We were very pleased to recently be awarded a small grants fund from South West Chilterns Community Board, to allow us to purchase field equipment for our surveying volunteer team
These trail cams and guides, will allow us to monitor some of the more elusive and nocturnal species we have in our area - we often see evidence of their presence, but can rarely capture any photographic or video evidence
Looking forward to sharing what we find!
Time to put forward your best wildlife photos for Wild Marlow’s stunning photo competition 2024 The perfect chance for children to get involved with wildlife.
Budding young photographers and experienced amateur ‘snappers’ in Marlow are invited to take part in our bi-annual wildlife photo competition. Entry is free, and there’s a total of £300 in prize money to be won The competition is open to everyone, of all ages and abilities — except professional photographers.
The judges are looking forward to some fabulous pictures of Marlow’s wide range of wildlife. We’re hoping for even more entries this time – so please get out your cameras and enter.
The best photos in each category will be featured at the 2024 Wild Marlow photo exhibition and in the Wild Marlow 2025 calendar.
Terms and conditions can be found at https://www.wildmarlow.org.uk/competition.php
Previous winning entries by Paris Losasso and Graham Parkinson
On Saturday 29th July, we held a pop-up Bee Buffet stall at Emmetts Farm Shop in Little Marlow
We gave away a huge range of native and bee friendly plants that our wonderful volunteers have been nurturing from seeds and cuttings, perfect for creating pollinator patches and pit-stops in your gardens
All these plants will help our precious bees and other pollinators, contributing to Marlow's Nature Corridor
Thank you to everyone who came along to support us please, helping our local wildlife. We were thrilled with all the donations received
We had a super glow worm hunt on Friday 28th July, at Spade Oak Nature Reserve
A great turn out from enthusiastic attendees and these amazing little beetles
We all counted 38 on our route - a record for this Wild Marlow species event
Thanks to local expert Robin and chief counter Amilie for their help
Pop along to our pop-up Bee Buffet outside Emmett's Farm Shop in Little Marlow. Our wonderful volunteers have been nurturing some native plants, herbs and wildflowers, perfect for taking home for your gardens, to create a pit-stop for pollinators
Plants are available to take away for a small donation. All proceeds go towards wildlife projects in and around Marlow
Lovely to stop by Liston Hall to chat about the progress of their wild garden
We were very happy to donate some pots of native wildflowers, grown by some of our wonderful volunteers, providing a bee buffet
We could already spot some critters making the most of this resource in a very busy urban space The Jersey tiger moth and peacock butterfly were less willing to pose for the camera
The annual Swan Upping team is due to arrive in Marlow on Tuesday 18th in the evening at around 5.30pm
A lovely traditional display but also a really important activity for monitoring the populations and health of these iconic birds on the River Thames
Why not pop along this evening at Marlow Lock or the slipway near The Two Brewers. Or you can see them depart for their onward journey tomorrow morning from 9am at Marlow Bridge.
Butterfly Conservation's Big Butterfly Count has been launched A really great activity for some family fun or quiet mindfulness, that only takes just 15 minutes - https://bigbutterflycount.butterfly-conservation.org/
All the data gathered, whether high or low numbers, provides vital information of populations and trends; helping to assess the heath of our environment, taking 'nature's pulse'
If you'd like some expert help in identifying your peacock from your red admiral, or your skipper from your comma, then why not come along to our Beautiful Butterflies event in Munces Wood, Marlow Bottom on Sunday 23rd July (11am-1pm). BC and Wild Marlow volunteer Martin, will be on hand to help and tell you some fascinating facts about different species, life cycles, preferred plants, migrating patterns and much more (Booking essential firstname.lastname@example.org).
In June we donated native wildflower seeds to Burford Primary School, so they could make some seed bombs. The students had a great time making them and they look bee-autiful
It is with enormous sadness that we have to make the very difficult decision to cancel the Bee Festival planned for Saturday 15th July in Higginson Park, Marlow.
Unfortunately the weather warning in place and conditions set by the land owner, mean we cannot safely and feasibly proceed.
We completely understand the time, effort and expense that goes into preparing for these events and if we can find another date soon, we will of course be in touch.
We are so sorry for the disappointment and inconvenience this will cause.
10-17 July 2023 is #BeesNeedsWeek and Wild Marlow is hosting another Bee Festival in Higginson Park, Marlow this Saturday
For advice from the experts on what we can all do to support these valuable pollinators, family fun with crafts, games & storytelling, stunning gifts and tasty treats as well as a native Bee Buffet plant stand, there is something for everyone at this free community event
Come down between 10.00am and 3.00pm and see what all the buzz is about
We had good fortune for Wild Marlow’s Wednesday (5th) evening Swift walk this week.
Good weather with sunshine and a clear sunset meant that a fair number of swifts were out and about again over central Marlow after being largely absent or keeping a low profile during the recent rather poor, cool, grey weather.
We had good sightings right through the evening, even up to nearly 10pm when it was nearly dark. Our most exciting sightings were spotting several instances of a swift swooping into its nest site under eaves, or of one dropping out into flight for a new insect-gathering foray.
Swifts enter and leave their nest sites silently and so quickly that entries and exits can happen in the blink of an eye, so it is always a treat to spot this behaviour.
Fascinating fact: it is calculated that swifts can approach their nest sites at up to 40mph, braking only in the very last second. The speed and accuracy of their flight is always a wonder, however many times one watches swifts!
Photo: Jon Perry: One of the swifts we saw, on a low-level flight-path in central Marlow!
Prepare for a loud buzzing sound in Higginson Park at Wild Marlow’s Bee Festival on Saturday 15th July!
The event will celebrate bees in every way. There’ll be walks, talks and live hive demonstrations by High Wycombe Beekeepers’ Association, fun activities for families and many bee-themed products for sale
Wild Marlow’s Bee Buffet will offer pollinator-friendly plants, together with plenty of advice on how to encourage bees to visit your garden, however small, so you can join in the Bee Town Marlow campaign, contributing to Marlow’s Nature Corridor
Please come and help us celebrate and support our vital bee population, and learn how we can help attract and support bees in our gardens and green spaces
1-9 July is Swift Awareness Week and at Wild Marlow we love these amazing birds
We are lucky enough to have a few popular areas for swifts around Marlow - our resident expert will be leading a guided walk on Wednesday evening if you'd like to know where they are - https://www.wildmarlow.org.uk/events.php
However their numbers are in dramatic decline and they desperately need our help to find suitable breeding spots, when they travel all the way from Africa in spring, to arrive home in Marlow. If you think you have a building that could house a swift box, please do get in touch with us or Bisham Nest Box Group - https://www.bnbg.org.uk/
You may have seen some boxes already up around Marlow, on domestic properties as well as Rebellion Brewery, St John the Baptist Church, Little Marlow, The Royal Oak
For more information on this incredible species, check out our blogs and the RSPB website
And if you spot some when you look up, report your sightings so we can gather data providing population and trend information - https://www.rspb.org.uk/.../safeguarding.../swiftmapper/
Just 2 weeks to go until the Wild Marlow Bee Festival in Higginson Park
Such a great free family friendly event, celebrating these vital creatures, with fun facts, activities, gifts and products - there's something for everyone
We hope to see you there
On Sunday 25th June, we had perfect hot sunny weather for butterfly spotting at our event in Homefield Wood. Wild Marlow and Butterfly Conservation Volunteer Martin, was on hand to help with the identification and share his knowledge of these beautifu creatures 🦋
Here's a list of what we saw in just a couple of hours. We were especially delighted with a pair of White Admiral, seen courting or jousting in the trees 💚
Small/essex skipper, small skipper, large white, red admiral, white admiral, comma, sliver-washed fritillary, speckled wood, marbled white, meadow brown, ringlet and small heath
We are gearing up for our second Bee Festival to be held in Higginson Park on Saturday 15th july - 10.00am - 3.00pm 🐝💚
To celebrate Swift Awareness Week 2023, we are hosting a guided walk with our resident Swift expert Catherine Day (Wild Marlow & RSPB volunteer) - a leisurely walk around the streets of Marlow, hopefully witnessing the famous swift 'screaming parties' often heard at certain spots around our town. Catherine will be able to tell you all about these amazing birds, their incredible journey back home every summer and what we can do to help them.
These birds are incredibly fast and exciting, especially in their evening flying displays. They are easily seen without binoculars, so families are very welcome. (As we will be walking around town, children should be accompanied and recommend 8 yrs+)
Meeting Point: The town map at the entrance to Riley Road car park (behind Sainsbury's)
Free to paid up Members, £3 to non-members
19th - 25th June is Insect Week 2023, and we will be sharing top tips on our Facebook feed, on how you can help bees in your spaces. Check them out and join in the Bee Town Marlow campaign to support these incredibly valuable insects #BeeTownMarlow
Lots of batty volunteers supporting us with a soprano pipistrelle maternity roost survey at Little Marlow Church this evening
Around 170 individuals spotted emerging. We’ll be back in a few weeks once the pups start flying to do a recount
Berkshire & South Buckinghamshire Bat Group
Bat Conservation Trust
Bats in Churches
National Bat Monitoring Programme
Really pleased to be able to support Great Marlow School today with the restoration of their valuable urban pond. The staff, pupils and Softcat volunteers did a fantastic job and we can’t wait to see it settle in and discover all the wildlife that will love the new haven
There is already a smooth newt making a reservation
June 7th is World Swift Day and at Wild Marlow we love swifts
These amazing birds travel thousands of miles every year to come to the UK to breed and we are lucky enough to see them in our town
However they are red listed and desperately need our help as their breeding habitats disappear from our buildings
To find our more about these incredibly birds, that spend their whole lives on the wing, check out the blog from Wild Marlow and RSPB volunteer Catherine Day and come along to her event on 5th July in Marlow
𝐁𝐮𝐠𝐬 𝐌𝐚𝐭𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝐢𝐬 𝐁𝐚𝐜𝐤!from Buglife - The Invertebrate Conservation Trust
June 1 sees the start of the 𝐵𝑢𝑔𝑠 𝑀𝑎𝑡𝑡𝑒𝑟 survey season. Where Citizen Scientists across the UK make their car journeys count. And, this year it's even easier to take part!
Have you noticed a lack of buzzing and flapping in your gardens? Maybe you're not experiencing a silent spring but are still concerned about our insect populations? This is the survey for you!
𝐈𝐟 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐡𝐚𝐯𝐞 𝐚 𝐒𝐦𝐚𝐫𝐭𝐩𝐡𝐨𝐧𝐞 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐚𝐫𝐞 𝐭𝐫𝐚𝐯𝐞𝐥𝐥𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐰𝐨𝐫𝐤 𝐨𝐫 𝐩𝐥𝐞𝐚𝐬𝐮𝐫𝐞, 𝐰𝐡𝐲 𝐧𝐨𝐭 𝐭𝐚𝐤𝐞 𝐩𝐚𝐫𝐭? 𝐘𝐨𝐮 𝐜𝐚𝐧 𝐝𝐨 𝐬𝐨 𝐟𝐨𝐥𝐥𝐨𝐰𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐬𝐞 𝐞𝐚𝐬𝐲 𝐬𝐭𝐞𝐩𝐬:
Download the app which is available free in both IOS and Android.
Create an account to sign up.
Start surveying on any journey you make in a vehicle between 1 June to 31 August.
The more journeys you conduct the survey on, the better – and counts of zero bugs are just as important to submit.
