Autumn Wildlife Update

Birds

We’ve had a few sightings of the Kingfisher this year but less than normal. Mostly they’ve been spotted darting along the backwater where we think they’ve been nesting and feeding. Interestingly we’ve had a pair of Nuthatches using the feeding stations and believe there were 2 pairs of Mandarins this year. Also, there were rumours of a Tawny Owl using the new nest box next to the café but we haven’t managed to confirm this but we hope to have the camera back up and running soon and pictures being sent back to the café TV so time will tell if they return in the Spring.

Plants

After the efforts of Oundle School Community Action last November in the cold to plant yellow rattle seeds we saw a mixed result with a couple of small clumps. We will definitely repeat the efforts this year as yellow rattle is an excellent way of suppressing grass to enable wildflowers to flourish. We also had a Corporate Group from EE in April planting a mix of wildflowers to attract butterflies. We had quite a bit of success with this with evidence of Field Scabious and Common Knapweed.

Message for those Friends who work for larger organisations:
The Park is constantly looking for corporate involvement such as EE’s and Waitrose’s participation. We are very keen to promote the benefits of Corporate Social Responsibility with companies working in our broader catchment area – perhaps not as far as Macclesfield though. Organisations that help at the Park become Park Heroes on the planned Board at the Visitor Centre. So Waitrose and EE will be one of the first on the Board. This is a soft form of advertising of the right sort we feel for any organisation that wishes to be identified with community affairs.

Insects

As part of the Big Butterfly Count, Ranger Nicola assisted Butterfly Conservation on a guided walk of the park. 12 members of the public joined them and counted 8 butterflies including Large and Small White, Green Veined White, Brimstone, Large Skipper, Gate Keeper, Meadow Brown, Peacock, Brown Argus and Common Blue.

Fungi

The park has always had great fungi interest and in particular this year we’ve had a great display of shaggy ink caps in the Ranger’s compound. We’ve also seen
hirneola auricula-judae (Jew’s Ear), sulphur tuft, dryad’s saddle and a range of other bracket fungus.

In August, we received 1500 crucian carp from the Environment Agency. This is special as they are considered to be the only indigenous member of the carp family in South East England. They are becoming increasingly rare and are designated as a red listed species.