2019 NEWS

EVENTS 2019

COMMUNITY EVENT 2019

Community Day Flyer FOTEB will be working with the South East Rivers Trust and Wokingham Borough Council on Thursday 29th August between 10.30 -15:00 on a Community Event. For more information, click the link. Community Event

BIG BUTTERFLY COUNT 2019

The big butterfly count is a nationwide survey aimed at helping us assess the health of our environment. It was launched in 2010 and has rapidly become the world's biggest survey of butterflies. Over 100,000 people took part in 2018, submitting 97,133 counts of butterflies and day-flying moths from across the UK . The big butterfly count 2019 will take place from Friday 19 July - Sunday 11 August. Further details at Big Butterfly count

NEW BENCH

Deer Bench At Old Forest Road Meadows a new bench has been installed.The company that made it was Nick Speakman 3dwoods for Wokingham Borough Council. It is believed that the wood was from a tree felled for the Matthews Green devolopment. The Deer design was picked by the Emmbrook Residents Association.

BASH THE BALSAM 2019

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 2019 Bashing are:

05/07/19: Targeting Area 3, Molly Millars Lane.

13/07/19: Targeting Area 6, Rear of Emmbrook School.

06/08/19: Targeting Area 4 & 5, Riverside Walk & Woosehill Meadows.

10/08/19: Meet at the layby on Old Forest Road at 0930 to target Area 8, Old Forest Road Meadows.

11/08/19: Meet at the layby on Old Forest Road at 0930 to target Area 7, Emmbrook Walk.

18/08/19: Targeting Area 5 & 6, Riverside Walk & under Woosehill Roundabout to the Railway Bridge.

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FOTEB AGM 2019

The FOTEB 2019 AGM was held on Monday 13th May at 19.15 - 21.15 at Woosehill Community Hall, Emmview Close, Wokingham RG41 3DA.

FOTEB LITTER PICK 2019

Litter Pick Litter Pick The FOTEB 2019 Litter Pick on Saturday 23rd March at 13:00 was a great success. Approximately 10 people turned up and the large amount of rubbish collected can be seen in the photos. Thanks to everybody who joined in

LOCAL WILDLIFE SITE - UPDATE 2019

Visiting Area 7 On Wednesday 13th February five students from Reading University joined FOTEB on a field trip. They were taken to three locations in order to gather information for their research project. Visiting Area 8 FOTEB are hoping that this will help them to find out if any sections of the Emm might be eligible for designation as a Local Wildlife Site.

WOKINGHAM BOROGH COUNCIL GREENWAYS PROJECT( PHASE 2 )

Wokingham Borough Council is starting phase 2 of its greenways project. The greenways project will create a network of traffic free multi-user routes which will connect the new major developments at Arborfield Garrison (Arborfield Green) and Shinfield Parish to Wokingham town and the new major developments in North and South Wokingham.Wokingham Borough Council is now seeking views on phase 2 which will link Arborfield Green to the new development at North Wokingham via Cole Lane, Coombes Lane, Foxhill, Woosehill, Holt Lane and Cantley Park. For more information visit the WBC website. Click here

MONTHLY BIRD WALKS AROUND DINTON PASTURES 2019

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.

FRIENDS OF LAVELLS LAKE

On the second Sunday of every month 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

AUGUST

General

August is the month when high summer turns to late summer. In the hedgerows the Blackberries have already started to ripen, going from green to red then finally black and delicious.

Birds

By mid-August Swifts have already left for Africa, although Swallows and House Martins linger a little bit longer, gathering in flocks before embarking on their long migration.Their short stay in Britain reminds us just how fleeting summer can be. It's harder to spot some of our shy all-year-round residents, such as the Dunnock and Wren, hidden in hedges and thickets. If you keep a bird bath well topped up with water, you'll tempt them out for early morning bathing as well as provide much-needed drinking water in dry weather. It's a good idea to raise your birdbath off the ground, and place it in the open, giving birds a clear view of danger.

Where do all the garden birds go in August?

During spring, the birds certainly put on a good show. At first we enjoy the cacophony of bird song surrounding us during the breeding season. Then we can spend time watching busy parents flying back and forth to their hungry chicks from dawn ‘til dusk. Finally, there’s the joy of seeing fluffy little fledglings taking their first flight into the world. By the summer we have got used to regularly seeing birds on our feeders and in hedgerows and then they suddenly disappear! Have they migrated? Have they all been eaten? Has a disease wiped them all out? No, nothing quite so dramatic has happened. The birds are still around, they’re just hiding whilst they spruce themselves up ready for winter. Feathers aren’t indestructible. They get damaged, discoloured and weakened during a bird’s busy year. So after a while worn out feathers need to be replaced. This is a natural process called moulting. August is prime time for bird moulting. Replacing all your feathers is an extremely energy draining experience so birds save it for when they are less stressed – after breeding and before migration. August is also very warm, so the birds don’t get too cold and there is still plenty of protein-rich food about. The feathers don’t all fall out at once. This would leave birds unable to fly and very, very cold! Instead, each feather is gradually replaced one by one. During the moult, birds have less energy and it’s much harder for them to fly. This makes them very vulnerable to predators, so they spend most of their time hidden in vegetation trying to be as inconspicuous as possible. Most garden birds take about 6 to 8 weeks to completely moult and then they are out and about again, fattening themselves up for winter.

Insects

Hot days also bring the restful sound of Grasshoppers calling ('stridulating') from the long grass, advertising their territories. They are difficult to spot due to their green or brown colour, but soon hop to reveal themselves if disturbed, only to disappear again. Along the Emm brook the species most likely to be spotted are the Common Green, Common Field and the Meadow Grasshopper.

Butterflies

: Gatekeeper

Butterflies on the wing this month include the Meadow Brown, Small Skipper butterflies and Large Whites. Gatekeepers are particularly attractive orange and brown butterflies and can usually be found near hedgerows.

Other Wildlife

Early in the month Grey Squirrels are impatient and insist on cracking open the pale green Hazel nuts, even though there is little reward inside. They can be heard chattering and squealing at one another. Aggressive confrontations can lead to tree top chases.

Plants & Trees

The grasslands adjacent to the Forest Road contain Ragwort and Creeping Thistle. at this time of year . Ragwort is poisonous to livestock but supports approx 30 species of insect including the Cinnabar moth (the adult is black and red) feeds on this species at its caterpillar stage. The caterpillars are black and orange to ward off predators who may view them as a tasty snack. The caterpillar stores alkaloids from the plant which means that birds do indeed find them nasty to eat. Why do leaves change colour

For more information click the link August 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