𝐌𝐚𝐤𝐞 𝐞𝐯𝐞𝐫𝐲 𝐜𝐚𝐫 𝐣𝐨𝐮𝐫𝐧𝐞𝐲 𝐜𝐨𝐮𝐧𝐭 𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐬 𝐬𝐮𝐦𝐦𝐞𝐫
Mourning bee by Graham Parkinson
With the warmer weather comes the perfect oppotunity to get out in nature, see what you can find and help to gather really valuable data
There is so much to see at this busy time of year for wildlife What will you find?
Share your sightings and let others know about the wonderful wildlife we are so lucky to have on our doorstep
A wonderful sunny morning spent at Marlow’s SSSI Homefield Wood, on Sunday 21st May, on our annual orchid hunt event
As ever a huge thanks to BBOWT’s Chris and Phil for sharing their expert knowledge on this wonderful site and the 13 different species of orchids that flower there during the year. Today we found 8 orchid species:
Military orchid (star of the show as only found on 3 sites in the Uk)
Bird’s nest orchid
Common spotted orchid
Early purple orchid
We we’re also lucky enough to spot two slow worms a glow worm larvae holly blues adder’s tongue fern and a fire crest
What a great time at this amazing site. Highly recommend a visit!
Saturday 20th May is World Bee Day
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
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
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
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
Fantastic morning on Saturday 13th May 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
The River Chess stretch came up trumps with multiple water vole feeding signs and latrines, with some otter spraint thrown in for good measure Great to be able to get out and see signs in the field, so we understand what to look for when back home.
Have you been inspired by TheBigHelpOut and want to get involved with a local community group, volunteering to make a difference?
Wild Marlow always needs volunteers You do not need to have any previous knowledge or experience of wildlife and nature conservation, just a willingness to get stuck in, working alongside other enthusiastic volunteers.
There are many different tasks we need help with, so we can find something to suit anyone;
event planning and delivery
equipment set up
young people engagement
plus much more...........
We are hosting the Marlow Bee Festival on Saturday 15th July in Higginson Park If you'd like to come along and help us to put on another amazing festival, please do get in touch - email@example.com. Remember no experience or knowledge necessary!
Incident on the peregrine platform on Tuesday 2nd May in the afternoon.
The activities of the adult pigeons, caught the attention of a crow. They were no match so sadly the crow killed the chicks. Possibly to feed their own.
Corvids are very clever birds, so it was only a matter of time, as the platform and nest are not well hidden.
Sad for us as we won't get to witness the pigeon chicks growing, but a reminder of how brutal nature can be. Every species needs to feed to survive.
Hurray! May has arrived which means it's time to liberate your lawns
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
The weather really came up trumps for our Wild Marlow Woodland Dawn Chorus Walk on Sunday 30th April morning.
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.
Bluetits 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 today. 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!
Please do consider nominating us, for a chance to win £1,000 for our wildlife projects across Marlow
The Bisham Nest Box Group Dream Team were out installing another lovely swift box this week, this time at the church in Little Marlow 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
And sign this petition to make swift bricks compulsory in new build properties https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/626737
URGENT - Please helps us protect our local wildlife
90 acres of vital wildlife habitats, home to multiple protected species is currently at risk
The proposed Film Studio can be built on a more appropriate site, our wildlife cannot move
Please try to save our wildlife by commenting on the planning portal
Advice on how can be found here - https://savemarlowsgreenbelt.org/object/
Not quite the news we were hoping to share, however here’s the female pigeon with her eggs on the peregrine’s platform today. Quick change in incubating duty allows us to see there are at least two eggs
Great to go along to WildCookham’s April Voles Day meeting on Saturday, to discuss their Water Vole project and the possibility of extending it down river to Marlow
We have been putting off this post as clinging on to the hope they may just be a little later this year, however it is now safe to say Marly and Roy haven’t returned to All Saints' Church this year.
It is possible we may well have lost one or both over winter – we have had the nasty bird flu outbreak to add to the dangers this year sadly.
However, sometimes Peregrines will have two or three nest locations in a rural cliff/quarry territory, so it is always possible there is another nest site somewhere that we haven’t discovered.
We will really miss watching them this year. We do have a pair of feral pigeons who have taken advantage of the ‘des res’ and laid an egg yesterday, which they are dutifully incubating. We will share their story as much as we can - have you ever seen a pigeon chick?
Have you spotted a bee yet this year?
Bees are now starting to appear, desperate to find food sources in the valuable spring flowers. If you haven't got any flowers in your outdoor spaces yet, why not treat yourself and our vital pollinators, by picking something up this weekend?
Wild Marlow has been out spreading the word about how important these amazing creatures are and advising on how we can ALL help them by providing food sources, water and habitats
The 3rd Marlow Guides had a really fun session building bee hotels for solitary bees this week, plus all the primary school children in Marlow have recently been gifted a packet of native wildflower seeds to sow
The weather is doing a great job filling up the birdbaths, bowls and saucers put out
Join in the important Bee Town Marlow project and create a pollinator pit stop in your garden or outdoor space, contributing to the nature corridor across our urban environment #beetownmarlow
One of our wonderful volunteers Trevor, has been busy delivering the wildflower seed packs to all the schools in Marlow
In the last few weeks, some of the wonderful Wild Marlow volunteers have held wildflower seed packet stuffing sessions 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
Across Marlow, all these patches will form a 'nature corridor' allowing our most important pollinators to do their important job and thrive
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
Sadly a pair of beautiful swans from Spade Oak Lake, recently succumbed to the deadly bird flu, which is still having devastating affects on our wildlife, locally and nationally
The pair were recovered by the wonderful people from Swan Support, who confirmed the suspected cause. This organisation does vital work to help our swans, as well as many other water birds, and as a charity they rely heavily on donations to support their work.
If you can help this amazing group please do - http://www.swansupport.org.uk/
If you find an injured or sick swan (or other large water bird), please contacted them ASAP to see if they are able to help - 07968 868172 or 01628 876336. Please do not attempt to rescue yourself at this time, without expert guidance.
Tiggywinkles Wildlife Hospital is another amazing organisation doing great work, who also need our support to continue helping all our wonderful wildlife - https://www.sttiggywinkles.org.uk/ 01844 292292.
Another fabulous Wildlife Photography Hotspot Tour with Neil Richards Wildlife Photographer
A little quieter than usual at Spade Oak Lake this morning, but a good list of sightings:
carrion crow, great crested grebe, coot, gadwall, tufted duck, pochard, mallard, goldcrest, blackbird, red kite, wood pigeon, redwing, grey heron, teal, Canada goose, lapwing, black headed gull, shovelor, long tailed tit, cormorant, dunnock, moorhen, robin, chiff chaff, blue tit, greenfinch, song thrush, greenfinch, goldfinch, buzzard, ring necked parakeet, jackdaw
We are deliighted to have been awarded the Marlow FM Hidden Gems Award for Best Special Interest Group.
Thank you to everyone who nominated us and who voted for us to win.
Nice for some of us to be able to swap our muddy clothes and boots for something a bit more glam at the awards ceremony!
A really enjoyable winter woodland walk this morning, in Bisham Woods Thanks to Brian Clews from WildCookham for sharing his knowledge about the site
There were signs that spring is on its way, popping up all over
We also had quite a few birds to spot, all finding their voices and getting ready for the new breeding season:
Raven, nuthatch, song thrush, jay, skylark, long tailed tit, tree creeper, great tit, blue tit, goldfinch, dunnock, robin, ring necked parakeet, buzzard, blackbird, great spotted woodpecker, wood pigeon
Here are two ID charts of birds you are more likely to see in your garden – perfect for the Big Garden Birdwatch. To find out more about these species and hear their songs – and to ID more unusual birds – Click Here to take you to the RSPB's 'Find A Bird' pages on their website.
If the birds seem to be ignoring your garden during your chosen hour, it doesn’t matter. Please still submit your results to the RSPB, however few birds you see. A low or nil result is just as important as a plentiful result.
If you have time to do another birdwatch this weekend, you could always choose another hour later today or tomorrow (Sunday) to see if you fare better. But be sure to submit the results of only ONE of your birdwatch hours!
💚 Enjoy your birdwatch! 💚
Please take part in the Big Garden Birdwatch! It starts tomorrow and continues Sat and Sun (27th–29th Jan)
Choose one hour and sit and watch how many birds visit your garden or patch. To count, they must land on the ground, trees, shrubs or fences in your garden/chosen space. Those simply flying over don’t count!
A quick reminder of how to count:
Count the maximum number of each species you see at any one time (not the total number of visits made by individual birds).
E.g. if you see one robin visit five times during your chosen hour, your result to record will be one robin; if you see one robin visit three times, and two robins visit together once, you record two robins as your maximum. If you see four goldfinches in your garden at the beginning of your hour, then five together on a later visit, then three on another visit, you record five goldfinches as your maximum number of goldfinches seen together; etc.
To submit your results, sign up on the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch web page:
Get ready to count your garden birds during the RSPB BIG GARDEN BIRDWATCH, coming up next week on 27 – 29 January!
Keep your feeders topped up in the run-up to the big count in order to have the best chance of spotting as many of your regular avian visitors as possible during the hour you choose to count them – and maybe you’ll even get one or two more unusual species.
Now is also a good moment to give your bird feeders and bird baths a good clean in preparation, especially as so many of us have been have been paying special attention to feeding our garden birds to keep them supplied with nutritious food and unfrozen water during this winter’s very cold weather.
Regular cleaning is, of course, always vital to keep your garden birds healthy. The RSPB has excellent handy tips on the best way to clean feeders and bird baths on their website: https://www.rspb.org.uk/.../keep-your-garden-birds-healthy/
A really successful morning, despite the weather, for everyone who braved the conditions, for our Winter Birds Guided Walk at Spade Oak Lake Nature Reserve today
Special thanks to Paul and Jackie from Bucks Bird Club who helped us spot and identify 39 species;
Black-headed gull, blackbird, blue tit, Canada goose, carrion crow, chiffchaff, common gull, coot, cormorant, Egyptian goose, gadwall, goldcrest, great black-backed gull, great crested grebe, great tit, grey heron, greylag goose, jay, lapwing, little grebe, long-tailed tit, magpie, mallard, mistle thrush, moorhen, mute swan, pochard, red kite, redwing, ring-necked parakeet, robin, shoveler, siskin, snipe, teal, tufted duck, wigeon, woodpigeon, wren
A bright and breezy morning at the top of All Saints' Church Marlow spire on 29th December, to get the peregrine falcon nesting platform and cameras ready for a new breeding season - talons crossed
Special thanks as always to Blue Chip Security and the Church Steeple Keeper volunteer for their help
The Wild Marlow steering group met for a Christmas social last night. Sadly not everyone could make it but it was lovely to have an event where we came together and stayed clean and warm
Thank you to the whole team for all their hard work and support this year. Looking forward to 2023 with all the exciting projects we have planned
We are so pleased to see the excellent and thorough response from the Buckinghamshire Council Ecology Officer, regarding the ecology statements submitted for the proposed development of the film studios.
“The fundamental problem with the application is the location in which it is proposed”
They highlight the “very substantial” Biodiversity Net Loss that would occur with the information provided by the developers, but also question the accuracy of the information, whether the existing value has been recorded correctly and states that the actual loss would be much greater. They also mention that correct process has not been followed through mitigation and the offsetting compensation proposed is unacceptable, and in breach of Local Plan policies DM34 and RUR4.
