Wild Marlow News

  • April  2020

    30 Wild Marlow Days - Day 7

    The beautiful plant in our logo is the Military Orchid. This wild orchid is now extremely rare in England, present in only a few sites, however they can be found in Marlow.

    It was thought to be extinct in the UK after 1930 until it was discovered lurking in 1947.

    The common name of this orchid derives from the helmet-shaped hood formed by the upper petals and sepals. It grows up to 60cm tall.

    Wild Marlow have planned a Military Orchid Hunt event in May. We remain hopeful that this event may be able to go ahead, if current Government restrictions are lifted in time.

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  • April  2020

    30 Wild Marlow Days - Day 6

    Did you know that slow worms, common lizards and sand lizards will drop their tails if threatened and the tail continues to move even when no longer attached to attract the predator and allow them to escape? These clever animals are then able to regrow the tail.

    With garden bin collections temporarily stopping and many bins overflowing with garden materials, why not build a hibernaculum in your garden with these materials providing much needed shelter for reptiles and amphibians? Watch this handy video that shows you how https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mmTpJFRvtEI

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  • April  2020

    30 Wild Marlow Days - Day 5

    Radio-tracking studies have found that hedgehog home ranges vary during the year (and between sexes). On average, they are around 10—20 hectares in size. Hedgehogs can roam an average distance of 2km on a single night. Male hedgehogs in the breeding season can cover up to 3km in one night in their search of females.

    Here in Marlow, we are lucky to have the fantastic Marlow Hedgehog Hub sharing advice on how to help hedgehogs in your gardens and taking in injured or sick hedgehogs for rehabilitation, keep up the good work! Follow their facebook page and see how you can help them in your garden https://www.facebook.com/groups/237141446883502/

     

     

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  • April  2020

    30 Wild Marlow Days - Day 4

    Did you know that caterpillars of some butterflies and moths absorb nasty-tasting chemicals from plants to deter predators from eating them? Small white and large white butterflies lay their eggs on plants in the cabbage family and nasturtiums so they taste bitter. These are great bee-friendly plants too!

    To find out more about the butterflies you can attract to your garden, see an article from a Wild Marlow steering group member and Butterfly Conservation volunteer Martin below:

    Spring Butterflies in your Garden

    Now that our ability to travel and move around is severely restricted while we try and ride out the coronoavirus pandemic, our gardens are a welcome source of sanctuary. Even a small backyard or an outside balcony can offer welcome respite from being confined to our homes. We are just past the spring equinox and miraculously fine sunny weather has arrived. The increasing length of daylight and rise in temperatures means that those butterfly species that have been hibernating over winter are now taking to the wing.

    One of the most striking early emerging butterflies is the Brimstone, the sulphur-yellow males being the first to venture out. Also taking to the wing are Peacocks, which have very dark undersides and distinctive eyespots on their plum coloured uppersides. Another early species is the Comma, a butterfly with distinctively jagged wings which resembles a dried autumn leaf when at rest. A little later we should start to see Small Tortoiseshells, a relative of both the Peacock and the Comma, and the female Brimstones which are a much paler version of their male counterpart.  Orange Tips, so named for obvious reasons, will start to appear in April. Only the males are adorned with the striking orange colouration on their wing tips. The females, being largely white with no orange markings, are easily mistaken for Small Whites when on the wing.

    One of the first priorities of butterflies after their winter break is to look for sources of nectar which will replenish the energy reserves that they used overwintering. This boost in fuel supply allows them to keep flying and find a mate. Sources of nectar at this time of year are limited to spring flowering plants.  Fruit blossom is in good supply of nectar so if you are lucky enough to have a fruit tree in your garden you may find that it will attract some butterflies. Flowering hedge plants such as blackthorn will attract butterflies such as the Brimstone. An added bonus is that this butterfly uses blackthorn as a food plant for its caterpillars. Even a small bush will attract egg laying females. Hawthorn which begins flowering in April is also a potential food source for nectar-seeking insects. Flowering plants such as primroses and hyacinths are also good attractants for butterflies as well as bringing early colour to your garden.

