2019 NEWS



 Work Party   The cutting back of the invasive Brambles and a Litter Pick on Saturday 23rd November around Dragonfly Bridge to the rear of Morrisons in Area 5 was completed.  Cut Vegetation   Work was undertaken around the Notice Board and the pond. The weather was not as bad as predicted and 4 volunteers did an amazing amount of work, the resulting pile of cut vegetation will be kindly removed by Wokingham Borough Council.


   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




December 21st is the Midwinter Solstice and our shortest hours of daylight. Plants are in their dormant stage and there are very few signs of growth at this time. It also marks the official arrival of thr winter. This month is, of course, dominated by the run up to Christmas. It is now, perhaps more than any other time that we bring plants from the countryside into our home. Evergreens such as Holly, with its rosy berries (only on the females plants) are used in wreaths, along with Ivy and fir cones too. The custom of decorating homes with evergreen branches dates back to pre-Christian times. Holly,Iivy and Mistletoe were thought to have magical powers. A European tradition states that whoever brings the first Holly into the house at Christmas will rule the house for the following year.


Cold nights and damp days make winter inhospitable for lots of insects and plants, while most amphibians and some mammals have gone into hibernation. But while the rest of the animal kingdom sleeps, the landscape is flooded with visiting and resident birds. Amongst the most likely birds to be seen in the gardens, woodlands and fields alonside the Emm are flocks of roaming Tits and Finches (such as Chaffinch and Brambling). These are often joined by the occasional Tree creeper and Nuthatch. With every year that passes there are more reports of Blackcaps and even Chiffchaffs over wintering; you may be lucky to see them amongst these flocks. Rooks and Crows seem to be everywhere once out of town, and Jays and Magpies are hard to miss also. Robins are one of the first species to start singing in earnest, with the males marking out their territories in readiness for the coming breeding season

At night Tawny owls may be heard staking out territory, with both the male and the female birds creating the classic owl 'tu-wit tu-who'.

Wood Pigeon Love them or hate them, huge numbers of woodpigeons will be on the move within December. Individual flocks can number in the tens of thousands. The movement is generally from the north to the south-west and is most obvious on clear cold days with light winds. We aren't really sure where these birds come from or where they are going to but it would seem likely that they are moving from northern Europe and are making their way to France and possibly southern Europe. When this migration is underway it is a very impressive sight and one that a lot of people overlook.


Very few insects can be found flying around during December. The exception may be clouds of male Gnats dancing in the hope of attracting a passing female. Look into your shed or attic now and you may come across adult Small Tortoiseshell or Peacock butterflies waiting out the winter.

Some Slugs and Snails still brave the conditions. Their slimy trails differ in that snails trails are not continuous, unlike Slugs.

Other Wildlife


All of our local amphibian and reptile species (i.e. common toad slow-worm; common newt, smooth newt , great crested newt and grass snake) are all hidden away under ground until spring, and sometimes together in mixed groups. Only the common Frog chooses a different approach by hiding at the bottom of a pond.

Foxes will be making their intentions loud and clear this month as their mating season ensues. Vixens (females) wail and scream, and dogs (males) bark to find mates across the landscape. They also become easier to spot as they search and flirt. There are more urban Foxes now than ever, so chances of seeing and indeed hearing their displays are no longer confined to fields and hedgerows. Their cubs will be born next January / February.

For more information click the link December 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