Kingston University Biodiversity Action Group

05-09-14 (2/3) New term, New list

Things to do for 2014
New events in the new semester and testing testing 1 2 3…

I hope you all had a great summer holiday; alongside with various surveys that were ongoing this summer, we’ve been preparing a new calendar of events for you to join in with.
It’s come to my attention that some of you may not have been getting the blog updates that I’ve been posting.

So I’ll be undertaking bit of a test today, I’ll be posting the blog as normal, posting it using some different formatting and posting a notification post of a new blog in plain text – you may get  one, two or all three of the tests, I would really appreciate some comments on the blog that you get on your phone/email so I can track which one has worked to help me figure out what’s happening with our blog, and get the updates to you in one go.
Summer update

Assuming that you have received at least one of my tests posts today – you’ll be able to catch up on what we’ve been doing in and around the university on the older blog posts when you visit the main blog site.

Thank you to those of you who took part in the Big Butterfly Count over the summer, KU staff and students surveyed the majority of our sites at least once.

The site with the most butterfly species seen was Tolworth Court with Jersey Tigers Euplagia quadripunctaria,   Red admirals Vanessa atalanta,  common blues Polyommatus Icarus, commas Polygonia c-album   and a host of other butterflies – this is definitely a site to visit in the summer months if Lepidoptera is your thing :)

Small white seen at Knights Park

The species that we spotted on nearly all of our sites was the small white Pieris rapae. The one site that we surveyed that didn’t have any butterflies was Rohampton Vale. Given its proximity to Wimbledon Common, I do think we have butterflies there; just not picked up during the quick survey. So if anyone does spot anything, feel free to post your sightings here.

We’ve also seen lots of slow worms Anguis fragilis, field voles Microtus agrestis, shrews Sorex araneus and even a toad Bufo bufo during our reptile surveys at Tolworth Court. 

Field vole spotted at Tolworth Court

Upcoming events and training

Out new events calendar is now up and running – this link should take you to a PDF of the current calendar.

For those of you who receive my monthly newsletter please note that there has been a date change for the Riverfly Monitoring training from the Saturday 1st November to a week later on Saturday 8th November. We've also added two more events in September (see below).

We have a few extra events in September where we can really use your help – Next Wednesday we’re trying to clear the rest of the nature trail at Kingston Hill to get it access ready for the school children who use it to explore our woods and on Wednesday the after we are trying to keep chipping away at the watercress and false watercress which are swamping some of the other species that we planted in the new bank at Knights Park.

Before clearance
After clearance with signage and flag irises freed from the shade
Beyond the sign we uncovered some of the marigolds that were just holding on and freed up flag irises.

If you can help with ether event – please email – please note that you will need wellington boots for the riverbank work on the 17th.

The last two Kingston Biodiversity Network Meetings took place at the University’s C-Scape room and were a big success with some interesting speakers. The next meeting will be taking place on the 2nd of October the location is still to be confirmed, but this is a great networking opportunity for those of you who want a career in conservation, so keep an eye out on the KBN website.

Training opportunity for October and November 

Hedgerow survey training and Riverfly Monitoring Initiative (RMI) training with Zoological Society London.  Follow the directions on the links to reserve your place. Please note that for RMI training, there is a volunteer commitment that is required in exchange for the training.

These are great opportunities to learn new skills towards conservation work. We even have lovely hedgerows at Tolworth Court and the Hogsmill River where you’ll be able to practice your survey skills on once trained :)

We’ve been busy recruiting volunteers from around the university for different biodiversity events, if you are a student, you can sign up via the KUSU volunteering portal  the hours will count towards your Kingston Award record

As I said in my last blog, we’ve seen lots and lots, on the river and the surrounding areas, if you’ve been out spotting wildlife, why not take a photo and enter it into some of the competitions that are around this one from the Freshwater Habitats Trust, has prizes for the winners so it’s well worth getting snappy!

All the best

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