The developers have ignored designations put in place to protect the ecology of the proposed site, downplayed the ecological value of existing wildlife habitats, and failed to follow proper procedure when carrying out the ecological surveys to establish baseline information. It is recommended that surveys are carried out again to establish an accurate record.
This response is so important for the wildlife and biodiversity of the area and we are very happy the value has been recognised and documented by Bucks Council
The full statement can be read on the planning portal - https://publicaccess.wycombe.gov.uk/
SUnday 11th December provided us with very cold and misty for our Wildlife Photography Hotspots Tour at Spade Oak Lake Nature Reserve. Despite the conditions, we managed to spot 23 bird species, including a very obliging kingfisher who posed for us for quite a few minutes
Robin, shelduck, buzzard, wood pigeon, carrion crow, long tailed tit, cormorant, heron, black headed gull, coot, moorhen, teal, tufted duck, great crested grebe, mallard, shoveler, wren, red kite, great tit, mute swan, snipe, black cap, little egret, blackbird, gold crest, coal tit, kingfisher
Well done to everyone who braved the cold to come along to this popular event, and espeically Neil Richards for sharing his extensive knowlede and experience
On Sunday 27th November, Wild Marlow held a practical conservation workparty at the Little Marlow Cemetery in Fern Lane, to support Little Marlow Parish Council, who manage the site. Our amazing volunteers braved the dull weather conditions, working very hard, creating valuable wildlife habitats on the site and earning their Sunday dinner.
We are really pleased with everything achieved and hope it is just the start of more wildlife friendly projects for the area - we look forward to seeing the results of our hard work in years to come. One the day we managed:
planting mixed native hedgerow whips to provide food and shelter
hazel coppice area to provide food, shelter and hazel stakes for future hedge laying
spring bulbs to provide early nectar for pollinators
tawny owl, bird, bat and bee boxes
hibernaculum shelter for amphibians and reptiles
stumpery to support local stag beetle populations
brash pile to provide shelter
composts area to provide an area to dispose of organic waste from the site, also providing shelter
log piles to provide shelter
Thank you to everyone for your hard work and support, to Bisham Nest Box Group for helping to put up the boxes, Wycombe Wildlife Group for funding the hedging whips and bulbs, Little Marlow Village Fete Committee for the donation to help fund the nesting boxes and Little Marlow Parish Council for volunteering and allowing us to create the valuable habitats.
Great fun doing a Christmassy stall at the Marlow Football Club event on Friday 25th Nov - ho ho ho!
It's been great attending two Saturday Marlow Markets this month, speaking to lots of residents and visitors about our work and selling our beautiful calendars - we've had some fantastic feedback and are thrilled so many people are choosing to support us 💚
Out final market presence will be on Friday 25th November at Marlow Football Club from 4pm - 9pm. Do come along and see us!
We had great fun this afternoon making garden bird boxes with some of the Marlow Ukrainian families - the kids loved it too
The boxes were taken home to be put up in the gardens of the hosting families or given as gifts
Thank you so much for your support Bisham Nest Box Group, The Ark Café, Marlow Methodist Church and of course our amazing Wild Marlow volunteers
Wild Marlow’s exhibition of the winning photos in its Wildlife Photo Competition was held on Saturday, 22nd October, at All Saints’ Church Hall on The Causeway. All the winning photos were on display, and visitors voted for the ‘People’s Choice’ from 24 pictures selected by the judges.
It was a very close contest, with a clear winner — Dawn Delight by Victoria Paull. Over 300 visitors participated in the vote.
Verity West of Wild Marlow presented prizes to the overall winner of the competition, Graham Parkinson, with his photo: Hettie Came to Tea and to the winner of the Junior School category, Lucas Jacob, aged 6, for Looking up from within the Seven Sisters. The winner of the Senior School prize was fourteen-year-old Benjamin Tattershall Dodd, for his picture, Blue Eyed Bird.
“It’s wonderful to see the range and variety of wildlife in our area demonstrated by such fantastic photographs,” Verity said. “We very much hope this competition will encourage people to appreciate and nurture our precious local wildlife. The judges were impressed by the outstanding quality of the entries, and I’m sure they’d agree we have some very worthy winners this year.”
The winning photos including the People’s Choice are in Wild Marlow’s 2023 calendar, available (£10) from www.wildmarlow.org.uk, The Marlow Bookshop, 23 Living, FourState, Burger’s and upcoming Marlow Markets.
Hot off the press!
Our stunning 2023 calendars are now available to purchase - just in time for Christmas!
The calendar has been produced using photos entered into the photo competition, the aim of which was to stimulate interest in and appreciation of the wildlife and habitats in the Marlow area. The competition was open to amateurs of all ages and avilities. The standard of entries was very high and the judges had to make some difficult choices. The calendar features 12 of the best photos chosen, as well as thumbnails for an additional 12 highly commended by the judges.
Calandars will be avaiable to purchase at our Photo Exhibition on 22nd October and at various Marlow Markets - see our events section for details.
Calendars are £10 each or three for £25 - they make great Christmas presents for friends and family!
You can also purchase the calendars by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org - we will deliver for free in Marlow, or post for an additional £2
All funds raised go towards helping us deliver our projects across the Marlow area.
We are thrilled to announce the winners of this year’s wildlife photo competition
The winner of the Junior School category is Lucas Jacob, aged 6, with his photo: Looking up from within the Seven Sisters. The Senior School prize goes to fourteen-year-old Benjamin Tattershall Dodd, with his picture: Blue Eyed Bird; and Graham Parkinson wins the adult category and is the overall winner with Hettie Came to Tea.
Judging was even harder this time round, with more entries than ever — over one hundred. The quality of the pictures overall was extremely high and the judges had quite a job to make their choices. The competition provides a fantastic showcase for the wonderful wildlife we encounter in and around Marlow
Each winning photo will feature in the Wild Marlow Calendar for 2023, with the overall winner’s photo on the front cover. The calendars will be sold at £10 each or three for £25 and will be available from Saturday, 22nd October at an exhibition at All Saints’ Church Hall, The Causeway, Marlow. Here the winners will receive their prizes, the winning photos will be on display and visitors will be able to vote for the People’s Choice Award. The exhibition is free to enter and will open from 10.00am – 5.00pm.
Calendars can also be purchased at future Marlow markets.
On Sunday 2nd October, we were delighted to join other local green groups to take part in the Marlow leg of the Bucks Climate Change Relay, a symbolic walk to connect and pass on the ‘Climate’ baton to raise awareness of Climate Change, carrying our collective requests (3 top priorities) for Buckinghamshire Council when it comes to acting on Climate Change.
After a survey of Marlow residents, our top three Climate Change requests to Buckinghamshire Council are:
1. Prevent inappropriate developments within our valuable carbon and water-capturing Greenbelt, from bringing further traffic, pollution and concrete to our green open spaces
2. Protect and enhance our wildlife-rich habitats, supporting multiple protected and propriety species, to create a balanced ecosystem and help nature recover
3. Restoring water quality in the Thames River
Great family fun at Marlow Carnival on Saturday 1st October
Thanks to everyone who popped by to get involved with making bird boxes, creating our bee freize and helping us raise money.
Huge thanks to all our volunteers for helping out and Bisham Nest Box Group for their support
A really great morning was had on 24th Sept at our our Faubulous Fungi walk 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 year's 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. What great names some of these species have!
Wood Mushroom, False Death Cap, Tawny Grisette, Fly Agaric, Panthercap, Deathcap, Blusher, Penny Bun / Cep, Brown Puffball, Small Stagshorn, Aniseed Funnel, Glistening Inkcap, Blushing Bracket, Birch Polypore, Southern Bracket, Russet Toughshank, Spindle Toughshank, False Chanterelle, Sulphur Tuft, Common Funnel, Lactarius fluens, Pale Milkcap, Oakbug Milkcap, Collared Parachute, Whitelaced Shank, Angel's Bonnet, Saffrondrop Bonnet, Blackedge Bonnet, Lilac Bonnet, Porcelain Fungus, Scarletina bolete, Brown Rollrim, Dyer's Mazegill, Upright Coral, Dawn Brittlegill, Rosy Brittlegill, The Flirt, Deceiving Bolete, Larch Bolete, Turkeytail, Sepia Bolete, Rooting Shank, Common Tarcrust, Beech Woodwart, Bolete Mould, Pink Polypore Mould.
Thanks Penny and our wonderful Wild Marlow volunteers for putting on another interesting and enjoyable event
Very sad to report that one of this years young peregrine falcons (TCS), from All Saints' Church nesting platform, has been recovered dead near Braywick. There was no indication on casue. Very sad news but we hope the other three are still doing ok.
At the beginning of the month we had a really great event all about marvellous moths
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
List of species: Orange Swift, Ypsolopha sequella, Carcina quercana, Blastobasis adustella, Pandemis corylana, Epiphyas postvittana, Oncocera semirubella, Agriphila geniculea, Oak Hook-tip, Chinese Character, Yellow Shell, Common Carpet, Green Carpet, Cypress Pug, Brimstone Moth, Dusky Thorn, Light Emerald, Snout, Ruby Tiger, Copper Underwing, Vine's Rustic, Old Lady, Straw Underwing, Flounced Rustic, Orange Sallow, Centre-barred Sallow, Feathered Gothic, White-point, Flame Shoulder, Large Yellow Underwing, Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing, Square-spot Rustic, Setaceous Hebrew Character.
Brilliant Bumblebee walk on Friday 26th, 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
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
It was a pleasure to attend the Little Marlow Village on the Bank Holiday Monday - such a lovely atmosphere with fun family friendly avtivities. Thanks to everyone who came to our stall to purchase bird and bee nesting boxes and other fundrising items.
Our fun competitions to name the bee-autiful crochet bumblebee and guess the number of honey sweets in the jar proved very popular!
Lovely morning spent in Munces Wood on Sunday 7th Aug, spotting and learning all about some of our beautiful butterflies on the wing currently Here’s a list of what we saw thanks to local expert Martin Robinson:
Common Blue, Holy Blue, Red Admiral, Speckled Wood, Meadow Brown, Gate keeper, Small White, Large White, Large Skipper, Green - Veined White, Silver - washed Fritillary
Plus a rather striking Jersey Tiger Moth!
Stunning photos from Jon Perry
We held a fun Glow Worm Hunt around Spade Oak Lake Nature Reserve on Friday 5th August - 16 pairs of eyes managed to spot 33
Well worth a visit for if you have never seen one before!
Water is vital for life, but it is in very short supply at the moment
In usual conditions, supplying water in your outdoor space, is the single most beneficial thing you can do to help wildlife - it is so much more important right now
So many species, flora and fauna are suffering as a result of this extended dry spell, so please do all you can to help
leave a bowl out for hedgehogs
put out a shallow dish for bees and other insects
fill up your bird baths
top up your ponds
Please also care for the new trees and plants that have been added to our community spaces recently - take a watering can or large bottle of water when you go out, to help them survive this long drought
Food will also be in short supply as fruit, nut and seed production will be affected - please keep your feeders topped up
And consider adding rain water butts for when it does rain, or digging a wildlife pond (when the ground is softer!)
Tips for adding water in your spaces can be found on our website - https://www.wildmarlow.org.uk/wilder_marlow.php
Wild Marlow objects to the loss of vital wildlife habitat, from the planning application threatening 90 acres of Greenbelt.
