Kingston University Biodiversity Action Group

18-05-2017: Around Kingston in eight(ish) days

Scavenging and assembling
We've had a busy and varied time so far this May, starting with making our own mini version of the New Town House for invertebrates!

We worked with staff from FADA’s 3D workshop and SEC’s Outreach team to prepare all of the materials in advance (sourced for free from various sites around KU). We then assembled our Town House with the Students and Staff from the KU Nursery, all ready for new residents to move in.

This year’s annual bat walk was at Kingston Hill.
Talks and walks about bats in Kingston
While the unexpected cold snap meant a reduction in insect activity, we were still lucky enough to hear and see common pipistrelles and soprano pipistrelles flying around our site at the edge of the woodland.

The second eel training event took place last Wednesday, with bright sunshine making for a lovely afternoon by the river.
Showing people how to check for eels
While we didn’t have any eels during the training, we have had one of our best starts to the season with eels being recorded on nearly every other monitoring check.
The first eel of the 2017 season
Saturday saw us back at Kingston Hill, removing invasive plants as well as adding new wood chip to the memorial garden and undertaking some weeding.
Wood chip, weeding and wildlife on the hill
Normally the invasive specimens we remove are big plants such as Rhododendron, this time we were working on a much smaller scale as the invasive few flowered garlic plant is the same size as bluebells!
Foxes taking squirrels and common crab spiders hiding in the flowers while we looked for seeds
The seeds released by the plant resemble little green pearls and were everywhere in the immediate area around the plants, so it will take some time to eradicate this species. But never fear, the biodiversity team will preserver :)

We’re undertaking balsam bashes on the Hogsmill River and her tributaries this May. We need as much help as possible to make a difference; keep a look out for the next story over the weekend explaining where we’ll be holding our Big Balsam Bash this year and how you can get involved.

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