Annual General Meeting

Looking ahead to our AGM in July, and recognising our evolving role as a group. The Committee will be meeting to discuss plans for the AGM which this year may be a less formal meeting, combined with a social event in the fields. Most of the Committee members have remained unchanged and we would welcome new volunteers to join us or indeed replace us! If you are interested in finding out more please contact us, we’d be delighted to share our experiences with you.

 

Events 2017

 

During the dark winter months we have worked hard to plan a range of events for members to enjoy during 2017, in line with our fifth aim.

We spent a lot of time liasing  with two charities  we hoped to co-ordinate a charity fund raiser for 2017. Our idea was to host a charity Dog Walk across the fields and nature reserve which would bring together our local community, promote sensible dog walking, raise money for a worthy cause , promote our group and be FUN.

A little disappointingly after several meetings, conversations, site meetings and securing the approval of both Stratford Town Trust and Stratford District Council (who own the hills) neither charity was able to proceed in 2017. However, we remain hopeful that this event may take place in the future.

In the mean time Mike Anderson has kindly agreed to host a number of nature walks through out the year starting with his first in May (possibly Saturday 13th—tbc). We will keep you posted.

In August on Saturday 12th we will be hosting the first ever ‘Moth Evening & Survey’ . The event is being hosted by a highly renowned expert and will start once dark and run into the early hours of the following morning. It will be a great opportunity to see the large variety of moths in our area and learn more about them. More information to follow.

In September, we plan to host our third Bat Walk building on the success of previous years. Again we will be in touch nearer the time but if you haven’t taken part in the past it’s a interesting and informative 90 minutes.

 

Fungi Foray

A FUNGI FORAY took place on 22nd October 2016 such was  its success,  it was repeated on 5th November.

Thanks to Mike Anderson’s passion and knowledge of both mushrooms and the Welcombe Hills and despite the lack of rain, the participants had a great opportunity to familiarise themselves with the incredible variety of mushrooms that grow locally.

The good weather also offered all participants the opportunity to enjoy a very pleasant autumn walk across Rowley Fields and neighbouring hills.

 The free events were attended by members of FoRF and residents from the towns community.

 Donations were received and passed on to Mike who is adding them to his Bumblebee Conservation project.

 

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Fungi Walk

Interested in fungi? Want to know more about what you can find?

Mike Anderson has been walking the hills for many years photographing and eating the fungi on the hills and invites you to join him on a fungi foray at

11 am on Saturday 22nd October (rain or shine).

You need to be prepared to walk in the woods and across the fields. Children welcome.

Reserve your place with Giovanni:

Email gbrenna@hotmail.co.uk or Tel. 01789 290912.

Places are limited but if required we will run another foray the following week end.

Three species of bats!

Twenty friends took part in an evening Bat Walk hosted from Warwickshire Bat Group on a warm but slightly windy Friday evening. Following an excellent introduction by Lois, the group were treated to their first sighting. As the sky was darkening a single Noctule Bat was seen flying along the perimeter of the field alongside Maidenhead Road. The Noctule is one of the largest species of Bat found in Britain.

Armed with Bat detectors the group set off around the fields and detected both the common and soprano pipistrelle bats at various locations. Friends of Rowley Fields have passed on the evening donations to the Warwickshire to help them with their conservation work across the county. Thank you to Lois and everyone who attended.

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The Bat Walk returns by popular demand

Back by popular demand our next Bat Walk will take place on Friday 9th September at 7.30pm when we will again welcome our expert guide Lois from Warwickshire Bat Group. The evening walk around the fields is an informative and fun event. Lois will have a number of bat detectors for us to use on the walk, which will end at around 9.00 pm. You will need to dress up warm, wear suitable footwear and bring your torch and mobile (if you have one). The walk is limited in numbers so ensure everyone can hear and participate, it’s first come first served. We will meet at the entrance off Maidenhead Road.

To secure your place please call Sonja on 07770747502, a mobile telephone number to contact you would also be helpful in the event of a last minute change due to the weather. Otherwise come along and enjoy the walk and learn more about one of our nocturnal creatures!

Donations for the walk are £2.00 per adult and £1.00 for children. Friends of Rowley Fields will again be making a donation to the Warwickshire Bat Group to help them with the conservation and educational work.

 

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THE BIG BUTTERFLY COUNT – July 15th – August 7th

 

Idly watching a beautiful butterfly flit across a meadow is one of life’s simple pleasures and now it’s time to perform a health check on these graceful creatures and our environment. This summer, Butterfly Conservation are organising a Big Butterfly Count between July 15th and August 7th , so why not have a wander over Rowley Fields and join in?

The Big Butterfly Count is a nationwide survey that was launched in 2010 and is now one of the biggest in the world. Over 52,000 people took part in 2015, counting over 580,000 individual butterflies and day-flying moths across the UK.

Butterflies react very quickly to adverse changes in their environment and any decline in numbers can be an early warning for other wildlife losses, helping us to understand the effects of climate change. Counting butterflies also helps to identify trends in species which in turn allows us to plan protection for those threatened with extinction.

It’s easy to take part and will only take 15 minutes of your time, preferably on a sunny day. To prepare, go to www.bigbutterflycount.org and download the handy identification chart. Next, just set aside a quarter of an hour, pop into Rowley Fields and start ticking off the number of butterfly species you see using the chart. You can then go back online to register your sightings.

There are more than 50 species of butterfly and over 2,500 types of moth native to Britain, so you’ll have a good chance of spotting plenty. The results will be collated and evaluated by Butterfly Conservation on their website soon and if you ‘do your bit’ you’ll be helping to ‘take the pulse’ of the environment.

 

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Stratford Hospital Appeal Donation

FoRF are delighted to announce that the final figure donated to the Stratford Hospital Cancer & Eye Unit Appeal from the Friends of Rowley Fields following the Queen’s Birthday Picnic Event has increased to £500. Thank you to everyone who supported the appeal.

Photo  www.charloteedorandavies.co.uk