Planting a Hedge, Saturday 29 October 2011, from 10 – 4.
Thank you to all 23 volunteers who came along to the Hedge Project Day on Saturday 29 October. What amazing progress was made - the whole length of the planting area was prepared and we planted about 80 seedlings of holly, hawthorn and blackthorn. Click on Hedge Project Day, 29 October 2011 for some lovely photos of the day.
We had some free bare-rooted whips arriving from the Woodland Trust soon after this, but not enough for the whole length. However, we had already identified many small holly, hawthorn and blackthorn plants on site, so did some clever recycling. We will need to regularly water the plants during the early months and keep weeds at bay. If you walk along the QE Path from Cavendish Road to Byng Road, you will see our new hedge in its infancy. Many thanks too to our two young volunteers who worked with such enthusiasm and to our catering team.
The good work was continued during a number of volunteer afternoons; teams planted the whips and kept all the new plants fed and watered! We'll see quite a difference in a few years' time!
HALF-TERM ART AND CRAFT DAY: “Pumpkins, Bats and Monsters”, Wednesday 26 October 2011, from 2 to 4.
In a word, amazing! 100 children and 56 adults came along and loved it! We made pumpkin faces, ghosts and bats to hang up, monster pictures and pasta skeletons. There was a hunt-the-autumn-plants walk around the nature reserve. The weather was kind to us and parents were able to be outside enjoying a cup of tea and a bit of cake while the children played.
MOTH & BAT EVENING Saturday 6 August 2011 8.15pm - 11pm.
This was led by Andrew Wood from the Barnet group of the London Wildlife Trust, who set up bright lights so that they shone on two white sheets in different parts of the nature reserve to attract moths. As dusk fell they attracted more and more moths, some of which were carefully put into see-through boxes which were then handed round so that we could see them in great detail. An extraordinary thirty-three different species of moth were identified; their beauty was astonishing and the variations in their colours and features - and their names! - were amazing. If you want to see the list of species that Andrew identified, please click on hertsmothgroupreport.
While the moths were gathering around the sheets we crept quietly around the nature reserve, watching out for bats in the air above us. We were told by Clive Cohen that they would be feeding on insects, so looked in open spaces around trees. In addition to using our eyes, two of the experts had bat detectors which pick up the ultrasound emitted by bats, help to direct the user to a stronger signal and hence find the bats. We saw several bats swooping around above us; these were identified as soprano pipistrelle bats.
Overall, an evening of absolute delight, so thank you so much to everyone.
The Big Lunch, Sunday 17 July 2011
was both interesting and great fun because after our lunch in the classroom (the weather was a wee bit dodgy after all!) Dr Agnita Burton from the University of Hertfordshire told us about the work of OPAL (The Open Air Laboratories) and then we went outside to collect invertebrates in two different habitats on the nature reserve in order to carry out a little survey. The results of this survey will be uploaded to the marvellous OPAL website in the next few days and there will be a link to it from here. We all had a lovely time collecting these tiny creatures and then Agnita identified them and put them into the survey. Thank you Agnita for introducing us to OPAL, especially since you stood in at such short notice.
The Environment Fair, Sunday 12 June 2011
Despite the appalling weather we had over 170 visitors to our Fair. We welcomed the Mayor of Barnet who took much interest in the organisations that came along with their stalls. We welcomed also, the stalwart Greenacre Bike Rally who arrived during the afternoon. Mike Rand was making whistles. We were entertained by Spootiskerry and teas and cream scones proved as popular as ever. With our thanks to all who came and all who helped to make this an enjoyable occassion.
Tuesday 31 May 2011 ON THE WING - Free Family Event making bird finger puppets, dragonflies and spinners. We had over 60 children dropping in for these craft activities.
The Dawn Chorus Walk, 6am on Sunday 8 May 2011
Despite the poor weather 20 people walked around the nature reserve with Bob Husband. Because of the rain no records were set this year for the number of birds spotted (31 last year) but 23 were seen or heard; these included swifts and swallows, a blackcap and a whitethroat, so Bob was pleased. The hot drinks and bacon butties at the end went down very well too.
The Spring and Seed Event, 2.00pm to 4.00pm on Sunday 20 March 2011
Over 130 people came along for this marvellous event and enjoyed themselves. A big thank you to all our helpers!