You can read the objection directly on the Bucks Council Planning Portal, Ref: Ref: 22/06443/FULEA or here.
A really fantastic bird box building workshop yesterday, with the Marlow Bottom Cubs
They all did a really great job, making 23 new robin and blue tit boxes, to take home and put up in their gardens. Fingers crossed for some successful nests next spring
We couldn’t do these events without the fantastic support from Bisham Nest Box Group, who provide the kits, tools and expertise Check out their website if you think you can give a home to wildlife with a nest box - many different species available - https://www.bnbg.org.uk/
Swifts are astonishing, awe-inspiring, and very, very special! To celebrate Swift Awareness Week 2022, we hosted some thoroughly enjoyable guided walks around Marlow town centre.
Wild Marlow and RSPB volunteer and all round Swift expert Catherine Day, visited the known hotspots, where attendees were rewarded with some fantastic flying displays of the 'screaming parties', showcasing what these amazing birds do best at mind blowing speeds!
We are lucky to have a small population of this species in Marlow, however they really need our help. Catherine and Bob from Bisham Nest Box Group were on hand to explain the lifestyles of swifts, the problems that they currently face with loss of nesting opportunities and what we can do to help them.
If you have swifts visiting your area and are interesting in putting up a box to help them, please do get in touch.
Another incredible success story for our Peregrine Falcon family at All Saints' Church this year. All four chicks have survived and fledged, thanks to the incredible hard work of Marly and Roy. The juveniles will now go in search of their own territories. All being well, Marly and Roy will return next year for another breeding season - good luck little ones!
Solitary Bee Week 2022 - here are some interesting facts about these vital polinators:
- Did you know that there are over 240 species of solitary bees in the UK alone, that make up around 90% of the bee population, who along with other pollinating insects, are responsible for one third of all the food we eat
- Did you know, solitary bees are not aggressive. The males generally have no sting and the female will only sting under extreme circumstances - such as being trodden on.
- They never swarm, and do not produce honey or have a queen
- Did you know, the majoirity of British solitary bees nest in the ground, excavating their own nests. The nest chamber is dug exclusively by the female. Several eggs are laid in each pollen-lined chamber but each one is seperated from the other by a partition wall. The chamber is then sealed up.
- Some species nest above ground, typically using old beetle holes; these are the species most likely to use artifical nests. Look out in particular for the red mason bee, the leaf cutter bee and the wool carder bee.
- Solitary bees are highly important pollinators. Most collect pollen on their legs on specialised hairs called the scopa.
- It has been estimated that a single red mason bee is equivalent to 120 worker honeybees in the pollination it provides.
- Most of our solitary bees are polylectic which means they collect pollen from a wide variety of plant species. However, several solitary bees specialise in collecting pollen from one genus or species of flowers or plants; this is known as oligolecty.
- Plants from the daisy and pea families are among the favourites of the bees that practice oligolecty.
Show some love for all our valuable bees Help us fundraise to deliver our projects in the area, by purchasing this local bee image, along with five others, in a set of blank cards. Just £5 per pack. Free local delivery
If anyone has any video footage of our juveniles from the ground, please do send it to us so we can add it to the footage reel, being created for the Peregrine Falcon event on 3rd July Thank you
Our photo competition is open to all amateurs, of all ages and abilities. It is free to enter and there are prizes to be won for three separate categories:
Senior school age
Junior school age
Take photos of any wildlife in the SL7 area, using whatever equipment you have and you may be lucky enough to feature in our 2023 calendar
It could be a beautiful butterfly, fabulous flower, interesting insect, busy bird, fantastic fungi, marvellous mammal, or anything else to celebrate and showcase our wonderful wildlife in and around Marlow
See our website for T&Cs and entry info https://www.wildmarlow.org.uk/competition.php
We've been contacted by MaidEnergy, who are undertaking a consultation for a feasibility study into the development of a hydropower project at Marlow weir.
The proposal is to install three Archimedes screws on the weir at Marlow, generating renewable energy that may be purchased locally and/or fed back into the national grid.
They would like your views using this short survey:
Wild Marlow will be concerned regarding any wildlife/biodiversity impact this potential may have, and will take a view accordingly after gathering all the relevant information and research
Our Survey Team were out supporting All Saints' Church and the 'Churches Count on Nature' initiative at the beginning of June. Churchyards make fantastic places for wildlife, if managed sensitively to create a harmonious balance between tended and valuable habitat.
We are pleased that the church is so supportive of doing more to support wildlife in it's urban setting, so we look forward to working with them and holding more evetns in the future.
Marlow’s first Bee Festival a huge success
There was plenty of buzzing about at Marlow’s first ever Bee Festival in Higginson Park last Saturday, 4th June, when around twenty stallholders, residents and visitors celebrated bees and pollinators in and around the town.
The event, organised by local volunteer charity Wild Marlow, was a key part of its project to make Marlow England’s first Bee Town, announced last week.
At the Festival the group showcased its work to support and encourage pollinators in the town, with bee-friendly plants for sale and information and advice for gardeners to help them support bees.
After rain and wind in the morning, the sun came out and stallholders were busy all day. High Wycombe Beekeepers’ Association brought a live hive and held talks and demonstrations, while a range of bee-themed products including honey and wax products, jewellery, books, art and crafts were on offer. Children enjoyed storytelling by Nan Eshelby from Bombus the Bee and Sara Louisa from Bettie Honeybee and had their faces painted in the storytelling tent. They also had great fun with pottery painting and colouring activities.
“We’re delighted with the interest we got at the Festival,” Verity West of Wild Marlow said. “So many people are already keen to help bees and other pollinators, and we were able to provide information and advice to support their efforts in gardens and public areas around the town.
“We’re continuing our campaign over the long term, developing many more initiatives to underpin our credentials as a Bee Town, and we hope to hold the Festival again in the future.”
We are thrilled to have support from Steve Backshall, President of Buglife and Berks, Bucks and Oxon Wildlife Trust
“We’re delighted to announce that Marlow is England’s first Bee Town,” Verity West of Wild Marlow said. “We’ve been working really hard for more than two years, to ensure that these vital creatures are supported and celebrated here in Marlow, and we’re hoping that everyone appreciates them in public spaces and in their gardens. We’re continuing our campaign, developing many more initiatives to underpin our credentials as a Bee Town. This is a long-term plan which is good for our town and good for our environment.”
On Saturday, June 4th, Wild Marlow is holding its first Bee Festival in the town’s Higginson Park, celebrating bees and other pollinators. Steve Backshall, a long-term local resident, said: “To everyone at Wild Marlow, what you’re doing to make Marlow the first Bee Town [in England] – that is absolutely right up my street! The idea that we’re becoming more friendly to pollinators and our native bugs is music to my ears. I’m very, very sorry I can’t be with you this time, as I’m going to be away filming – otherwise I’d be there with bells on! I just want to say have an amazing Festival and all the best from me!”
The Festival is designed to celebrate bees and other pollinators and to showcase Wild Marlow’s work on the Bee Town campaign. Stallholders include the High Wycombe Beekeepers Association, The Bumblebee Conservation Trust, Chiltern Bees, The Kiln Café with bee-themed pottery, Creature Candy, and the RSPB and many more. The Bee Festival will be a regular event, and it’s hoped that the event will grow in size and breadth and become an important feature in the town’s calendar
“Bees are crucial to the survival of the planet,” Verity said. “By supporting them, we can make a real difference to the environment, now and in the future.”
An important element of the campaign was the development and commitment from Marlow Town Council of a new pollinator policy for the town, which is being actioned. The policy includes: new pollinator-friendly revised grass cutting regimes; pollinator-friendly wildflower plantings in green spaces and road verges around the town; a ban on the use of toxic weed killers, in particular glyphosate; and a commitment to promote awareness among residents and visitors of the importance of supporting bees and other pollinators
“Feedback from residents, particularly regarding the beautiful wildflower areas around the town, has been very positive, and we’re delighted to commit our support to this campaign,” Jocelyn Towns, Deputy Mayor and Chairman of the Council’s Environment, Sustainability & Wellbeing Committee, said.
Wild Marlow has introduced a ‘Bee Town’ logo to highlight its activities. Events including bumblebee walks, beekeeping demonstrations, and talks have been ongoing since 2020. Wild Marlow regularly provides volunteers and advice to residents, local schools, businesses and landowners for their pollinator-friendly activities
We hope to see you on Saturday at the Bee Festival, 10.00 - 15.00 in Higginson Park
Watch video clip here
A sunny visit to a farm on the outskirts of Marlow today, where the landowner has implemented fabulous wildlife friendly practices, including a stunning and wonderfully biodiverse meadow. The range of chalk grassland species was amazing
A fantastic habitat for butterflies as proved during our survey, where we spotted 5 different species, out of 26 spotted on this site, including the first record of Grizzled Skipper. Also saw some rare Small Blues as well as Small Heaths, Speckled Woods and Common Blues
It's so encouraging to see the hard work of the landowner paying off by spotting these rare species
If you are interested in joining the Wild Marlow Survey Team, please do get in touch.
It's been a very big week for Marlow's Peregrines at All Saints Church Marlow
Anyone close to the church on the afternoon of Wednesday 25th may have heard parents Marly and Roy circling and alarm calling loudly. Their chicks received their ID rings, as part of a national monitoring program, which helps understand populations and trends. The practice is undertaken by experience licensed ringers, who fit two small lightweight rings to each leg. One metal with a long BTO number and one coloured plastic, with a short number, which is more easily visible for webcams and people with lenses. If these birds are spotted or recovered after fledging, the hope is their ID will be notified to BTO (British Trust for Ornithology) who can log the information provided. These rings have no detrimental impact on the birds, but really helps national studies on these schedule 1 protected birds.
One of the chicks has also been braving a little walk about off the nesting platform. As they all grow stronger ever day, quite visibly, they start to become more inquisitive and move around more, stretching their wings, gaining muscle strength. The dark tips you can see on the feathers are the wing and tail feather starting to emerge, which will soon replace all the fluffy white down.
They have also been seen picking at scraps themselves. Whilst the parents will continue to feed them for quite some time yet, the are also picking at bits in and around the platform.
At just 23 days old it's incredible how fast they grow up!
While checking the bird boxes in Higginson Park on Saturday 21st, we spotted our first Painted Lady butterfly of the year
These amazing butterflies have a fascinating story, which you can read about in our latest blog by local butterfly expert Martin
Have you spotted one yet this year?
Wild Marlow is holding the town’s first ever Bee Festival, showcasing its work to support and encourage pollinators of all kinds in the town,
Scheduled for Saturday, 4th June from 10.00 to 3.00 in Higginson Park — adjacent to the community market on The Causeway — the festival will celebrate all things bee-related, from honey to beeswax candles to bee-themed ceramics. Wild Marlow will offer bee-friendly plants for gardens, there will be talks and demonstrations with a live beehive by the High Wycombe Beekeepers’ Association. Guided walks around the park, identifying plants and flowers popular with bumblebees, will be offered by The Bumblebee Conservation Trust.
The Bee Festival will offer plenty of activities for children and families, including colouring-in, making bee bombs, face painting and much more.
“We want as many people as possible to come and learn about these amazing creatures and how vital they are for us and our environment,” Verity West of Wild Marlow said. “We’re hoping lots of people will visit the festival and learn how we can help attract and support bees in our gardens and green spaces.”
