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

OCTOBER

General

This is the month that highlights the changing seasons. In the garden birds such as the Blackbird, Blue Tit and Robin will be seen more frequently as their need to find food increases. This time of year is a good time to start feeding them, if you have ever stopped. Autumn colour can be seen along the Emm Brook as the trees and hedgerow leaves change. The last sunday of the month is traditionally when the clocks change again. We move the clocks back an hour on the 28th October at 2 AM and adopt Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) until March.

Birds

In autumn very few birds can be heard singing, although they do call to one another as they move around in flocks.Keep an eyeout for Long-tailed Tits moving from tree to tree at Riverside walk. The exception can often be Robins with their melancholy autumn song. A spell of warm weather sometimes persuades Song and Mistle thrushes to sing from some lofty perch, and this is always welcome. The start of the month Meadow Pipits can sometimes be seen flying over Riverside Walk in large numbers as they migrate to other areas. Redwing and Fieldfare will be migrating from Northern Europe to winter in Britain.This is the time Jays are also active burying acorns to eat during the winter.

Insects

Fewer insect will be seen as the cold weather sets in however certain insects become more noticeable. Around this time of the year Crane flies or Daddy Longlegs appear in their greatest numbers. Harvestmen also known as Harvest spiders can also be seen.

Butterflies

Red Admiral
Red Admirals can still be seen on the wing on sunny day along with Speckled Wood.

Dragonflies

Common Hawkers can still be seen alongside the Emmbrook at Dinton Pastures.

 

Moths

Merville du jour

An exotic-looking moth with an exotic name, the Merveille-du-Jour . It’s an autumn flier that feeds on Ivy flowers and ripe berries, widespread and not scarce in woodland, parkland and gardens; the larvae live on oak. Not all moths are brown and boring!

 

Other Wildlife

As the tree canopy is gradually lost Grey Squirrels can be seen moving through the branches looking for acorns.

Around mid-October Toads go into hibernation, finding logs or stones to hide beneath until Spring arrives once more. Frogs also hibernate at this time at the bottom of ponds or some other sheltered place, ready to emerge again in the following January. Spiders webs – on cold autumn mornings you suddenly realise how many spiders there are. Take an early morning walk and spot spider webs outlined in dew on hedgerows, in meadows even on house windows and car wing mirrors. Spider silk is truly amazing – see if you can find a spider actually making a web and watch carefully how it's constructed.

 

Plants & Trees

Winter Tree

The leaves on the trees and hedgerows start to change colour to a yellow - gold colour. Why do leaves change colour

For more information click the link October 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

2018 NEWS

BIG BUTTERFLY COUNT 2018

25/07/18 This weekend marks the beginning of the Big Butterfly Count: a three-week nationwide survey where members of the public are urged to spend 15 minutes helping record 17 different species of our most common butterflies in whatever location they wish. Since being launched in 2010 the survey has become the largest of its kind in the world. While ostensibly intended to record the health of the nation’s butterflies – themselves powerful biodiversity indicators – it also provides a chance to spend some time reconnecting with the everyday, often overlooked, nature all around us. More details can be found here:2017 Bird Box Usage along the Emm Click here

BIG BUTTERFLY COUNT 2018

21/07/18 This weekend marks the beginning of the Big Butterfly Count: a three-week nationwide survey where members of the public are urged to spend 15 minutes helping record 17 different species of our most common butterflies in whatever location they wish. Since being launched in 2010 the survey has become the largest of its kind in the world. While ostensibly intended to record the health of the nation’s butterflies – themselves powerful biodiversity indicators – it also provides a chance to spend some time reconnecting with the everyday, often overlooked, nature all around us. More details can be found here:Click here

FOTEB LITTER PICK 2018

CANCELLED DUE TO THE WEATHER

A litter pick will take place on 18th March 2018 @ 10.00. Meet at Morrisons, between the Community Centre and Morrisons entrance in Woosehill. Please wear suitable clothing including gloves. Litter pickers and bags will be provided.

FOTEB AGM 2018

The FOTEB 2018 AGM was held on Monday 14th May at 19.15 - 21.15 at Woosehill Community Hall, Emmview Close, Wokingham RG41 3DA.

BASH THE BALSAM 2018

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 the 2018 Balsam Bashing season are as follows:

Wed 4 July Area 6. Emmbrook school to Railway bridge at 17:00.

Sun 08 July Area5. Dragonfly bridge to Barkham Road bridge. Meet at 0900 at Dragonfly Bridge at the rear of Morrisons.

Thur 12 July Area3. Barkham Road to Finchampstead Road meet by Lidl car park on Ashville Way at 17:00.

Sat 14 July Area 8. Old Forest Road to M4 Bridge, meet at 0900 at the lay by on Old Forest Road.

Sun 5th August Area 5. Dragonfly Bridge to Railway Bridge meet at 0900 at Dragonfly Bridge (rear of Morrisons).

Thur 9th August Area3. Ashville Way to Barkham Road Bridge meet by Lidl car park on Ashville Way at 17:00.

Sun 12th August Area7. Old Forest Road to Emmbrook School meet at 09.00 at the lay by on Old Forest Road.

MONTHLY BIRD WALKS AROUND DINTON PASTURES 2018

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.

2018 NEWS

OAK TREE SET ON FIRE

18/06/18 Burnt Oak Tree

In an act of mindless vandalism an Oak tree near Kingfisher Bridge was recently set on fire. The Fire Brigade were called to put it out.

EMMBROOK MEADOWS POND

03/04/18 Woosehill Meadow Pond Sign

The observant ones of you will have noticed that the Woosehill Meadow Pond Sign is not in its rightfull place in Area 5. The sign was found uprooted, and has been removed, prior to reinstatement at a later date .

EMMBROOK BIRD BOX USAGE 2017

The annual clearance of the nest boxes along the Emm took place this year on in January 2018. This was undertaken by Malcolm Dunmore, Charles Stickler, Eddie Napper and Mike Saynor.

checked the nest boxes along the Emm in January 2018. A high proportion of the nest boxes were used again. A full report can be found here. 2017 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