Tag Archives: City Centre

NWT City Group June activities

The Notts Wildlife Trust City Local Group have several activities planned during June…

Saturday 4th June – 10.00 a.m. – 2.00 p.m. Practical work party. Removing Himalayan balsam at Broxtowe Country Park. Meet at the Nottingham Road entrance near Cinderhill Island, convenient for Phoenix Park tram stop.

Saturday 11th June – 11.00 a.m. – 2.00 p.m. Peregrine Watch. Grassed area in front of Nottingham Trent University on South Sherwood Street.

Thursday 16th June – 6.00 p.m. – 8.00 p.m. A walk along Tinkers Leen and Kings Meadow. Meet outside the Law Courts opposite the Canal House

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Wildlife Trust City Group – looking into 2015

Here’s a review of the activities of the Wildlife Trust’s Nottingham City Group in 2014, and a look forward to some plans for 2015…

members_mailing_new_year_2015It looks like the group will be busy in 2015, and I hope their activities are successful.

All the best to all for 2015!

Peregrine on All Saints Church

Keith Turner sent this photo of a Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus), which he spotted visiting the spire of All Saints Church near the Arboretum…….

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Presumably this bird is one of those from the well-known nest site on the Newton Building – it’s good to see the Peregrines are still around the city.

Thanks to Keith for the photo.  More of his work can be seen on his flickr site, which is well worth checking out.

Wildlife Trust City Local Group re-energised

Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust are currently re-establishing a local group for Nottingham City.  The group held an “Urban Safari” on the Forest Recreation Ground last weekend, and further activities are planned……

members mailing august 2014-page-001This group looks likely to be an excellent way to find out about wildlife and get involved in conservation in the city, and hopefully it will go from strength to strength.

Meadow Saxifrage

Meadow Saxifrage (Saxifraga granulata) is a lovely plant, and only occurs at a couple of sites in the city.  Thanks to Lauren who spotted this patch in the General Cemetery, and persuaded the grasscutters to leave it uncut (which they were very happy to do).  Lauren also informed the Wildlife Trust, who have made the Council and the BSBI aware of the find.  Meadow Saxifrage is a perennial which reproduces itself by bulbils as well as by seed, and hopefully this colony will be able to spread.

meadow saxifrage 2 6.5.14 general cemetery

meadow saxifrage 6.5.14 general cemetery

Thanks to Keith Turner for the photos.  A selection of Keith’s great photography – much of which features local wildlife – can be seen on his flickr site here.  I hope to be able to showcase more of Keith’s work on this blog in the future.

Alexanders on “The Island”

Recently I noticed a vigorous growth of Alexanders (Smyrnium olusatrum) growing on “The Island” wasteland site near the city centre…..

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Alexanders is a tall, glossy plant in the carrot family, with yellow flowers arranged in umbels….

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The species was introduced by the Romans as a food plant; now it grows mostly in coastal areas, although it is sometimes found inland on wasteground.  The inland island where I found it is a former industrial site between Sneinton and the city centre.  Despite various schemes to develop the site, it survives, to the benefit of wildlife and informal recreation.  It’s also the Nottingham focus of the Wasteland Twinning project.

Alexanders is a useful plant for the forager – see here and here for some ideas on how to enjoy it.  However, it should only be used if you are 100% certain you have identified it correctly – it has some very poisonous relatives…..

Welcome back to the Peregrines

The Peregrine Falcons have returned to their nest on the NTU Newton Building – almost two months earlier than last year, symptomatic of the unseasonably mild winter perhaps.  Their progress can be watched via webcam, and we hope these iconic birds have another good year in the City Centre!

Bee Orchids in the City Centre

Bee orchids are fantastic plants, and I wouldn’t necessarily expect to see them in the middle of Nottingham.  So it was great to find a group of these intriguing flowers on a patch of wasteland not far from the centre :

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The remarkable plant does a good job of resembling a bumble bee resting on a pink flower….

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The wasteland site, also known as “The Island”, is a former industrial site (including a Boots pharmaceutical factory) on the Sneinton edge of the city centre.  Although there have been various grandiose plans to develop the site, it fortunately remains as an important marginal location for wildlife and informal recreation.  It’s also the focus of the Wasteland Twinning initiative in Nottingham, which is asking interesting questions about the value and perception of the site.

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Bee orchids are not uncommonly found these days on ex-industrial sites, and it’s important to acknowledge the significance such land can have for wildlife – they are often more diverse than greenfield agricultural deserts, and should not just be seen as “blank canvasses” for development.

Wild Food Foraging at City Farm

There will be a wild food foraging session at Stonebridge City Farm once a month for the next four months.  The first one is on Wednesday:

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These sessions are highly recommended as a way of brushing up on your wild plant identification knowledge, and discovering interesting ways to use them; foraging is a *really* good activity for increasing your contact with nature, and entirely sustainable if sensible guidelines (such as these) are followed.

Keep an eye on Field Kitchen’s website for other upcoming foraging events in Nottingham, which currently include:

Saturday 18th May, 10-4pm: The Field Kitchen will be at the West Bridgford Summer Gathering, offering tasters of locally foraged teas and plants.

Saturday 25th May, 12-4pm: Fermentation workshop with Rebecca Beinart at Stonebridge City Farm: Try your hand at making Sourdough bread, Sauerkraut and Ginger beer.

Sunday 2nd June, 2-5pm: Field Kitchen bicycle-based foraging trip along the River Trent, where you will learn to identify wild food plants and cook up a foraged feast. Costs: £10 per person.

Peregrines return to city centre

The Peregrine Falcons have returned to their nesting site on Nottingham Trent University’s Newton Building, in the centre of Nottingham.  Peregrines (which are the fastest flying birds on the planet) have become more common in city centres across the country, as high buildings are ideal, safe nesting sites for them.

There is a permanent webcam showing the falcons’ nest which can be viewed online.  It’s good the birds have returned again – look out for them if you’re in the city centre.