Marlow Town Council is an active supporter of bees and pollinators via its wildflower planting around the town, its bee-friendly grass-cutting plans and a newly adopted pollination policy. “We’re delighted to be working with Wild Marlow to support bees in the Marlow area, and we welcome the Bee Festival,” Mayor Richard Scott said. “We hope it helps more people understand how important bees and other pollinators are to sustainability and the environment in general.”
An amazing Wild Orchid event this morning at BBOWT’s SSSI Homefield Wood. This site is home to an incredible 12 species of wild orchid, 9 of which we say today:
- Common Spotted
- White Helleborine
- Broad Leaf Helleborine
- Birds Nest
Huge thanks to Volunteer Reserve Warden Philip, for his amazing knowledge of the site and species One of our favourite events of the year!
If you want to see the rare Military Orchid, it’s best seen in the next 7 days. This site is only 1 of 3 in the UK where they can be found
The bird box survey team were out in Higginson Park today.
Encouraging to see 12/14 boxes surveyed were made use of this year, by great or blue tits.
The data gathered is important to understand trends and populations of certain species and helps us to be aware if nearby practices/conditions are affecting success.
If you would like to get involved in this type of surveying activity, please get in touch. We need your help Training given
Marlow's Peregrines were on the BBC London News on Friday 13th May - exciting stuff!
You can catch-up on the clip via You Tube
An exciting and rewarding morning was had in May at Holy Trinity School in Marlow, where Wild Marlow teamed up with parents and outdoor teacher Meredith Tiala to help save the school's pond. The wildlife pond is over 20 years old and has fallen into disrepair but still provides a crucial resource for urban wildlife and learning.
It was incredible to see so many parents come to the rescue of this pond. There was a great community spirit and we got the job done quickly and efficiently.
Parent Julie-Anne Bergmans, who was helping on the day, said "I was so happy to be part of such a worthwhile project at my daughter's school, it is a haven for wildlife in the centre of our town and such a wonderful thing for the children and teachers to enjoy."
Part one of the project was to remove all faulty fencing, decking and concrete slabs. Access to the pond has been closed for a number of months as it is no longer safe.
In autumn, Wild Marlow will make necessary repairs to the pond which is currently described as 'tadpole soup' so that new decking and fencing can be installed that provides better and safe access for the children.
We are buzzing for our first ever Bee Festival on Saturday 4th June in Higginson Park. We will be celebrating all that is wonderful about bees and how to help these incredible creatures. Keep your eyes peeled for some very special rocks across Marlow in the coming days Please share all your finds here and on Marlow Rocks! UK Facebook page and spread the word about this exciting event filled with family fun, beautiful bee-loving plants, tasty treats and lovely gifts. Don’t forget to rehide for others to find and how about you paint your own? #Marlowbeefestival
On Saturday 7th May, we attended the Marlow May Fayre in Higginson Park - what a great event for bringing the community together and showcasing our exciting projects - thanks to everyone who stopped by and signed up to support our work!
Great to being able to catch up with the volunteers from Marlow Wombles and the Little Marlow Lakes Country Park - fantastic community collaboration.
5th May - Full house now, the fourth egg has hatched on the peregrine nesting platform at All Saints' Church
Check out our You Tube channel or social media platforms for daily clips as this amazing family grow
3rd May - The news we’ve been waiting for from Marlow's Peregrines
3.25 this morning, the first glimpse of the first newly hatched chick
Chick number 2 seen at 5.06
11.18 chick number 3
The effort of getting up well before dawn for a group of early birds among us rewarded with a spirited concert by the combined voices of the Spade Oak Nature Reserve’s songsters.
We met in the almost-dark at the car park, the air already alive with the songs of the real early birds – principally blackbirds, robins and wrens in the bushes and trees around it, and around the meadow. The light grew as we walked slowly across the meadow to the reserve itself, with blue tits, song thrushes and lots of blackcaps adding their song, followed by lots of chiffchaffs – obviously a good population of blackcaps and chiffchaffs all round the reserve, though invisible in the foliage and half-light!
We progressed slowly and, even though it was overcast, we observed how remarkably quickly the light suddenly increased very noticeably in the three or four minutes after the appointed time of sunrise, 05:32:30 hrs.
Once the light was well up, as well as listening to the chorus, we also enjoyed watching the terns become active and begin their day by swooping to catch insects off the lake’s surface and making lovely reflections in the water that was still as a millpond. There were also beautiful, still, soft green, grey-grey and blue-grey reflections from the fringing trees and vegetations. A counterpart to that were the noisy calls of the young herons families at the west side of the lake, with parents already busy flying back and forth with food for them.
We continued all round the lake and were rewarded with the sound of a sedge warbler or two in the reeds and a single brief outburst from a Cetti’s warbler. Shame he was perhaps feeling a bit shy as we didn’t hear him again!
Here’s a list of the birds we definitely heard on our way round:
Blackbird, robin, wren, song thrush, wood pigeon, blackcap, chiffchaff, greenfinch, blue tit, great tit, long-tailed tit, skylark, Cetti’s warbler, dunnock, whitethroat(?), plus jackdaw, pheasant, magpie, heron, coot, common tern, greylag geese. There no doubt several others in the chorus that were further from wherever we happened to be that were drowned for us out by the closer wrens, chiffchaffs, blackcaps, tits, robins and song thrushes – all in splendid full voice.
If you or anyone you know will be hosting visitors from Ukraine, who may be interested in coming along to any of our local wildlife events or taking part in some volunteering activities, please do get in touch with us. We would be delighted to welcome them and are offering free Membership
The British Hedgehog Preservation Society is celebrating its 40th birthday and it's the start of Hedgehog Awareness Week
To help our gorgeous spikey friends, why not consider taking these simple easy actions:
- have a gap in your garden boundary and join the Hedgehog Highway
- create an undisturbed log pile to provide shelter and food
- build a hedgehog home
- offer water and meaty pet food, perhaps even a feeding station
- check areas before mowing or strimming
- ditch the pesticides, you will help all wildlife!
- ensure ponds have a easy exit
The BHPS website offers some great information on these amazing creatures, their current struggles and how you can help them https://www.britishhedgehogs.org.uk/
Ready, steady, No Mow May
Give yourself, your mowers and wildlife a break this month, by joining in Plantlife's No Mow May campaign https://nomowmay.plantlife.org.uk/
Leaving your lawns will create food sources and habitats for our valuable pollinators
You may well be surprised by what grows when you give it a chance
Pair of Garganey showing at Spade Oak Lake Nature Reserve on 2nd April.
Photo: Dave Bevan
Great to talk to so many members of the public in person again, at the South West Chilterns Community Board Event in Higginson Park on Saturday 2nd April. Thank you to the new members that signed up to support our work. Exciting to talk about the upcoming projects and events we have in the diary for this year!
On Saturday 2nd April, Wild Marlow received a Proud of Bucks Award from Buckinghamshire Council’s South West Chilterns Community Board, presented by The Clare Foundation
Well done to all the Wild Marlow volunteers who made this happen Without you we couldn’t deliver the amazing projects celebrating and protecting the wildlife and biodiversity in and around Marlow.
We are proud of you - thank you!
On 31st March the Wild Marlow bird box survey volunteers, braved the elements the in Higginson Park wildlife area
Great to see 9 of the 15 tit boxes checked already have cosy nests ready and waiting.
28th March - Marlow Low Grounds
A possible Blue-winged Teal spotted by Dave Bevan (photo credit).
If confirmed a Buckinghamshire county first!
Follow @wildmarlow1 @Bucksbirdclub or @bucksalert on Twitter to keep updated on exciting sightings
Egg number 5 arrived at 3.13pm on 1st April
Egg number 3 arrived at 6.56am on 30th March
Egg number 2 arrived at 1.30am on 28th March!
Thrilled to announce we have our first peregrine falcon egg for this year Arrived today at 2.37pm
Well done Marly and Roy!
A big vote of thanks to Neil Richards for leading another of his wildlife photography tours of the Spade Oak Lake Nature Reserve yesterday morning. Your knowledge par excellence, Neil, of the lives and habits of its wild inhabitants and your advice on the best spots to try and get photos was brilliant
We all so appreciated your generosity in sharing your years of experience.
We had a lovely, sociable time and the springtime bird activity certainly entertained: herons arriving every two or three minutes with long sticks for their new nests, a great-crested grebe trying for ages to swallow a fish that was far too big for it (until eventually giving up!), chiffchaffs singing, three tiny Amber-listed Little ringed plovers racing about on their little legs, gadwalls in their elegant, finely-patterned plumage, to name but a few.
As Neil showed us, this really is a place to treasure
20th March - Dave Bevan reporting a Spoonbill at Spade Oak Lake Nature Reserve this afternoon! You don’t see them very often
Spending time in nature can work wonders Early morning is a great time to spot wildlife, before the world wakes up and goes about its busy day.
At Wild Marlow one of our aims is to celebrate the wonderful wildlife we have in and around Marlow, so you can learn to love it and help us to protect it, now and for the future.
This short video was created for us by local film maker and Wild Marlow volunteer Liam Rooney - Wild Marlow // Kingfishers in the mist on Vimeo
'Liam's production company creates specialist video marketing content which enables nature connected artists, brands and organizations to thrive. If you're looking to powerfully communicate who you are and what you do, drop him a line. https://liamrooneyproductions.com/
So excited to hear reports of mating on the spire this morning. Checked the cameras and we have the first footage of the season!
Both Marly and Roy, checking out the platform and Marly making a start on her scrape for the eggs - we’ll keep you updated.
Fabulous volunteer workparty in the Wildlife Area this morning, before the heavens opened
Cleaning of the nest boxes
Maintenance & tidy of young trees
Preparation of the wildflower patch
Obligatory litter picking
We had a pretty exciting find too
Thanks for all your hard work everyone and the scrummy cake Ann
Huge thank you to Neil Richards for a fantastic morning @ Spade Oak Lake Nature Reserve on Sunday 6th February. Sharing his knowledge and extensive experience spotting wildlife at this amazing place
The weather could have been better for us, but we saw some great sightings anyway:
Black headed gulls
Great crested grebes
And many more…
Now we know the good spots to go and see the wildlife when we are next there
Due to popular demand he will be back
It was blowing a hooley on the morning of 29th January, but we persevered and got the Peregrine Falcon nesting platform ready for the new season
We have an additional wider view camera this year, to take in any action on the parapet edge Thanks to our friends at Bisham Nest Box Group for the donation to help purchase this, and of course Blue Chip Security Ltd for their help installing and setting up.
Special thanks also to Andrew from All Saints' Church Marlow, for his continued help and support with this project.
Talons crossed everyone, for another successful breeding season Keep updated by following us on Facebook
On 17th December Verity from Wild Marlow had a chat on Wycombe Sound to explain why we feel the proposed Marlow Film Studio will be disastrous for wildlife
You can listen to it here (from 2.26)
You can also read our statement here
Beautiful blank cards/notelets for sale, featuring some stunning images from our 2019/2020 photo competition entries.
£5 per pack of six or £12 for three packs. We can deliver locally around Marlow.
Payment via bank transfer (Wild Marlow CIC 08-92-99 65889389) or PayPal please paypal.me/WildMarlowCIC
Email us for more information email@example.com
All proceeds go towards our wildlife projects in and around Marlow.
