Happy New Year to you all! During November’s (rather chilly) meeting the Nature Explorers conducted their yearly survey into the health of the bird population through looking at each of the 37 bird boxes dotted around the woodland, identifying whether each had been used and, if they had, by which species. This year the results were a small improvement on last year’s, with 75% of the tit boxes having been used, maintaining an upward trend in recent years. Interestingly, we found a wasp nest in the same box as a nest! The group also painted the boxes to preserve them and took note of the damage done to the boxes by various other inhabitants of the woods such as squirrels and woodpeckers so that they could be repaired. Everybody’s hard work was greatly appreciated and we completed the job in record time.

The main working party task was to clear the pond of pondweeds and plants that had become overgrown since last year. This was made all the more easy by the work of last month’s volunteers in clearing the access to and undergrowth around the pond. Again thanks to all who attended, many hands made light work!

Additionally, during November we were very grateful to a group from BT who cleared the area and paths around the Fuel Dump.  Conservation is a very rewarding and fulfilling teambuilding activity. If your business would like to do some volunteering in the woods we would certainly be very appreciative, so please don’t hesitate to contact us.

George Pennick
Nature Explorer and Young Volunteer

There was a Glow Worm Survey and Bat Walk on 3rd July. At nightfall, after a hot day, 14 people met at the Control Tower to walk through the woods. We found 14 female glow worms (they are the ones that glow and can't fly!  the males fly but don't glow) and also 3 species of bat: an impressive display of Noctule bats, some Pipistrelles and Leisler’s bats. A fun evening was had by all, and I think the bats enjoyed it too.
The 1st Brightwell Guides, with their leaders, visited the woods on the evening of 7th July. A couple of bin bags of rubbish were collected as the Guides worked hard to clear around the woods and in the pond area. The guides learned about the woods and the whole area is now nice and tidy for the summer!
There are no meetings for Nature Watch Club, Nature Explorers or the Volunteer working party in Augus

Dates for the diary:

Volunteer Work Morning
(all ages)

Saturday 20th January, 10am-noon
Sunday 18th February, 10am-noon

Meet at the Education Area
Tools, training and light refreshments provided
All ages welcome - no need to book

Nature Explorers
(11-18 year olds)
Saturday 20th January, 9am-11am
Meet at the Education Area
Booking essential (please email

Nature Watch Club
(5-11 year olds)

2018 dates to be confirmed

New volunteers are always welcome - All ages and abilities. For further information please contact us at, phone: 01473 612632, check our website: or join our members' Facebook Group by messaging Duncan Sweeting.