    If you want to, why not keep a record of the butterflies that visit your garden? Make a note of what date you saw them and perhaps even record what plants they visited to feed. This can be a potential project to keep restless children occupied! You can get useful information about identifying butterflies from the Butterfly Conservation website https://butterfly-conservation.org/butterflies/identify-a-butterfly

    In these difficult times the appearance of butterflies is an indication that summer is on its way and with it a sign of hope of better times to come.

     

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  • April  2020

    30 Wild Marlow Days - Day 3

    Despite its warts and ancient associations with witches, the common toad is a gardener's friend, sucking up slugs and snails. It is famous for migrating en masse to its breeding ponds ๐Ÿธ

    This year the Henley Toad Patrol helped over 8,700 toads cross the Henley Road to return to their breeding ponds ๐Ÿ’š www.henleytoadpatrol.com

    Why not build a 'Toad Abode' or wetland in your garden to help them and take part in our Wild Marlow Gardens Campaign to encourage other wildlife into your garden. 

    https://www.rspb.org.uk/get-involved/activities/give-nature-a-home-in-your-garden/garden-activities/makeafrogandtoadabode/

    https://youtu.be/hzuG0MPv9YI

     

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  • April  2020

    30 Wild Marlow Days – Day 2

    Did you know that bats mate in autumn but the female does not fertilise an egg until conditions are suitable in spring? Female bats will give birth to one baby in early summer (twins have been recorded but are rare). So keep your eyes peeled for bats flitting around at dusk as the evenings become warmer this weekend, fuelling up after winter hibernation. A common pipistrelle bat can eat approximately 3000 midges per night!

    The Bat Conservation Trust in collaboration with the Wildlife Trusts and RHS have put together a fantastic leaflet full of interesting facts and ideas to help bats in your garden - it would also tick off one of the Wildlife Shelter criteria in our Wild Marlow Gardens Campaign! 

    https://cdn.bats.org.uk/pdf/Resources/Stars_of_the_Night.pdf?mtime=20181101151554&focal=none

    With many of us spending more time at home this month, why not build a bat box as a fun activity for all the family? Instructions for a Kent bat box are in the following information pack, do take a photo of your master woodwork skills, we would love to see them!

    https://cdn.bats.org.uk/pdf/Bat-Box-Information-Pack.pdf?mtime=20181101151309

     

    (Photographs taken by Steve Foot - Natterer's roosting in a bat box and common pipistrelle in flight)

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  • April  2020

    30 Wild Marlow Days – Day 1

    Did you know there are an estimated 24 million gardens in the UK? ๐ŸŒปDomestic gardens, no matter what size, are mini nature reserves and provide vital corridors for wildlife to thrive ๐Ÿฆ”

    This month Wild Marlow will be bringing you 30 weird and wonderful facts about wildlife found in and around Marlow. Spring has most definitely sprung and there is so much activity and new life happening everywhere ๐ŸŒฑ Many of us are currently spending more time at home, so we aim to help you encourage more wildlife into your gardens. Why not get the whole family involved and keep a journal or what you see? Photos of wildlife can also be entered into our photo competition ๐Ÿ“ท It is proven that Nature is beneficial to the mind and body, something many of us need currently ๐Ÿ’š
     

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  • April  2020

    The Wild Marlow Gardens Campaign, launched in April 2020, aims to encourage residents in Marlow and the surrounding villages to help welcome wildlife into their gardens.Domestic gardens, no matter what size, are mini nature reserves and provide vital corridors for wildlife to thrive. There are an estimated 24 million gardens in the UK so how they are cared for can make a huge difference. Our gardens form a vast living landscape.

    Gardening for wildlife doesn’t necessarily mean leaving it to grow into a jungle, but there are many small things you can do to make your garden accessible to all. The Wild Marlow Gardens Campaign focuses on 4 key areas:
    Garden management – e.g. chemical free, highways, composting
    Wildlife food features – e.g. nectar rich planting, fruits and berries, feeders, herbs
    Wildlife shelters – e.g. boxes, log piles, bug hotels, long grass
    Water features – e.g. ponds, bogs, water butts

    By making small changes in your garden you will be helping to improve the health and biodiversity of our local area.
    With the campaign, Wild Marlow will award gold, silver and bronze award certificates to those who satisfy three different levels of criteria.
    The gold certificate holders, if also Wild Marlow Members, will be eligible to purchase a Wild Marlow Blue Heart for just £10, to display in their garden or wildlife area. The Wild Marlow Gardens Campaign supports the national BLUE campaign, which has been running since 2014, promoting the rewilding of gardens and other open spaces across the UK.
    Wild Marlow will be posting information on what you can do via our website, Facebook Page and Facebook Group.

