2020 NEWS

EVENTS 2020

FOTEB AGM 2020

The FOTEB 2020 AGM will be held on Monday 11th May 19:30-21:30 at Woosehill Community Hall ,Emmview Close,Wokingham,RG41 2TS

ELM TREE PLANTING

Elm Planting

On 03/01/2020, Friends of Emm Brook joined forces with Wokingham District Veteran Tree Association and Butterfly Conservation Upper Thames volunteers along with Duncan Fisher of Wokingham BC and Peter Cuss (Butterfly Conservation Upper Thames)to plant 20 disease resistant Elms at 4 sites, including Emmbrook Walk (Area 7) and Old Forest Road Meadows (Area 8). Thanks to all who helped. It is hoped that this habitat will help the White-letter Hairstreak (Satyrium w-album) a diminutive dark butterfly with a white W on its underside. It has declined by 93% since the 1970s because Dutch elm disease has destroyed the trees on which its caterpillars feed.

BIG GARDEN BIRDWATCH 2020

Take part in the world’s largest wildlife survey on 25-27 January and do something great for nature. Just choose an hour any time over the three days and enjoy time with nature counting birds. Click link for more information: Click here

BASH THE BALSAM 2020

Balsam Bash

Himalayan balsam

Himalayan balsam is an invasive non-native plant that is found along many rivers and waterways in the UK. It was introduced in the 19th century before spreading rapidly into the wild and is now the dominant species along the river bank in many areas of the country. It has a very effective seed dispersal mechanism as it has “exploding” seed pods allowing each plant to spread 600 seeds up to 5 metres from the plant. These seeds can then be transported downstream and colonise new areas quickly. These plants are are a problem as they grow in very dense stands and suppress the growth of native vegetation. In winter this becomes an issue as the plant dies back and leaves the banks vulnerable to erosion, with increased silt inputs potentially degrading spawning habitats for fish. It is therefore important to manage Himalayan balsam to prevent it getting out of control along our rivers.

JOIN US FOR BALSAM BASHING

Dates for 2020 Bashing are to be arranged:

NATIONAL MOTH NIGHT 2020

The date for Moth Night in 2020 has been set for 27 - 29 August . The theme for Moth Night 2020 is to be the various "Red" Underwings - Red Underwing Catocala nupta; Rosy Underwing Catocala electa; Dark Crimson Underwing Catocala sponsa and Light Crimson Underwing Catocala promissa. https://www.mothnight.info/home

MONTHLY BIRD WALKS AROUND DINTON PASTURES 2020

RSPB

A Date With Nature Monthly Saturday morning walk 1st Saturday of each month Location: Meet in the Dinton Pastures main car park in Wokingham RG10 0TH at 09:00. As the parking fee in the Dinton Pastures car park is £6 for 4 hours, the Local RSPB Group have arranged for participants to park for free in the car park of the Wheelwright Arms, which is close to the entrance to Dinton pastures but on the opposite side of the road. (Obviously, it would be appreciated if we give our custom to the pub RG10 0TR.) A three and a half hour walk around Dinton Pastures and Lavell's Lake (Area 10 of the Emm Brook) , suitable for everyone of all ages and we usually see/hear between 40 and 50 species of birds. Good cafe and toilets by the car park. Time: 9 am Price: £2 donation to the RSPB.

LAVELL'S WETLAND TRUST

On the second Sunday of every month Lavell's Wetland Trust formally Friends of Lavell Lake (FOLL) run a guided bird walk around the park covering Area 10 of the Emm Brook. Routes will vary depending on the time of year and last up to three hours. Wear suitable clothing as at times paths can be very muddy. We meet at 9am in the car park on Sandford Lane (opposite the Dinton Activity Centre entrance) and ask for a donation of £1 with no charge for children. For more information visit the FOLL website . Click here

Car park charges apply.

This Month on the Emmbrook
What to look for if you are out and about in

FEBRUARY

General

Riverside Walk Winter

The month can be as harsh as any with snow and freezing winds. However it is possible to spot hints of better things to come. Although spring is still several weeks away the first signs are there to see.

