2019 NEWS



   Chub & Dace The Community Day with the South East Rivers Trust, Wokingham Borough Council, Loddon Catchment Partnership, and a superb display of Electro Fishing by the Loddon Fisheries Consultative, was a great success. Anybody that visited was treated to the marvelous "Sand River Model" from the South East Rivers Trust,   Sand River Model this shows how different scenarios, play a significant effect on rivers and was a great hit with the kids. The tanks showing fish caught in a 100m Electro fishing trip to the Emm Brook by Dragonfly Bridge produced approx 8 mature Chub, 3 Dace, 6 Signal Crayfish, 50 Bullheads, but at least 1000 in the river, 20 large Stone loach, 3 Three- spined Sticklebacks and 10 Minnow . Kick Sampling of the Emm was also undertaken with several Invertebrates found included a Freshwater shrimp, Bladder snail, 2 Damselfly larvae, a Wandering Pond snail, Whirligig beetle and a Hog Louse. .    Displays A big thanks to Wokingham Borough Council for their display explaining the Greenways Project and the Rights of Way review and for providing free refreshments for the event. The South East Rivers Trust also provided a display explaining the proposed changes to the Emm Brook.


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.


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.


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.



The FOTEB 2019 AGM was held on Monday 13th May. Eddie Napper was elected as the new chairperson for the group. A big thank you to Sue Farrington for her leadership over the last 14 years.


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


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 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



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.


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




September is a time of change as the tide turns from Summer to Autumn with the Autumnal equinox usually on the 22nd September. The hedgerows are full of ripening berries with Hawthorn haws, Rose hips, Sloes, Blackberries and Elderberries. However make sure that you pick your Blackberries before September 29th St Michaelmas Day . It was once believed that on the feast of St. Michael, the devil spat on the blackberries (or worse!) and it was therefore very unwise to pick and eat the fruit after September 29th. According to the old tale, when St. Michael cast Satan from Heaven, the devil landed on earth in a patch of brambles and he returns every year to spit on the plant that tortured him, breathing his foul breath over it and trampling it. The leaves of the trees are just starting to change to the reds and golds of Autumn and Winter as bird migrants start to appear.The 1st of September is officially the start of the metrological Autumn.


Keep an eye out for Jays. These birds are more noticeable at this time of the year as they stash acorns away for the winter by burying them in the ground. Gathering Swallows & Martins herald the beginning of the great intercontinental shift as northern breeding birds head south.


Insect numbers decline massively as adults of many species die to leave the caterpillars or pupae to survive the winter; however certain insects are more noticeable at this time of year. Around the time of the harvest in August onwards the Craneflies (or Daddy-long-legs) appear in their greatest numbers. September really wouldn.t be the same without one of these clumsy charecters hanging around your porch light.

Other Wildlife

Squirells become more noticeable again hunting for and hiding acorns for the winter.

Plants & Trees

By September the Horse-Chestnut trees (conker trees) have been showing signs of the changing season for several weeks, already with their large palmate leaves browning at the edges like they have passed too near to a naked flame. The Horse-Chestnut also yields up its seeds this month in the form of conkers which drop to the ground in their spiky green cases.

Other tree species such as Ash, Beech and Sweet Chestnut are also turning with tinges of yellow, orange and light green tinges.

Ivy is one of the few late flowering plants and the nectar forms an important food sources for bees and wasps. There are seven different wasp species in Britain. Common and German wasps seemingly suddenly appear in September but this is because their pattern of obtaining food has changed. Their summer past time of killing insects to feed to the larvae in the nest has come to an end (the larvae provide a sweet saliva in return). This is because their queen has now stopped laying eggs and the food incentive has gone. As a result they then move onto other sweet substitutes, such as the sugars of fallen fruit or the jam in your picnic sandwiches. Unfortunately it is now that wasps, with their ability to sting and not die, become particularly unpopular in the garden.

Many plants have or are setting seeds. Rosebay willow-herb plants are sending out fluffy seed umbrella like structures to carry the seed by the wind to a new location.

Fungi can be found throughout the year but a damp September and October will give rise to a multitude of fruiting bodies yielding billions of spores to spread the species far and wide.

Why do leaves change colour

For more information click the link September 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


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


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 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