    To take part in the campaign, download the guidance forms and submission sheet on our website www.wildmarlow.org.uk. Make the required changes in your garden and submit the form to us online or via email. Entry is free to all and we encourage everyone to take part. If you have queries or need advice, please do email us contact@wildmarlow.org.uk.

    Away from domestic gardens, Wild Marlow hopes to be able to offer larger Wild Marlow blue hearts for display in recognition of wildlife friendly environments and practices in other open spaces such as parks, road verges, churchyards, school grounds and commercial properties.

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  • March  2020

    Wild Marlow managed to deliver 2,175 packets of native wildflower seeds to all the primary school children in Marlow just before the schools closed. There were also a further 300 sent home with pre-school children. We do hope the children enjoy planting these seeds with their families and witness the wildlife that will benefit from them. Leftover packets were then included in some Seed1/Marlow Green food box deliveries recently. A lovely little suprise for some!

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  • March  2020

    Wild Marlow's Nick went along to Spinfield Primary School to give an assembly to the children. It was very well received and the kids really enjoyed learning more about wildlife in and around Marlow. They especially enjoyed seeing the newts and frogspawn he took along for the morning.

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  • March  2020

    Wild Marlow along with Bisham Nest Box Group, went along to 3rd Marlow Guides on 4th March to provide a Bird Box Building Workshop. The girls showed some excellent tool skills and an amazing 16 nest boxes were built. The Great Tits, Blue Tits and Robins will be pleased. We loved hearing about everyone's favourite native wildlife too! 

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  • March  2020

    Wild Marlow, Marlow Wombles and Softcat with other employees from Globe Business Park, spent a very productive hour on 4th March, litter picking the area. There was great enthusiasm considering the weather and a large amount of litter was collected. It's is really encouraging that so many people and businesses care about our local environment and take steps to look after it. Thanks everyone!

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  • March  2020

    The Wild Marlow Team spent an evening stuffing 2,500 envelopes with native wildflowers seeds, ready to be given to every Marlow primary school child.

    We hope the gift will encourage children to plants the seeds, watch them grown and see which species use them for food and shelter.

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  • February  2020

    On Sunday 23rd February Wild Marlow went to support Transition Town Marlow with the expansion of their Community Orchard in Seymour Park. Lots of volunteers turned up to help with the preparation, digging, planting, naming, pruning, etc. It was a great fun morning, if a little windy. Can't wait to see the fruits of our labour!

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  • February  2020

    Verity from Wild Marlow went along to meet the new MP for Marlow, Joy Morrissey MP at her Marlow surgery on Friday 21st February. They discussed some wider environmental issues such as HS2 and the new Environment and Agriculture Bills, but also spoke about the work Wild Marlow are doing in the local area as well as some of the upcoming events. If you have any concerns regarding local environmental issues, Joy is keen to hear from her constituents and is supportive of "green" initiatives. She even name dropped Wild Marlow in Parliament recently (https://twitter.com/joymorrissey/status/1225407146109685760) and has signed up as a Member, so you may well bump into her at one of our events.

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  • February  2020

    Martin from Wild Marlow was interviewed on Marlow FM's Mid Morning Matters Show on Wednesday 19th February. He spoke about Wild Marlow, who we are and what we do, whilst talking about our exciting upcoming events. He also gave some great tips on how to encourage wildlife into your gardens including digging a pond, feeding birds and installing nest boxes.

    You can listen to the show via Marlow FM's website www.marlowfm.co.uk/listenagain

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  • February  2020

    On Wednesday 12th February, Wild Marlow hosted an evening event on How to Help our Feathered Friends.