 

Birds

Great Tit

Flocks of small birds moving through the trees including Great and Blue Tits accompanied by Finches, Nuthatches and Treecreepers are more easily visible in winter due to the lack of leaves on the trees. Their feeding has a real urgency . A few snatches of birdsong on a cold day remind us that winter is not for ever. By February, the birds will have begun to sing in earnest and we can think about looking forward to spring. Winter songsters are among those species that hold territories through the winter. Robins are one of the most vocal; they are unusual because both male and female hold their own territories in winter and both sing in their defence. Female song thrushes sometimes hold winter territories, but they do not sing. Wrens can be relied on for some powerful outbursts. Great tit, Nuthatch and Starling songs, while not tuneful, seem to me to be particularly cheerful. Out in the fields around the Toutley Bridge area, fine days also yield bursts of song from the Skylarks. And the mournful hoot of a Tawny Owl, heard as we lie warmly in bed, shows that the night is not dead. You may also be lucky enough to hear and see a Great- spotted Woodpecker drumming against a tree trunk in Riverside Walk.

Other Wildlife

Frogs are still emerging from their wintering hiding places and move towards their chosen breeding ponds.

Plants & Trees

Hazel Catkins (male) Hazel (female)

Hedgerows along side the Emm show little sign of life other than the Hazel catkins. Its yellow dangling catkins which are the male flower spikes (or inflorescences) . Instead of using insects, lured by bright colours, scent or nectar, to do their pollinating these flowers instead use the power of the wind to blow pollen from the catkins to the inconspicuous female flowers, which resemble a tiny shock of red hairs protuding from the tip of the bud.

In woodlands the most obvious leaves to emerge are those of the Cuckoo Pint (or Lord and Ladies). Their leaves push up through the leaf litter furled up but then open out once above ground.

Lesser Celandine (Ranunculus ficaria) is one of the first flowering plants to appear at the end of the winter (February to May). The plant itself is small (5-30cm tall) with dark, heart-shaped leaves The flowers, which appear on a short stalk, form a carpet of yellow stars in woodland, under hedgerows, in ditches and along streams. Lesser Celandine is an important early nectar source but, in wet and windy weather, the petals close.

For more information click the link February on the Emm Brook


Emmbrook Weather

Bernard Burton has been recording the weather alongside the Emm Brook since 1976. His weather station originally situated at Emmbrook Secondary School till 1996 and now at Emmbrook Junior School daily monitors the weather. For a more detailed anaylsis of the previous month's weather visit this link. Emmbrook Weather

For todays Emm Brook weather Todays Weather

For todays Emm Brook sunrise and sunset times Click here


Newsletters

At their meeting in November 2010 the FOTEB management committee took the decision to discontinue the printed newsletters for members. This decision was not taken lightly since there is of course a tradition of keeping members informed of events and sightings by way of regular printed newsletters. However, knowing that the majority of members have internet access and are regular visitors to our website - and having received an increasing number of representations from members expressing a wish to receive literature in an electronic format - your committee felt that the time had come to cease the time-consuming and costly production of regular printed newsletters and replace them with an online noticeboard on our website.

Click on Archive page at the top of the screen to view one of the previous News letters.

Emm Brook River levels now on line

The Environment Agency Website now has a daily update on river levels of the Emm near Tesco's in Area 2

2019 NEWS

EMMBROOK BIRD BOX USAGE 2018

The annual clearance and checking of the nest boxes along the Emm took place this year in January 2019. This was undertaken by Malcolm Dunmore, Charles Stickler,Mike Smith and Mike Saynor.

A full report can be found here. 2018 Bird Box Usage along the Emm

WOKINGHAM DISTRICT VETERAN TREE ASSOCIATION

Wokingham District Veteran Tree Association was formed ten years ago in 2007 and have just launched the WDTVA’s 10th Anniversary Report. This report summarising WDVTA activities and achievements across the Borough is now available on the WDVTA website at Click here