Spring update

After winter’s dry conditions left much of southern Britain in drought, the welcome rains of spring saw the return of the rich mosaic of life found within Sydenham Hill Wood…

This year national attention is centered on the Diamond Jubilee of HM the Queen and the Olympics, but 2012 is also a special year for both Sydenham Hill Wood and the Wildlife Trusts’; celebrating 30 years of London Wildlife Trust managing the Wood as a nature reserve and the 100th Anniversary of the founding of the Trusts by the pioneering environmental philanthropist Nathaniel Charles Rothschild. The Wildlife Trust’s Anniversary was marked by live broadcasting from Sydenham Hill Wood on BBC’s Breakfast Show.

Spring has also seen the continuation of the project to transform Dewy Pond and the Ambrook into a haven for aquatic wildlife. Volunteers have planted oxygenating, floating, emergent and marginal plants such as purple loostrife, flowering rush, water forget-me-not and white water lilies which have already attracted frogs, newts, ovipositing damselflies and a squadron of Mallards. A footbridge was built across the Ambrook for access so that visitors may enjoy watching the development of the habitat.

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Elsewhere in the Wood species from many different families of animals were recorded taking advantage of the alternating wet and dry days. During our monthly moth surveys we recorded moth species including small phoenix, silver-ground carpet, common swift and brimstone. Nocturnal mammals such as pipistrelle bats, hedgehogs and a very inquisitive fox were also observed. Over the spring many species of bird have also been spotted or heard defending territories and raising chicks. One of the most exciting discoveries was a tawny owl roost. We collected tawny owl pellets that we found under the roost and dissected them to reveal house and wood mice, and bank and field voles.

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Finally, volunteers have been involved with the ongoing routine but essential maintenance work such as repairing dead hedges and installing path edging to ensure that paths are clearly defined and sensitive plants such as bluebells and wood anemones are left untrampled.

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This year we are celebrating London Wildlife Trust’s 30th Anniversary of managing the wood.

If you support our work why not join the Trust as a member?

See www.wildlondon.org.uk for more details.

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