Last week our lovely friends at Bisham Barn Owl Group and Bisham Nest Box Group replaced one of the nesting boxes in Little Marlow
The local birds now have a deluxe home to help support them and hopefully breed from successfully next season
On checking a second box, a beautiful female was found, known to the group already as she was ringed locally in 2018 and bred successfully last year
Marlow Studio Project ‘disastrous’ for wildlife.
We are urging people who care about the environment and their local area to reject the proposed Marlow Studio Project on the Little Marlow Lakes Country Park.
“We’re calling on Marlow residents to help us protect this important wildlife area,” Natasha Somers of Wild Marlow said. “The project proposes to destroy 90 acres of currently wildlife-rich greenbelt land that the developers are calling ‘neglected’. Undisturbed land offers crucial havens for wildlife in our ever-urbanising landscapes. It provides vital habitats for many protected and priority species, including badgers, bats, owls, skylarks, kestrels, stag beetles and wild orchids. The land would be decimated by this development and the impact on wildlife would be disastrous.”
She went on to emphasise the negative effects of light and noise pollution on local wildlife — film sets operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year — and increased pollution from buildings and concrete rain run-off, affecting the water in nearby lakes and rivers.
Martin Robinson of Wild Marlow said: “This land supports many protected and notable species already fragmented by busy roads, and links important wildlife corridors in the area. It’s a designated country park, providing green spaces, an extensive network of popular footpaths, clean air and a space for exercise and enjoyment of nature.
“It seems to us that the government-required steps to protect wildlife have been ignored in the current plans. All developments must show a ‘net gain in biodiversity’ – a requirement in both national and local planning policy. In addition, there appear to be insufficient green buffers on site to protect adjacent habitats, not to mention the potential indirect impacts on internationally important sites within the local area, such as the Chiltern Beechwoods Special Area of Conservation.”
Wild Marlow will be opposing the planning application for the studio project in order to safeguard Marlow’s green spaces for the future. The application is expected to be submitted early in 2022. There is a public consultation running from Friday 3rd December for 9 days. Please do have a look at the scale of this develpment and feedback any concerns you have.
Bucks Fungi Group expert Penny Cullington treated us to two Fungi Forays in Pullingshill Wood. The array of weird and wonderful species did not disappoint.
Sunday 26th September saw us join forces with Bisham Nest Box Group to do a bird nest box building workshop with the young people from All Saints Church in Marlow. Everyone had a great time and the birds will be very greatful.
On 11th September we attended the Marlow Carnival with some fun activities for all, making bird boxes, designing a swift and making wildlife pledges Thanks to everyone who popped by.
BBOWT Reserves Officer Chirs and Volunteer Warden Philip provided us with a really enjoyable guided walk around Marlow's SSSi reserve Homefield Wood. Home to a number or rare plant species, this walk focused on the Chiltern Gentian, Buckinghmashire's country flower.
Wild Marlow have been invited to participate in the South Bucks Nature Forum. An initiative set up by MP Joy Morrissey to protect our valuable green open spaces.
Lovely to have the chance to show Marlow Camera Club around our wildlife rich area in the Little Marlow Lakes Country Park. We can't wait to see the photos!
Rose-Ann Movsovic from Berks & South Bucks Bat Group gave a fascinating insight into these fascinating creatures and we were rewarded with a great emergence display from St John the Baptist Church in Little Marlow, followed by a feeding frenzy at Spade Oak Lake. Six different species of bats were detected!
We were all buzzing after a bee-filled morning on Sunday 15th August, with the High Wycombe Beekeepers Association
Thank you to everyone who braved the surprisingly damp start to the morning and the kids all had a great time making their beeutiful creations!
After a very successful first breeding year for Marly and Roy, our fabulous peregrine falcons, three brave Wild Marlow volunteers with strong stomachs, climed the spire of All Saints' Church to clear up - great job guys!
On Tuesday 10th August, some of our members had a very enjoyable walk through Marlow town learning all about our bumblebees The passion and enthusiasm from expert Adrian Doble and his wife Lesley was infectious! Thank you!
The Greenbelt land inbetween Marlow and Little Marlow is currently under threat from a massive industrial development, despite the land being allocated to the Little Marlow Lakes Country Park in the adopted Local Plan. On Friday 6th August we showed Marlow Camera Club around some of the biodiversity rich area, where they could see just how valuable the land is to the thriving wildlife. Let's hope the rainbow that put in an appearance is a positive sign that we will get to enjoy it for many years to come.
More news on the development to come as and when available.
On 29th July we were thrilled to have local Moth expert Les Finch lead us in a Marvellous Moths event at Marlow Rugby Club. We learned so much about this important pollinating species, how to identify them and how to help them. Here is the list of species we spotted in the traps in just a short time:
Small Magpie, Mother of Pearl, Box Tree Moth, Oak Hook-tip, Least Carpet, Riband Wave, Brimstone Moth, Swallow-tailed Moth, Common Wave, Pale Prominent, Ruby Tiger, Buff Footman, Dingy Footman, Common Footman, Miller, Coronet, Tree-lichen Beauty, Cloaked Minor, Dun-bar, Double Square-spot
On 31st July the wonderful Wild Marlow volunteers took part in another workparty, creating habitats for wildlife. We were joined by some of the kids from Little Marlow village to build a fabulus bug hotel, as well as tidying up the car park area and creating some lovely log and brash piles.
If you'd like to join us for our volunteer workparties send us an email and we'll add you to our volunteer list.
On Tuesday 20th July the Royal Swan Uppers arrived in Marlow as part of their annual census. This wonderful spectacle used to predominantly be a cerimonial event, but these days it is an important element of wildlife conservation. A flotilla of traditional Thames rowing skiffs, manned by Swan Uppers in scarlet rowing shirts and headed by The Queen’s Swan Marker, wearing a hat with a white swan’s feather, row their way steadily up the Thames. ‘All up!’ they cry as a family of swans and cygnets is spotted, and the Swan Uppers carefully position their boats around the swans, lift them from the water and check their health. The Swan Marker’s iconic five-day journey upriver has been an annual ceremony for hundreds of years, and today it has two clear goals; conservation and education.
Swans are, of course, no longer eaten, but Swan Upping still takes place once a year on the River Thames. The Swan Uppers weigh and measure the cygnets and check them for any signs of injury, commonly caused by fishing hooks and line. The young cygnets are ringed with individual identification numbers that denote their ownership if they belong to the Vintners or the Dyers livery companies; they cygnets’ ownership is determined by their parentage. However, all Crown birds are left unmarked. The Queen retains the right to claim ownership of any unmarked mute swan swimming in open waters, but this right is mainly exercised on certain stretches of the River Thames.
Perfect sunny conditions on Sunday 18th July for our Beautiful Butterflies walk in BBOWT’s Homefield Wood this morning A wonderful site for butterflies as 30 out of the 60 UK species can be spotted there during the season.
We were thrilled to see 14 species in just over an hour! The purple emperor being the star of the show with the dancing silver washed fritillaries not far behind
Silver washed fritillary
Small or Essex skipper
Green veined white
We will be holding another guided walk with our local butterfly expert, on Sunday 8th August, so book your place to learn how to spot and ID these stunning creatures - https://www.wildmarlow.org.uk/events.php
Also the Butterfly Conservation Big Butterfly Count is going on at the moment. Take 15 mins to count and record what you see - even a zero count is valuable to understand populations trends.
So download your spotter sheet, grab a drink and sit in the sunshine all in the name of conservation citizen science https://bigbutterflycount.butterfly-conservation.org/
We were delighted to be involved in the first Eco-Schools Conference held on Monday 12th July. Unfortunately due to restrictions the conference had to go ahead online, but a wonderful 40min video was producted and streamed to all the schools participating across the Marlow area - Watch it here
After choosing their top priorities, pupils and teachers from the primary schools took part in a Eurovision-style video call to report on their pledges. This revealed the top five eco-priorities Marlow’s primary schools as being:
- make a home for bees
- do more recycling
- create a wildlife garden
- become plastic-free
- build a nature corridor
Individual schools pledged to work on lots of other projects, including: creating eco-teams, reducing food waste, doing more outdoor learning, using solar energy, making a vegetable patch, turning screens off, walking and cycling more, and encouraging fair trade.
We look forward to working with these schools in the future, helping to deliver their projects for wildlife.
On Monday 5th and Thursday 8th July, we held Swift Screaming Party Walks to celebrate Swift Awareness Week.
Although the weather conditions were far from perfect on the Monday, those that braved the rain were rewarded with some great displays. The weather was ideal for the follow up walk on the Thursday with even more fabulous displays. Local swift expert Catherine Day shared her knowledge and passion for these amazing birds and their incredible journey home every year to breed. We also learned what we can do do help these birds in fast decline, due to loss of breeding sites in our homes.
When the weather is warm, these 'Red-Arrows-of-the-bird-world' displays should continue until the end of July, when many will be starting their migration back to Africa. Remember to look up at any time of day or evening while it lasts and enjoy the swifts’ aerobatics!
On Sunday the 4th July, we held a peregrine falcon event in the town.The summer sunshine may not have been with us, but the Marlow peregrine family certainly were and many people enjoyed viewing them live through the scopes provided, asking the experts questions, looking through video footage and the monitoring camera stills, telling the whole story of the sucessful breeding season this year. The three chicks are now thriving, learning to fly and hunt and will be independent in a few weeks, off to find their own territories. Now is the chance to go and see them on the spire of All Saints church, before they leave for good. Marly and Roy (Mum and Dad) will remain the the area and hopefully breed again successfully next year.
On Saturday 3rd July, Wild Marlow attended the Marlow Market, to give away 74 dwarf sunflowers, to the residents of Marlow, adding to the community nature corridor pledges.
Our hope is that these plants for polinators, along with the additional pledges made, will create valuable food sources and habitats for wildlife across the town.
Make sure you submit your pledge - https://www.wildmarlow.org.uk/wilder_marlow.php
On Friday 2nd July, Wild Marlow did a sunset bat emergence survey at St John the Baptist Church in Little Marlow.
We were amazed at the numbers with 281 individuals counted coming out of just one gable end - incredible numbers.
We believe there is a maternity roost there, of both common and soprano pipistrelles.
On Sunday 20th June the Wild Marlow volunteers joined forces with the St John the Baptist Church in Little Marow to create some great new wildlife habitats in the church grounds. They now have two new stag beetle stumperys, two hedgehog homes, two bird boxes, some reptile stone piles, many log piles and a bug mansion. A really enjoyable workparty and we look forward to welcoming more wildlife and biodiversity into the village.
Our Peregrine chicks have some new bling!
The eagle-eyed amongst you may well notice Marly and Roy’s three chicks now have a ring on each leg. One ring is metal and one is orange-coloured plastic. These rings have individual numbers on them so after the chicks have fledged, if they are picked up on other webcams or by telescopic lenses, they can be identified as Marlow’s chicks from 2021. The leg rings are light-weight and have no effect on a bird’s ability to fly and do not interfere with feeding or breeding.
Fitting identification rings to birds enables us to learn about their dispersal, life-cycle and population dynamics, all of which underpins the design of conservation strategies for their protection. The All Saints’ Church ringing joins a network of peregrine falcon ringing across the UK and the data collected about these chicks will join the national database to help us understand the species and hopefully support its UK growth.
After decades of decline and persecution, Peregrine Falcons are now increasing in number in the UK. Typical lifespan is seven years though the oldest known bird was over twenty-one years of age.
