Matt took down the three oaks today on a cold but stunning Winter's Day. Thank you John Packham for the photo.
The government have announced that all chickens must be contained in such a way that they cannot interact with wild birds. This effectively means that all chicken keepers on site will need to cover or provide a roof for their their runs. There have been a number of cases of avian influenza in both wild and captive birds in the UK and these measures come into force from December 14.
From the government website:
'The new housing measures, which will come into force on 14 December, mean that it will be a legal requirement for all bird keepers to keep their birds indoors and to follow strict biosecurity measures in order to limit the spread of and eradicate the disease.
Whether you keep just a few birds or thousands, from 14 December onwards you will be legally required to keep your birds indoors, or take appropriate steps to keep them separate from wild birds. We have not taken this decision lightly, but it is the best way to protect your birds from this highly infectious disease.'
For more information visit the Avian flu page on the government website.
Thank you John Packham for this panorama of the nature reserve in Autumn (click on the image to see an expanded version).
This is a photo from the top of the site back in June 1990. It's a little hard to discern what is going on given the quality of the photo but possibly not a lot of horticulture. Someone suggested it looks like Richmond Park with sheds. If you have any really old photos of the site we would love to see them.
These photos by John Packham show the dramatic change that has been made in the Nature Reserve over the last year. These two photos were taken pretty much at the exact same spot, the top photo was taken in March 2019 and the bottom photo in October 2020.
The weather conditions for October are predicted to be favourable, so we are scheduling two weekends of site maintenance in readiness for the winter months.
The first working party (Saturday 17th and Sunday 18th) will be directed towards the Nature Reserve and the ditch that runs adjacent to the car parking area. Weather permitting, we invite you to turn up with stout gloves and secateurs and/or loppers so we can clear old growth and generally tidy up. We also want to clear out the ditch so that, during heavy rain, excess water is carried away towards the culvert by the golf course.
The second working party (Saturday 24th and Sunday 25th) will focus on the green waste area next to the rifle club and the rubbish site. There is much overgrowth to be cut back and cleared, and all help will be appreciated.
The times will be 10.00 - 13.00 on each of the mornings, so any time you can contribute during those hours will be much appreciated.