Kingston University Biodiversity Action Group

22-02-2017: Events catch-up

The tail end of January and February have been busy busy busy for the Kingston Biodiversity Action Group.

We ended January with our second Rhodo bash of the season with the Environment Trust. As well as making fantastic progress clearing through a large track of rhododendron on site (see if you can spot the difference in the images below), we also planted native saplings on the hill and tried our first attempt at seeding four trees with mistletoe.

We also ran two bird counts on the site at different locations. The bird counts were conducted as part of the RSPB Big Garden Bird Watch  we ran 13 surveys in total over 12 sites at the university, just missing out on 100% site cover.

We didn't just spot birds on the count, other wildlife included foxes as well as one squirrel at Kingston Bridge House doing a Mission Impossible impersonation as it clung on by its claw tips on the side of the building 2 flours up!

If you are wondering where your sites fared in this years count, check out the details below as Roehampton Vale and the neighboring common came up top this year, with Tolworth Court and Dorich House coming in at the bottom of the table (compare the surveys with last years results).

We ran our Orchard Afternoon at Dorich House on the 1st of Feb, it was a great afternoon, seeing how the trees had responses to the formative and maintenance pruning from 2015. 

We also started works to uncover one of the hidden gems at the Orchard, a very old Mulberry tree which likely dates back to the original orchard. The Orchard Project will be investigating ways to bring this gem back to top form in next years Orchard afternoon, so keep your eyes pealed for the event next year if you are interested in coming along. 

We finished off the formal events this month with our first Woodland Management (Ground Flora Project) day, where we were bashing brambles and digging up roots in areas to aid the establishment of native ground flora plants in the woodland around the nature trail. 
Snow falling throughout the snack break
As part of the day, we did a litter pick, unfortunately finding enough rubbish in the woods to fill 7 black bags of rubbish, with items ranging from broken glass bottles, discarded cans and plastic drinks bottles to empty food and cigarette packaging as well as other items which had been either dumped or blown into the area.

If you use the woodland for recreational purposes, please help the local wildlife and take your litter home with you, as items like broken glass bottles can seriously harm wildlife in the woodland. 

We'll be running more events in March so sign up to any that take your fancy as we can always use extra pairs of hands to help local wildlife. 

If you are interested in entering and having a chance to win a Jessops Voucher or a Jar of Kingston University Honey - don't forget to enter the Photography competition which we're running this week (deadline = Sunday 26 Feb, 11pm). 

Take care until next time.

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