World Bee Day 2023

Saturday 20th May is World Bee Day πŸπŸ’š
Did you know there are over 250 different species of bee in the UK? 1 honey bee, 24 types of bumblebee and the rest are solitary bees which come in all shapes, colours and sizes!
Wild Marlow love all our wild bees and work hard to support them as best we can through our Bee Town Marlow project πŸπŸ’š
So this Saturday please show some love for this incredibly important creature, who we rely on so heavily for 1 in every 3 mouthfuls of our food πŸπŸ’š
🐝plant pollinator friendly plants in your garden or outside space
🐝leave out a saucer of water for them to drink
🐝let your lawn grow and bloom to provide food and shelter
🐝make your own solitary bee hotel or bumblebee nest
🐝put Sat 15th July in your diary to come to the Wild Marlow Bee Festival to learn all about these amazing creatures and what we can all do to help them πŸ’š
🐝learn some fun facts about bumblebees from our blog page https://www.wildmarlow.org.uk/blog.php
🐝support organisations such as Wild Marlow Bumblebee Conservation Trust and Buglife, who do great work for our precious pollinators πŸ’š

Water Vole Project Team Training

Fantastic morning for the Wild Marlow Water Vole Project volunteers, being trained to survey in the field by BBOWT’s Mammal Project Manager Julia, along with the WildCookham team πŸ’š
The River Chess stretch came up trumps with multiple water vole feeding signs and latrines, with some otter spraint thrown in for good measure πŸ‘ Great to be able to get out and see signs in the field, so we understand what to look for when back home.

Native or Spanish Bluebells?

Hurray! May has arrived which means it’s time to liberate your lawns πŸ’š
Plantlife’s No Mow May campaign encourages us to leave areas uncut and free the wildflowers in our lawns, so they can grow wild and provide a feast for pollinators, tackle pollution, and lock away atmospheric carbon below ground 🐝
We’ve lost nearly 97% of flower rich meadows since the 1970’s and with them gone are vital food needed by pollinators like bees.
A healthy lawn with some long grass and wildflowers benefits wildlife and best of all, to reap the benefits all you have to do is not mow your lawn in May!
With over 20 million gardens in the UK, even the smallest grassy patches add up to a significant proportion of our land which, if managed properly, can deliver enormous gains for nature, communities and the climate.
Sign up, let Plantlife: saving wild plants know and watch the wildlife thrive πŸ’š
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Woodland Dawn Chorus Walk

The weather really came up trumps for our Wild Marlow Woodland Dawn Chorus Walk on Sunday morning πŸ’š
Robins took top place as the early birds: they were already in full voice when we gathered at 4.50 a.m. – still almost night at that time. Within a few minutes, blackbirds joined in. We sat and
listened while the growing light took on quite a pink tinge above the horizon – just perfect after the rather dull weather we’ve been having lately, and then other species joined in.
Blue tits and great tits always come across as bright, busy and full of energy, so no surprises that they very soon added their songs, with wood pigeons and a pheasant filling in the tenor line. Not
to be outdone, the first wren of our day with its disproportionately big voice came in next over the others, with flourishes and trills like a star soprano soloist.
We enjoyed sitting and listening until after sunrise (5.38 a.m.), then it was time to get up and join the activity in a leisurely walk around Marlow Common as dunnocks and blackcaps got into full voice. It is always a magical moment when the sun sends its first rays through the trees – and the dawn delighted us with that. Chiffchaffs obviously like a sleep-in, as they only started singing when it was properly light.
Our other highlights were seeing (and hearing) a jay, catching the fleetest glimpse of what the consensus agreed was an owl that flew low across the road ahead of us, and seeing and hearing the drum section of the bird chorus supplied by a great spotted woodpecker! We heard a chaffinch, and saw a beautiful pair of thrushes feeding close together in a grassy patch, though they were too busy to be bothered with singing.
All in all, a morning that rewarded us for getting up very early!
Photos: Catherine Day & Jon Perry

Swift box goes up at Little Marlow Church

The Bisham Nest Box Group Dream Team were out installing another lovely swift box this week, this time at the church in Little Marlow πŸ’š Thanks Bob and Brendan!
Swifts desperately need our help to find suitable nesting places, when they return from Africa to breed here.
If you think you can have a home for swifts on your property please get in touch πŸ’š
And sign this petition to make swift bricks compulsory in new build properties https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/626737

Native Wildlfower Seed Packing

In the last few weeks, some of the wonderful Wild Marlow volunteers have held wildflower seed packet stuffing sessions πŸ’š We have filled 2,500 packets!
These native wildflower seed packets will be distributed to all the Marlow primary schools, so that every child can take a packet to sow at home or share with their friends/family 🌱
The flowers themselves will be beautiful but they will also provide pollen and nectar to feed on, leaves to munch and homes for insects to live and hide πŸπŸ¦‹
Across Marlow, all these patches will form a ‘nature corridor’ allowing our most important pollinators to do their important job and thrive πŸ’š
Look out for these packets coming home with your school children soon and share your photos to the Wild Marlow Group when the flowers bloom 🌺
Mention the school name and the school with the most posts will win a 20m wildflower strip seeded by Wild Marlow in Spring 2024 🌼
Thank you to Veolia‘s Sustainability Fund contribution, to help with funding this project, as part of our Bee Town Marlow campaign 🐝 #beetownmarlow

Fabulous Fungi Walk

A really great morning was had on our Faubulous Fungi walk today in Pullingshill Wood. Local expert Penny from Bucks Fungi Group was brilliant as usual, spotting and identifying the huge variety of species showing.
We were a little worried this years extended dry weather would affect what we would find, but we were pleased with 46 different species identified, including three new records for this site.
We won’t list them all here, but you can see the details in our blog on our website.
Thanks Penny and our wonderful Wild Marlow volunteers for putting on another interesting and enjoyable event πŸ’š

Marvelous Moths Event

At the beginning of the month we had a really great event all about marvellous moths πŸ¦‹
Local expert Les Finch provided a fascinating talk, highlighting the wonderful variety of species we have – they are not dull and boring at all! 🌈
Les and his team set up three traps in the Little Marlow Fern Lane Cemetery, a new site for moth trapping and recording, and despite the showery weather we were pleased with the 33 different species we were able to identify.
As we work with Little Marlow Parish Council on creating more wildlife habitats in the area, it will be interesting to see how this affects populations in the future. Thanks for your support πŸ’š
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Brilliant Bumblebee Walk

Brilliant Bumblebee walk yesterday, with local experts and Bumblebee Conservation Trust volunteers Adrian and Lesley 🐝
The lack of pollen and nectar sources around the town and Higginson Park, was quite evident, as we didn’t see nearly as many as we would have hoped. However in the places where valuable plants had been allowed to grow, we found four different species πŸ’š
Common Carder,Β White Tailed,Β Buff Tailed,Β Red Tailed
We even found one of our Bee Festival bee stones, at Marlow Lock 🐝
Thanks so much for all the great spotting, catching, identification and valuable knowledge on these amazing little creatures and what we can all do to help them πŸ’š
If you’d like to find out more, we’ll be at the Little Marlow Village Fete on Bank Holiday Monday, with a bee themed stand 🐝