These photos in the Guardian today are worth a look….
A helpful warning from Rawreth Parish Councillor Christine Paine:
I wonder if you could put something on OnLine Focus to warn walkers, dog walkers and riders about late season adder explosion, especially on the footpath/bridleway that goes round Dollymans and over the bridge then back to the A129. One of my neighbours dogs has been bitten, fortunately they got it to the vet in time and it’s OK, but he saw several and when I saw some riders yesterday they said six had slithered across the path in front of them. We think the work at the back of the sub-station has disturbed and displaced them as there are far more than usual, and it’s late in the season for there to be this number around, possibly the summer like weather is encouraging them out as well.
Find out more about adders here.
From the RSPB website – note you have to book in advance ! :
Saturday 30 August and Saturday 27 September
13:46 to 15:45 August, 9:30 to 11:30 September
Price: £3 donation
Find out more about the development of this exciting new nature reserve.Booking essential, limited spaces.Please contact 01268 498620 or firstname.lastname@example.org to book a space.Please note that booking closes the Thursday before the walk date.
Meet at: RSPB car park, Wallasea Island
This is nothing to do with our district, but the Liberal England blog has an interesting piece on the trees in a suburban avenue in Leicester. They aren’t pines, they are flippin’ Giant Redwoods.
Pine Tree Avenue in Humberstone, a village that has become a suburb of Leicester, is not lined with pines. It is lined with sequoia gigantea – giant redwoods.
Some are currently under threat of replacement with a smaller species by the city council because of the damage they are said to be causing to houses and drives. Some residents welcome the plan and some do not. You can read about the controversy in the Leicester Mercury.
This remarkable avenue exists because Pine Tree Avenue used to be the drives to Humberstone Hall. The estate was sold as housing land by the Paget family after World War I, when they moved to Lubenham near Market Harborough….
Saturday 12 April
9:45am to 12pm
Price: Free, donations welcome.
Join our monthly walks to spot some of the amazing wildlife that makes Wallasea Island its home. Find out more about the development of this exciting new nature reserve.
Meet at: RSPB car park, Wallasea Island
Don’t forget that Wallasea Island ( in our district) is going to become a pretty wonderful place:
Wallasea Island Wild Coast project is a landmark conservation and engineering scheme for the 21st century, on a scale never before attempted in the UK and the largest of its type in Europe.
The aim of this project is to combat the threats from climate change and coastal flooding by recreating the ancient wetland landscape of mudflats and saltmarsh, lagoons and pasture. It will also help to compensate for the loss of such tidal habitats elsewhere in England.
Once completed, this will provide a haven for a wonderful array of nationally and internationally important wildlife and an amazing place for the local community, and those from further afield, to come and enjoy.
Although the reserve is planned to be in development until around 2019, you’re welcome to come along and view the progress as each phase comes to life and the marshland naturally regenerates. The current sea wall access along the North (Defra) sea wall is a wonderful place to come to relax and enjoy, whether for walking, cycling, birdwatching, painting, photography or simply taking in the sea air.
Over the coming years, the scheme will create a varied wetland landscape with more than nine miles (15 km) of new and improved access routes, and eventually a range of visitor facilities.
The sea wall footpath is open at all times.
None – it’s free.
Information for dog owners
There are plans for a dog walking area on part of the island – please contact us for details.
Urgent – Help us save Cottage Plantation: a fantastic woodland site. We have just 12 weeks to raise £44,000 towards the purchase of Cottage Plantation – a fantastic woodland site in Daws Heath. Cottage Plantation is in a complex of ancient woodlands and has many native species of trees. Essex Wildlife Trust aims to acquire this site and we are determined to raise the last £44,000 which, together with grants, will complete the purchase.
We need 1,760 people to donate £25 each to help us save this truly tranquil and important woodland.
The woodland is on the opposite side of the road to Essex Wildlife Trust’s Little Haven nature reserve and would form an important part of the Daws Heath & Belfairs Living Landscape. As you can see from the attached map, Cottage Plantation is surrounded by ancient woodlands and nature reserves and, through Essex Wildlife Trust acquiring the site, this area will be even more robust so that wildlife can flourish.
The woodland is truly beautiful and walking in it offers tranquillity and a chance to escape from it all. At present it is privately owned but Essex Wildlife Trust will make the area accessible for all to enjoy. Footpaths will be improved and the site will welcome visitors.
Find out more here.
Two positive items about parks!
First of all, we received the following email today from one of our regular readers, Christine Paine:
Something up beat. As I am sure you know there is a park behind the football pitches in Rawreth Lane. I mean the park at the Bedloes end of Rawreth Lane – not Sweyne Park .
I don’t know who is responsible for it, maintenance etc. but it is a complete joy. Planted for wildlife, grass paths and areas always nicely cut, but not over manicured. I walk the dog there once or twice a week, it is quite her favourite place to go. Because of where it is the dog walkers all tend to be local and also respectful – there a good dog poo bins and it is rare to find any laying around in the park, people pick up, dogs are under control. I sat there last Thursday in the sun, and the dog and I watched a couple of woodpeckers flitting around in the trees, which are starting to turn a lovely colour. It is a quiet, peaceful sanctuary which is a joy to visit. Never crowded even when there are a lot of dogs being walked there, always somewhere to just sit and watch whatever birds, stoats etc. happen to be moving around.
Whoever is responsible for looking after it deserves high compliments and perhaps you would be good enough to pass them on if you know who it is.
We will certainly pass this on to the council staff concerned !
Secondly, we had the guided walk around Sweyne Park today – the early morning rain stopped in time. 18 people and 2 dogs has a walk around the park, with former council officer Geoff Dawson as our guide. He explained, for example, how he managed the original planting (with lots of plants that produce food for wildlife). Some of the trees are now 20 years old. The wildlife mentioned included squirrels, foxes, deer, jays, waxwings, magpies , green woodpeckers , sparrowhawks and cinnabar moths. All in all, a very enjoyable walk.
However most of the people who came were from Hawkwell and Hockley rather than Rayleigh!
Sweyne Park can be a beautiful place, and it would benefit from local people getting involved in the Friends of Sweyne Park group. Most of us lead very busy lives nowadays, but spending a few hours helping to organise an event would be be a big help. If you can help please phone Heather Meggison on 01702 318057.
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