the most northerly records so far.
The four schools taking part in the project, Hanbury, Himbleton, Feckenham and Stoke Prior, have been out and about with me over the last few months visiting, among other things, the nature reserve at Upton Warren and the ancient trees at Hanbury Hall. The year 4 children at Himbleton school completed a four mile round trip all-day ramble that took in a picnic at Shell Ford and a visit to the oldest recorded tree in Worcestershire, the Temple Oak at Broughton Green. More trips are planned to other woodland sites during the spring.
The ultimate aim of the Vision Mapping project is to involve each community (parish) in producing a map highlighting the natural environment / biodiversity features that are important to them in their local area. We will be asking people to take part in contributing their thoughts and feelings about the future of biodiversity in their parish to paper. The first of the events to do this will be taking place around the time that you are reading this edition of Worcestershire Record. Hanbury parish are currently in the process of producing a Parish Design Statement, and want all residents to contribute to producing a picture of the current state of biodiversity within the parish and the aspirations residents have for the future of Hanbury’s natural environment. This fits nicely with the VM project aims and we are working together on an event that will span several days in early April.
Another important part of the VM project was to encourage members of the public to get involved in recording and I mentioned in the last Record that plans were underway with the Recorders Committee to address this. Consequently, we have designed an adapted version of the Breeding Bird survey that has been running for several years, with just nine of the Red and Amber listed species that we thought would be most recognisable to people with little or no ornithological experience. A leaflet has been produced with a recording form, instructions, and most important – colour pictures! Patrick Taylor has written more about the survey elsewhere in this edition of Record. So far almost 600 leaflets have been distributed around the whole county, so we wait with baited breath for the end of the breeding season in July and hope for a letterbox stuffed full of completed forms.
To make the bird survey even easier to take part in, an adobe pdf version has been created that can be downloaded and printed from the internet, which leads be nicely to the last bit of news for this time. The new-look Worcestershire Biodiversity Partnership website is now live at :
Please do go online and have a look. The Vision Mapping project has its own section and there are details of all the events and activities planned for the coming months, including of course the breeding bird survey leaflet. You can also access and download the action plans for all the conservation priority habitats and species within Worcestershire. I am also happy to advertise and/or promote any recording days or surveys organised by Worcestershire Recorders, so if you would like me to put something on the news or events page, or make a link to an appropriate website, please do get in touch.
Becky Lashley, Worcestershire Biological Records Centre, Lower Smite Farm, Smite Hill, Hindlip, Worcs, WR3 8SZ – firstname.lastname@example.org - 01905 759759
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