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

August sees the departure of the majority of Swifts. Their short stay in Britain reminds us just how fleeting summer can be. Most migrant birds are, however, with us for a while yet.

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

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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.

 

For more information click the linkAugust 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 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

2017 BIG BUTTERFLY COUNT

July 14th - 6th August To see how easy it is to take part in the UK wide survey click on the link. This is the largest insect citizen science project in the world. Why not download an ID chart and take part in a 15-minute count during the event, which runs from 14 July - 6 August? The results help us see how butterflies are faring across the UK . Big Butterfly Count

FOTEB AGM

The 2017 AGM was held on Monday 15th May at 19:30 at Woosehill Community Hall, Emmview Close, Wokingham RG41 3DA.

BASH THE BALSAM 2017

Balsam Bash The Balsam Bashing programme is as follows:

23/07/17 Area 5/4 between Dragonfly Bridge and Meadow Road. Meet at Dragonfly Bridge (rear of Morrisons) at 09:30.

20/07/17 Area 5/6 between Dragonfly Bridge and Brook Close. Meet at Dragonfly Bridge (rear of Morrisons) at 17:30.

16/07/17 Area 6 between Emmbrook Road and Brook Close. Meet at the Dog and Duck pub at 09:30.

09/07/17 Area 7 between Old Forest Road and Emmbrook Road. Meet at the layby on Old Forest Road at 09:30.

25/06/17 Area 3 off Molly Millars Lane meet at Ashville Way at 09:30 to clear along the Emm from Barkham Road Bridge to Finchampstead Road Bridge. 17/06/17 Area 8. Meet at the layby on Old Forest Road at 09:30 to clear along the Emm between Toutley Bridge and the M4 Bridge.

Himalayan balsam can take over large areas of river bank or damp habitat. As well as causing problems for native species, Himalayan balsam substantially increases the risk of riverbank erosion. It does this by stopping native bankside vegetation growing. The roots of these natives would bind the banks. With just balsam in the autumn, when it dies it leaves only bare soil that is easily eroded and washed away by rain or flood events. It is possible to eradicate Himalayan balsam (not an option with most invasive plant species) from infested river catchments because its morphology and life cycle display a number of weaknesses that are uncharacteristic of such high profile invasive species. These include:

the plant has an annual life cycle, meaning it germinates, grows, flowers, seeds and dies in the one year;

the tall plant has a shallow root ball so easily removed by pulling;

the plant has no natural defence mechanisms, such as thorns or bristles, to make pulling difficult or hazardous;

. the majority of the seeds germinate after one year and seeds are the only propagation method of this species. The combination of Himalayan balsam attributes described above means it is possible for well organised groups to physically remove the plants from long sections of river corridor. This over a two year period will deplete the seed reserve within the catchment. This represents an enormous conservation advantage to the aquatic and riparian ecosystem that will preserve the river banks from erosive effects of winter floods.

EMMBROOK APHELION 2017

The earth orbits the Sun in an elliptical path, which means that there is 1 point of the path when the Sun is at its closest to the Earth(Perihelion) and 1 point when it is furthest away (Aphelion). The Aphelion in Wokingham was on Monday, 3 July 2017, 21:11 BST . The distance from the Sun's center to Earth's centre was 152,092,504 km (94,505,901 miles) The Earth is closest to the Sun, or at the perihelion, about 2 weeks after the December Solstice, when it is winter in the Northern Hemisphere. Conversely, the Earth is farthest away from the Sun, at the aphelion point, 2 weeks after the June Solstice, when the Northern Hemisphere is enjoying warm summer months.

2017 NEWS

Telephone: 01344 861964

EMMBROOK LITTER PICK

1st April 2017 Litter Pick

As part of Wokingham Borough Council's Annual Spring Clean there was a litter pick on Saturday 1st April 2017. Approx 16 people attended. Pickers visited the open space around Emmbrook walk and the surrounding streets. In approx 2hrs ,10 full bin bags were filled with rubbish.

MONTHLY BIRD WALKS AROUND DINTON PASTURES 2017

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. 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.