Wild Marlow will be hosting an informal Peregrine Falcon event on The Causeway on Sunday 4th July, so pop down and ask the experts questions - hopefully the chicks will be flying around by then
Wonderful bird walk this morning with Tony from Chiltern Rangers CIC and Paul from Bucks Bird Club. With their expert knowledge, passion and experience, they were able to help us ID so many of the birds we saw and heard:
Little ringed Plover
Long tailed tit
What a fabulous site Spade Oak Lake is, to see such a variety of species
22nd May -
Really lovely Wild Orchid Hunt this morning at BBOWT’s Homefield Wood, with Phillip and Chris who look after this amazing site
We were lucky enough to spot the military’s, just starting to display, along with early purple, greater butterfly, bird’s nest, common spotted, fly, white helleborine and twayblade - quite a haul!
Looking forward to going back to see the different stages of display and the other species to be found at this incredible site - 11 different orchids here
For anyone planning on visiting please remember this is a very special sensitive site because of these wonderful plants. It is likely to be busy, but please stick to the footpaths, take only photos, leave only footprints and kill nothing but time
We have some sad news for you today. Unfortunately one of the peregrine chicks did not make it through the night. They appeared to be feeding well last night, but didn’t wake up with the others this morning
Whilst the prolonged cold and wet weather cannot have helped, there is no way of knowing for sure why it didn’t survive. Sometimes things are just not meant to be and we need to trust that Mother Nature knows best
The chick has been consumed and the remaining three chicks appear strong, so we hope they will be ok. A sad reminder of just how fragile the lives of newborns are in nature. There will be no grieving for this family, just a strong focus on doing their best to survive
Wonderful online talk delivered by Wild Marlow and RSPB Volunteer Catherine Day - Learn All About our Amazing Swifts
Click here for the website details advised during the talk.
13th May - Wild Marlow volunteers were out again this morning in Higginson Park, monitoring the nest boxes We saw mixed success results, probably as a result of all the recent rain washing caterpillars from the trees and it being colder than the average for this time.
13th May - Amazingly the fourth egg hatched!
12th May - Third chick hatched overnight
11th May - Two of the peregrine falcon eggs hatched.
10th May - Bird box monitoring session this morning in Higginson Park Wildlife Area Lots of tiny chicks to count We also added three more bat boxes to the area
Blue Tit nest cam is back fro another season. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram for regular updates.
Over the May Bank Holiday weekend, the wonderful Marlow Wombles set a challenge to collect 100 bags of litter, in and around Marlow, as part of the #CaptainTom100 challenge. Wild Marlow volunteers went out to help and collected 6 very full bags of litter in a rurual wildlife rich area. An amazing 130 bags were collected in total - a fantastic effort!
WELCOME TO NO MOW MAY - The Much Wilder Marlow campaign supports Plantlife’s awesome national effort to help pollinators by putting our feet up and liberating ourselves from the lawn mower for a month.
How can you help more?
Show us your in by sharing this post.
Influence your neighbour and tell them about 'No Mow May' on your street Whatsapp group.
‘Join legions of gardeners and say “no” to the mow this May to help our bees, butterflies, wildlife and us!
Plantlife’s No Mow May campaign doesn’t ask you to do much. In fact, it asks you to not do anything at all…
Just lock up your lawnmower on May 1st and let the wild flowers in your lawn bloom, providing a feast of nectar for our hungry pollinators.
Let it grow… let it groooow…
At the end of the month, on the Bank Holiday Weekend, join in with our nationwide “Every Flower Counts” survey to discover how many bees the UK’s lawns can feed. Not only will you receive your very own “nectar score” (which will tell you have many bees your lawn can feed), you’ll help us learn more about the health of the nations’ wild flowers.’
#MuchWilderMarlow #NatureCorridorMarlow #noMowMay
Much Wilder Marlow Launches
The Much Wilder Marlow Campaign is all about how we can reshape our thinking about our outside space, for our benefit and for that of all the species that rely on it. Small changes can not only benefit the biodiversity of that space but support the building of a larger, more diverse and healthy nature corridor here in Marlow, while giving us joy, more well being and a greater sense of connection with nature.
Let's get started - www.wildmarlow.org.uk/wilder_marlow
On Monday 26th April, Wild Marlow volunteers took part in the first bird nest box monitoring session in the Higginson Park wildlife area, under the guidence of our local expert.
11 out of the 15 boxes checked were occupied which is a really encouraging rate. One nest already had 11 eggs.
We were especially pleased to see that two of the boxes we put up during our workparty on 6th March were occupied with eggs.
If you are interested in helping with this monitoring project, please do get in touch.
On Saturday 24th April we were treated to another lovely sunny morning for our workparty at Marlow Rugby Club. The club are looking to create a community nature reserve area on their grounds, so we went along to help with preparations. We cleared some of the dead wood, creating brash and log piles as well as some lovely stag beetle stumperies. We put up a number of bird and bat boxes, and did our usual litter pick. Great work from the Wild Marlow volunteers.
There is a lot more work to be done, so check out the events page for details on future volunteer workparties, where you will be very welcome.
Marlow's Winged Celebrities Named
The winner of Wild Marlow’s ‘Name the Peregrines’ competition is Brooke Prowse (age 11), who came up with the clever names of Marly (female) and Roy (male) in recognition of Marlow’s twin town Marly-le-Roi.
A couple of mini volunteer workparties took place on Sunday 11th April, helping to increase the biodiversity of the areas:
- mixed native hedgerow whips were planted in the wildlife area of Marlow International on Globe Park
- the wild flower patch in Higginson Park was roped off to protect it from foot and paw prints as the seeds start to germinate
If you would like to volunteer for any of our workparties, please do get in touch
On Saturday 10th April, Wild Marlow and Marlow Wombles voluteers collaborated to carry out a litter picking blitz in and around Spade Oak Lake.
An incredible 21 full bags of rubbish were collected - a fantastic effort but so sad to see how much had built up in this important Nature Reserve.
If you'd like to volunteer at any of our work parties, please do get in touch.
Egg number 4 arrives at 8.40 on the morning of 9th April
Need something to do with the kids over the Easter holidays? Wild Marlow has something they will love – a wildlife poster trail
Twelve ‘Much Wilder Marlow’ posters have been pinned up on boards and in shop windows around the town centre. Go to https://www.wildmarlow.org.uk/wilder_marlow.php and check out the Google Map and hunt them down!
To win a Much Wilder Marlow badge and postcard, all you have to do is guess the species shown on the picture behind the words, record the poster number and log the results, by 30 April, on Wild Marlow’s website at https://www.wildmarlow.org.uk/wilder_marlow.php and you will be told right there and then how to collect your prize!
The Much Wilder Marlow Campaign, launching at the end of April, aims to reshape people’s thinking about Marlow’s outside spaces.
Find out how you can help create Marlow’s largest nature corridor, with all the benefits of joy, greater wellbeing and a stronger sense of connection with nature. Connect with us via social media or at https://www.wildmarlow.org.uk/wilder_marlow.php
Just after midnight on 7th April, egg number 3 arrived!
Egg number 2 arrived at about 3pm on Easter Sunday - perfect timing!
The Marlow peregrines have their first egg - on Good Friday, early in the morning the young female laid her first egg.
Peregrines usually lay 3-4 eggs, at 2-3 day intervals, so we look forward to seeing what happens.
To see regular updates with video clips, follow us on social media or view on our YouTube channel.
The Wild Marlow volunteers were out again in force on Saturday 13th March in the Wildlife Area of Higginson Park, planting 5 new trees.
If you'd like to volunteer at one of our upcoming work parties, please do get in touch - firstname.lastname@example.org
Blue Tit nest cam is back for another year.
Follow us on social media to see regular video updates from nest building, egg laying, brooding to fledging.
On Thursday 18th March at 10am with Carla on Good Morning Marlow on Marlow FM, our very own Martin Robinson was interviewed talking about the Marlow Peregrines project at All Saints' Church and the work we have been doing in the Wildlife Area in Higginson Park.
You can re-listen to the interview here
A really interesting and informative online talk yesterday from Emily Millhouse, London Tails of Amphibian Discovery (T.O.A.D) Project Manager from Froglife, followed by Allan Staley, Henley Toad Patrol volunteer, giving us an update on the local project saving thousands of toads crossing The Henley Road at this time of year
Check out their groups and consider supporting the incredibly valuable work that they do
For those at the talk, Emily promised to share a video about wildlife tunnels - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uG-sWkwfswc
A great morning for the Wild Marlow volunteer work party, at the Wildlife Area in Higginson Park on Saturday 13th March
Jobs for today included:
Log piles for invertebrates
A stumpery for Stag beetles
Perches for Kingfishers
Refuge sheets for reptiles
Bird nest boxes put up
Wildflower seed sown and watered in
Four full bags of litter collected
Great to be out doing practical tasks to help wildlife to thrive in this area
The camera monitoring system is now up and running, so we will be able to se if the Peregrine Falcons nest this year - fingers crossed!
What an amazing view from their chosen spot - we can't blame them.
In its first foray into online events, Wild Marlow presents ‘All About Amphibians’ at 7.30pm on Thursday 4th March.
This will be an introduction to the amazing world of British amphibians with Emily Millhouse from Froglife, a wildlife charity committed to the conservation of amphibians and reptiles and saving the habitats they depend on.
Angelina Jones will also be there to talk about the incredibly successful Henley Toad Patrol, which every year saves the lives of thousands of toads crossing the busy approach road to Henley.
The event is free via Zoom. Email email@example.com to register. Spaces will be limited.
Wild Marlow has installed a new nesting platform for the pair of peregrine falcons living high up on the spire at All Saints' Church. On Saturday, 20th February, Verity West from Wild Marlow, Martin Teague from Blue Chip Security Ltd and Andrew Carter All Saints' Church Steeple Keeper, climbed approx 25m (82 ft) to the place where the birds have been living since 2019. This is a new pair in a new territory, and Wild Marlow is hoping that they will soon start to breed.
Verity said: “Peregrine falcons can take three years to breed successfully as a new pair in a new territory. We hope we’ve given this pair a helping hand with their new specially-designed nesting platform. We’ve also installed a camera system so that we can study the birds and make sure they thrive.
“All Saints' Church has been hugely supportive of Wild Marlow and our wish to help and monitor these fantastic birds. We’d also like to thank Bob Keene at Bisham Nest Box Group, who built and donated the box.”
Peregrine falcons are super-speedy. Among the fastest animals on the planet, they can reach speeds of up to 200 miles per hour when 'stooping' — diving down on prey from a great height. They usually capture their prey mid-air, taking birds like feral pigeons and collared doves. The peregrine falcon is a Schedule 1 protected species of The Wildlife and Countryside Act and is the UK’s biggest falcon.
The camera monitoring system at the church has been generously donated by Blue Chip Security Ltd: https://www.bluechipsecurity.co.uk/
Bisham Nest Box Group can be found here: https://www.bnbg.org.uk/
For more information on peregrine falcons go to:
Once Covid restrictions allow and it is safe to do so, we plan to host a peregrine falcon public event, learning all about these fantastic birds from a Bucks Bird Club expert.
We will also be running a fun 'Name the Peregrine Falcons Competition" for children to submit their entries during the Easter holiday.
Love is in the air this February, as many birds start pairing up and looking for nesting opportunities in preparation to breed Now is the perfect time to do any repairs on your nest boxes or put up new ones.
