Elliot Newton writes: A cloudless sky stretched above the Berrylands’ Nature Reserve, swifts soared above and dragonflies patrolled the river banks. As volunteers from our newest corporate client, Redington - a city-based investment consultancy, arrived at the site, they gathered under a cracked willow tree in the shade and dug into a lunch prepared by Rosa’s local café. Following this we explored the site together, through the various habitats which the site has to offer, from the newly restored stream and newly dug wildlife pond to the hidden woodland.
The weekend of the 31st of June and 1st of July, was a busy one for the Berryland’s Nature Reserve. The last Saturday of the month brought a close to the driest June on record, and this day was no exception with sun beating down on the dry earth.
On Friday 15th I was kindly invited to go along to join Hook first scouts group to talk to about the incredible wildlife that can be found across the Kingston Borough. It was fantastic to present to 60 enthusiastic scouts, we concluded the talk by playing lots of wildlife themed games! However, this was only leading to the main event which took place on the following Saturday morning. At 10am as clouds lifted over Elmbridge Meadows and comma and meadow brown butterflies fluttered around the long grass, a team of 50 strong scouts arrived on site.
On Friday the 8th of June we supported the friends of Latchmere Recreation Ground to help create woodland paths and a stag beetle loggery.
We had some fantastic support from local residents and local councillors and most notably year 7s from The Kingston Academy who we have been working with us over the last year joining us on wildlife walks. On this sunny Friday they jumped into action to lend the friends group a hand! In total 35 volunteers helped throughout the session.
As swans sailed down the Hogsmill river on Saturday the 2nd of June we joined forces with the Kingston University Biodiversity Action Group to tackle the masses of Himalayan Balsam that can be found on Elmbridge Meadows.
Thunder storms threatened on Thursday the 31st of May, however with a close watch on the weather forecast Maria’s Greenwise Forest School went ahead! The day was a special nature themed day, so I had the pleasure of getting involved and teaching 9 of the students about some of the incredible creatures that can be found on this hidden away nature reserve.The day kicked off standing on the concrete bridge on Stirling Walk, the children were asked to look at and listen to each side of the bridge and identify the differences, i.e. one side had been recently restored and one side had not.
Clouds quickly turned to blue sky on the morning of Saturday the 26th of May, as 43 volunteers from our Duke of Edinburgh programme and the local community arrived for another Saturday session of volunteering.
6 increasingly rare swifts were practicing their aerobatics in an almost cloudless sky on the morning Wednesday the 23rd, their summery call only adding to the warmth of the day. This marked a great start to a day in which 12 volunteers from the local area came along to the Berrylands Nature Reserve to carry out some important conservation work.
There was not a cloud in the sky as 12 volunteers from Cisco stood on one of the UK’s oldest working bridges on Friday the 19th of May. Clattern Bridge, so named from the clattering of horse shoes and carts that once passed over the bridge, which was built in 1175ADto connect the north and south banks of the Hogsmill River.