    First we were joined by Paul Warham from Bisham Barn Owl Group, who gave a really fascinating talk about the species of Owls we can see in our area (Tawny, Barn & Little) and the different types of nest boxes they prefer, with some particularly gorgeous photos. He even threw us a curve ball with some Kestrel chicks! We learned about the habitats required for Barn Owls to thrive and how easily they can be affected by weather, vole populations, loss of habitat and human interaction. There were some fascinating facts and figures on the monitoring project Bisham Barn Owl Group are undertaking in the Middle Thames area, providing some vital information on the breeding and dispersal within the area. One of the leading Barn Owl projects in the UK. For more information on the Bisham Barn Owl Group www.bishambarnowlgroup.blogspot.com.

    Next up was Bob Keene from Bisham Nest Box Group, talking about the great work they do locally, building and installing wildlife nest boxes of all shapes and sizes. They also help with fun family friendly workshops for people to make their own boxes from kits to take home. They have many boxes available for sale, so have a look at their website if you think you have the suitable space to install a box for garden birds, raptors, swifts, hedgehogs & bats. www.bnbg.org.uk

    Finally we were treated to an entertaining and interesting talk from Jan Stannard, from Maidenhead, Marlow & Cookham Swift Group. The Swift is often unobserved, as they fly so fast and high and sometimes confused with Swallows and House Martins. However they can frequently be seen in and around Marlow from April to August, having 'screaming parties', especially at dusk. Their numbers are in fast decline due to loss of habitat as a result of development and building refurbishment. Swifts love to nest in the eaves and roofs of buildings, so consider installing a nesting box to help prevent further decline. These lovely birds travel to the UK every year from Africa, so would appreciate a safe and cosy place to breed.

     

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  • February  2020

    Wild Marlow were warmly welcomed by the regular stall holders at the Transition Town Marlow Market on Saturday 1st February. The sun encouraged lots of visitors, who were treated to a stunning snowdrop and crocus display on The Causeway, to the bustling market and associated Repair Café. Many were keen to talk to us about who we are and what we do. We signed up some new members who were keen to support us and attend some of our upcoming events. We are also pleased to meet our new MP Joy Morrissey, a fan of bird watching, who was so supportive of Wild Marlow she signed up as a Member. We hope to welcome her and her family to our How to Help our Feathered Friends evening on Wednesday 12th February.

    Joy will be holding regular surgeries in Marlow, where she is happy to discuss all things green within her constituency, so do make an appointment and raise your concerns and hopes for wildlife and the environment.

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  • February  2020

    Wild Marlow went along to join The Henley Toad Patrol on Saturday 1st February, to help with the installation of the barrier on the Marlow to Henley Road, saving many lives.

    Nick says “It’s been an education already. The barrier stops the toads from being squashed on the road. The toads stop and sit and wait at the barrier. Volunteers collect them every evening to get them lifted over the busy A4155 road so they can walk onwards to the pond near the river. They lifted about 7000 last year, effectively saving thousands. These lovely creatures only come out at dusk and can walk up to 5km to spawn and then return to their ground burrows to feed. It’s not just toads but also newts so if you would like to see and handle them do join up and as the team tell me, have some fun in the process.”

    Did you know?
    Our cities and towns pose a threat to common toads; busy roads often block migration paths, making it difficult for them to reach their breeding ponds. It is estimated that 20 tonnes of unlucky toads are killed on the UK’s roads every year. If more than 1,000 toads are known to hop across a road in a particular spot, it is dubbed a 'toad crossing'......”

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  • January  2020

    On New Years Day morning Wild Marlow were very warmly welcomed to the Winter Birding Walk at The Spade Oak Nature Reserve In Little Marlow, hosted by East Berks RSPB Group. Although the weather was overcast, it remained dry and an impressive 61 different species of bird were spotted. You can read the full report here - http://www.eastberksrspb.org.uk/calendar/60/322-Little-Marlow-Gravel-Pits-2020-br-New-Years-Day-morning-walk/.
    Check out their list of other outings for this year, to improve your birding knowledge, everyone is welcome in this friendly group.

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  • January  2020

    Wild Marlow held their first Bird Box Workshop on Saturday 11th January, with the help from Bisham Nest Box Group https://www.bnbg.org.uk/. The event was very well attended by all ages and a total of 31 boxes were made on the day, with 6 box kits taken away to be made at home. What fantastic news for the garden birds of Marlow.

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