To celebrate National Nest Box Week 14-21 Feb, we are giving away one of these lovely homemade bird nest boxes that have been donated to us, to the first 5 new Wild Marlow members. Membership costs just £10 per year and helps us carry out our projects helping wildlife in the Marlow area. Sign up via our website - https://www.wildmarlow.org.uk/membership.php
We also have a local volunteer group that produce some fantastic nest boxes for wildlife - Bisham Nest Box Group. Visit their website to look at what they offer - https://www.bnbg.org.uk/
The RSPB’s annual Big Garden Birdwatch is taking place on 29th-31st January 2021, is now in its 42nd year. It has become the world’s largest garden wildlife survey and is the UK’s biggest citizen science project. Almost half a million people in the UK took part in 2020. Take part this year and make it even bigger.
Out Blog by Wild Marlow and RSPB volunteer Catherine Day, tells you all you need to know - https://www.wildmarlow.org.uk/blog_page.php?bid=47
20/07719/R9FUL | Temporary permission for continued use of the site for film-making purposes between 1st May 2021 and 1st November 2021. | Spade Oak Quarry Marlow Road Little Marlow Buckinghamshire SL7 3SB (Amended)
Wild Marlow ‘deeply concerned’ for Spade Oak wildlife ‘Clear net loss in biodiversity’
We are deeply concerned over the future of the wildlife in and around the Spade Oak Lake area in Little Marlow. Temporary permission has been requested for continued use of the site for film-making purposes between 1st May 2021 and 1st November 2021.
Currently an extensive building site is under construction near the lake, including huge marquees and parking in the adjacent fields. Objections from local residents mention a great deal of light, noise and vibration disturbance from vehicles travelling along the normally quiet road where the footpath crosses, day and night. Despite this, and objections including our own and from the Bucks, Berks, & Oxon Wildlife Trust, Little Marlow Parish Council supports the amended application.
We believe there are and will continue to be significant negative impacts on wildlife, including protected species, as well as on the surrounding natural environment and habitats if the application is approved. There will also be a clear net loss in biodiversity if the plan goes ahead.
We are particularly concerned with the following:
• roosting and foraging bats (European Protected Species)
• wintering and breeding birds, especially on the ex-quarry gravel area including the little ringed plover; a bird listed on Schedule 1 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act, 1981 (as amended) (protected from disturbance whilst nesting)
• otters (European Protected Species)
A Preliminary Ecological Appraisal was used to support the planning application. This report is the initial stage in an ecological assessment, determining habitats present and the likelihood for a site to support protected and notable species. The Appraisal makes very reasonable and clear recommendations for undertaking further surveys to determine the ecological baseline and likely impacts of any future development plans for the site, before a planning decision can be made.
This further survey work (in relation to establishing the presence of protected and notable species) has not been undertaken and therefore an informed decision cannot be made. With regard to the possible presence of European protected species (bats, otters and great crested newts) the Local Planning Authority has not discharged its duty to consider these species fully, as per the requirements of the Conservation of Species and Habitats Regulations, 2017 (as amended).
We therefore believe that the correct procedure has not been followed and that this further survey information is vital prior to a planning decision being made. The longer this development is allowed to continue on the site, the greater the damage will be.
The area is also identified as a Country Park within the adopted Local Plan 2019 and emerging Local Plan, with policies specifically for the protection of the environment and amenity value of the area (RUR4). This application has an adverse impact on both the recreational opportunity and the biodiversity of the country park, thereby not complying with local planning policy.
We are calling on Bucks County Council to deny the application on these grounds and will continue to lobby for the right decision.
The perfect Christmas present is now available!
Wild Marlow’s 2021 calendar is hot off the press and available to order here.
The calendar features the winning pictures from three categories in Wild Marlow’s Photo Competition, the People’s Choice winner and nine other stunning photos. The images are testament to the extraordinary variety and beauty of the wildlife in and around the Marlow area.
“Our calendars showcase some of the best of Marlow’s wonderful local wildlife. They’ll make great Christmas presents and we hope they will be enjoyed by many Marlow residents. We’re so grateful to everyone who supports us – thank you!”
The calendars are £10 each, including delivery within Marlow. They can also be posted via Royal Mail for an additional £2 per calendar.
All proceeds will go towards funding wildlife and biodiversity projects in Marlow and the surrounding areas.
WIld Malow received some very generous support from Globe Print, located on the Globe Park Industrial Estate, in the form of publicity banners and the printing of the photographs for our recent exhibition.
We are very appreciative, thank you!
Mayor Richard Scott awarded prizes to the overall winner, Paris Losasso, whose ‘Sunset Fox’ also won the adult category; Kitty Hayward (15) with ‘Green Stops’, who won Senior School category; and Jacob Walker (7), who won the Junior School category with his picture: ‘Mute Swans of Marlow’.
“The entries were extremely high quality,” Mayor Scott said. “It’s wonderful to see the extraordinary range of wildlife that can be found in and around Marlow. With the work of groups like Wild Marlow and many others in the town, I hope we can continue to encourage and preserve our precious environment.”
The winning photos from each of the three categories – and the People’s Choice - will go into Wild Marlow’s 2021 calendar, available soon from firstname.lastname@example.org and in selected shops around the town. We will also be at the Transition Town Marlow Market on November 7th. The calendars would make great Christmas presents!
We are delighted to announce the winners of our Photo Competition, launched in November 2019. The aim of the contest was to stimulate interest in and the appreciation of the wildlife and habitats of the Marlow area.
“There was a fantastic response to the competition,” Eric Meek of Marlow Camera Club, one of the judges, said. “It was extremely difficult to judge, due to the quality of the entries. These photos demonstrate both the variety and beauty of the wildlife in and around Marlow, and the photographic skills of all of the entrants.”
The winning photo for the Senior School Category is 'Green Stops’ by Kitty Hayward (aged 15)
The winning photo for the Junior School Category is 'Mute Swans of Marlow' by Jacob Walker (aged 7)
Both these photo are beautiful and it is so encouraging to see such talent and passion for wildlife in young people.
We are delighted to announce the winners of our Photo Competition, launched in November 2019. The aim of the contest was to stimulate interest in and the appreciation of the wildlife and habitats of the Marlow area.
“There was a fantastic response to the competition,” Eric Meek of Marlow Camera Club, one of the judges, said. “It was extremely difficult to judge, due to the quality of the entries. These photos demonstrate both the variety and beauty of the wildlife in and around Marlow, and the photographic skills of all of the entrants.”
The winning photo for the Adult Category and the Overall winner is 'Sunset Fox' by Paris Losasso.
This stunning photo will appear in our 2021 Wild Marlow Calendar for February and alos on the front cover.
The Wild Marlow Gardens Campaign and Photo Competition closing date was 30th September.
We have had some really great entries for both, so thank you for everyone that took part.
We look forward to announcing the photo competition winners soon, but don't envy the judges job deciding!
Did you know that the County flower of Bucks is the Chiltern Gentian?
One of the rarest wildflowers in the UK and only found on a small number of sites, mostly confined to The Chilterns - hence the name!
This beautiful purple wildflower is currently flowering and can be seen at BBOWT's Homefield Wood, Marlow - it really is worth a visit
Due to the success of our first Fungi Foray on Sunday 13th September, along with the demand for places, we are pleased to offer an additional date:
Fungi Foray - Sunday 11th October - 10am - 12pm approx.
Location - Marlow Common
"An autumn walk looking at fungi with Penny Cullington, county fungus recorder and secretary of the Bucks Fungus Group.
This will be a very basic introduction to this vast and fascinating subject – no previous knowledge is needed. We will not specifically be focusing on or collecting edible fungi, but this subject will be covered as appropriate depending on what we find."
In order to comply with guidelines to keep everyone safe, spaces will be limited to six people, so places are being offered to paid up Members of Wild Marlow as a priority. Booking is essential, please email email@example.com
We have recently taken delivery of 10 x Wild Marlow branded hi-vis vests donated to us by local business Blue Chip Security Ltd. We are very grateful to them for this kind and generous support, ensuring we are seen and safe at our public events.
This September, Wild Marlow have been inspired by the fabulous Marlow Wombles, to support the Great British September Clean.
Litter is so hazardous to wildlife and a real blot on our beautiful landscape, so why not take part too and help Marlow Wombles keep Marlow tooking beautiful and safe. You can join organised litter picks or do a solo one. Even a 10 min pick could make a real difference to a little creature's life. #lovewhereyoulive
Sadly at the beginning of the year, we had to cancel all our planned events in order to comply with Government guidelines. We are now pleased to be able to offer two small outdoor events:
Fungi Foray - Sunday 13th September - 10am - 12pm approx.
Location - Pullinghshill Wood, Marlow
Fungi Foray - Sunday 27th September - 10am - 12pm approx.
Location - Pullingshill Wood, Marlow
"An autumn walk looking at fungi with Penny Cullington, county fungus recorder and secretary of the Bucks Fungus Group.
This will be a very basic introduction to this vast and fascinating subject – no previous knowledge is needed. We will not specifically be focusing on or collecting edible fungi, but this subject will be covered as appropriate depending on what we find."
Please bring a few lidded plastic containers for collecting.
Please wear suitable attire for a woodland walk in British weather!
In order to comply with guidelines to keep everyone safe, spaces will be limited, so places are being offered to paid up Members of Wild Marlow as a priority. Booking is essential, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Have you ever wondered what wildlife visits your garden when you are not looking?
We have a trail cam that we can loan out to Wild Marlow Members, for just £5 a week.
Why not give it a try, you may well be suprised?
Red Kites have been in the news a lot recently, but whether you love them or hate them, here is some advice on how we can help them and enjoy them, rather than fearing them 💚
Red Kites are one of the greatest conservation success stories of the 20th century, being reintroduced between 1989-1994 after becoming extinct due to persecution at the end of the 19th century. Although they are a daily sight in Marlow, there very few places in England where they can be seen in such numbers.
However at this time of year, some people become fearful of the Red Kites, as this normally timid scavenging bird, takes more risks as it tries to rear its young. There have been reports of picnics and small items (mistaken for food) being taken. This can be very frightening at the time.
In order to help these birds, the RSPB and other groups advise people not to feed Red Kites in their gardens. This will prevent them from becoming reliant on regular human hand-outs, as well as encouraging them to disperse further throughout England. Also sometimes the food left out for them gets dropped in neighbouring gardens, causing H&S issues for pets and small children. While some may enjoy watching these magnificent birds swoop in to collect food, your neighbours may not! This practice also means the birds become used to scavenging in densely populated residential areas, where they cannot always tell the difference between what is left out for them intentionally and what is not.
During the spring and summer months, when many of us like to venture outside for a picnic, we suggest you take the usual precautions as you would protecting your chips from gulls by the seaside. Red Kites are hungry and opportunistic, so if you leave it out on display for them, they will probably have a go. They are not trying to attack humans or pets, they are just trying to eat and rear their young. So keep an eye out for them above, cover up food when not attended and do not leave the scraps behind.
We hope you find this information useful and hope it helps us to live happily and safely with these wonderful birds 💚
Martin Robinson from Wild Marlow gave an interview on BBC London News on Monday 29th June, about the Red Kites in Marlow and what we can do to help them.
30 Wild Marlow Days - April 2020
Our daily posts have been moved to here https://www.wildmarlow.org.uk/wmd.php
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 email@example.com.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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!
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.
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!
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.
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
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.
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.
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'......”
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.
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.