=== This Month’s Features =======================
1. Where have all the redwings gone?
Did they ever arrive? Redwings and fieldfares, the thrushes that
spend the winter with us, are very scarce this year. These
migrating birds just don’t seem to have arrived. Perhaps the
weather has been so warm on the continent that it is not worth
making the hazardous sea crossing.
January 2007 was particularly mild – we are seeing the impact of
climate change. To us, it may seem great that we’ve only had a
handful of days when frost has needed to be scraped off car
windscreens or we’ve had to walk with caution for fear of
slipping on ice but unseasonal weather upsets the natural balance
and the synchronized timing of natural events.
2. A tale of warm weather woes
Mild winter weather is causing disruption in the natural world
that could have far reaching implications: mosquitoes are still
active and biting; a bumblebee was spotted at Whisby Nature Park
in January; ladybirds, honey bees and wasps have all remained
active over the winter; a garden warbler has been seen at
Gibraltar Point, presumably one that never left rather than an
early arrival from Africa; spring flowers including lesser
celandine, marsh marigold and wild plum have been reported in
flower; frogs and newts were seen in ponds early in January; and
counts at bat hibernation sites are lower than usual, it appears
that many bats haven’t gone to their traditional hibernation
sites and those that have are more awake and active than expected
for the time of year.
3. Coppicing Goslings
In the heart of the Lincolnshire limewoods complex, Goslings
Corner Wood is an ancient woodland with a rich flora. The woods
of this area are characterised by coppicing, a traditional
management method which allows sunlight to flood the floor of the
woodland, creating perfect conditions for flowers such as
bluebells and wood anemones.
Following probable clear felling during the Second World War, the
trees at Goslings had become rather thin and dense. As part of a
new 40-year coppice rotation, the first new coppice coup has been
coppiced. A 1-acre coup will be coppiced every other year,
leaving around eleven major trees in each area. Nothing goes to
waste; the cut timber will be used to make Trust charcoal.
4. Meeting to manage verges
A band of limestone stretches from Rutland up through
Lincolnshire to Lincoln. The shallow soils over this limestone
give rise to flower-rich grasslands however, due to changing
agriculture and development, only an estimated 100 hectares of
flower-rich grassland remains; confined to small fragmented sites
including roadside verges.
In January, representatives from local authorities, Wildlife
Trusts, Natural England and others met at Rutland Water to
examine how best to manage the flower-rich limestone road verges
of Rutland and south-west Lincolnshire for the benefit of
wildlife and people. Some of the best verges in Lincolnshire are
protected in a scheme that was pioneered by the Lincolnshire
Wildlife Trust and Lincolnshire County Council in the 1960s.
These Protected Roadside Verges each have their own designated
Wayside Warden and are managed to agreed plans.
Find out more about Protected Roadside Verges:
5. Lincoln Western Growth Corridor
A planning application has been submitted to City of Lincoln
Council and North Kesteven District Council to build 4,500 new
houses on the Swanpool site to the western side of Lincoln, the
development is known as the Western Growth Corridor. The Trust
has had discussions with the project ecologists to try to ensure
that the benefits for wildlife on the site are maximised. At
present, the Trust is expecting to object to the development on
the grounds that the biodiversity potential of the site will not
be maximised by the current proposals.
6. Lincoln’s Super Park
As reported in the Lincolnshire Echo, an element of the plans for
the Western Growth Corridor is to create a super country park
linking Whisby Nature Park to the West Common. The Trust
supports the principle of this park which will enable people in
Lincoln to have easy access into the countryside. As major land
managers in the county, the Trust looks forward to being actively
involved in its development and ensuring that the biodiversity
benefit is maximised in both the design of the park and its
7. Will new stamps turn the tide for UK marine life?
The latest Special Stamp issue from the Royal Mail features ten
1st Class stamps with beautiful photographs of British marine
life including moon jellyfish, lesser octopus and beadlet
anemone. This celebration of sea life is a timely reminder for
the Government to fulfil its commitment to protect the UK’s seas
via a Marine Bill. Although the beautiful species featured on
the new stamps are currently widespread and relatively common,
any one of them could become ‘the next house sparrow’ (a
once-common species that has suffered a massive decline and is
now on the conservation ‘red-list’), if we continue to neglect
the marine environment.
Find out more about our campaign for a Marine Bill:
8. Love is in the Air
All you romantics out there will know, of course, that it is
almost Valentine’s Day. If you are looking for a present for
your loved one, something a little different than the traditional
roses (think of the air miles to get them here) and chocolates
(think of the waistline), why not buy a bird box?
Early February is the time when our garden birds start thinking
of romance, looking for a mate and for a place to set up home
together. So it is the ideal time to put up a bird nest box.
Put one up on Valentine’s Day and you and your loved one will
have hours of pleasure watching a family of birds in your garden.
See http://www.lincstrust.org.uk/factsheets/nestbox.php for instructions
on how to make a bird box.
9. Searching for Winter Scenes
If you’ve been out with your camera over the few snowy and frosty
days that we have had you may have the image we are looking for.
It may seem like Christmas is only just over but we are searching
for photographs and paintings for next year’s Trust Christmas
If you think you have a suitable image please contact our Sales
Officer, Helen Baker on 01507 528383. Images can be emailed to
firstname.lastname@example.org but attachments must not be more than 2Mb.