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

NOVEMBER

General

Autumn is well and truly with us and it's a fantastic time to get out and about and experience the "season of change". Hard frosts may have started and early mornings are often misty, as the dew from the ground condenses during the night. This month sees the last of the leaves on the deciduous trees falling to the ground.

Birds

Robin

The Robin, so often associated with the festive season, can be particularly tame during the colder months. Robins are one of the few birds that can be heard singing during winter, as both the males and females maintain territories for feeding during this period, which may be their breeding territories later. Around Christmas-time Robins begin exploring other Robins' territories looking for a mate. They then pair up by mid-January and females stop singing

Insects

Harlequin Beetle

Many insects overwinter in forms other than the adult, such as the pupa (moths and some butterflies) or the larva (Caddis flies). Some remain as adults such as Wasps. Adult Ladybirds and Peacock butterflies seek out warm nooks in sheds and attics to hide. Here the air is moist but not so cold.

Keep an eye out for Harlequin Ladybirds. Harmonia axyridis It takes its common name from the fact that over 100 different colour patterns have been recorded. Some specimens are reddish-orange with black dots, while others are black with red patches. This of course makes it difficult to identify. Harlequin Ladybirds spend the winter in buildings often in large numbers.

For more information click the linkNovember 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

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

WOKINGHAM DISTRICT VETERAN TREE ASSOCIATION

Wokingham District Veteran Tree Association was formed ten years ago in 2007 and have just launched the WDTVAs 10th Anniversary Report. This report summarising WDVTA activities and achievements across the Borough is now available on the WDVTA website at Click here

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 A total of 40 hours was spent during 2017 bashing the Balsam along the Emm Brook.

Himalayan balsam

Himalayan balsam is classified as a Non Native Invasive Species and as such can take over large areas of river bank or damp habitat.It was introduced by the Victorians for use in ornamental gardens. 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 byany subsequent 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

EMMBROOK BIRD BOX USAGE 2016

2nd September 2017

Malcolm Dunmore, Charles Stickler and Mike Saynor checked the nest boxes along the Emm in January 2017. A high proportion of the nest boxes were used again in 2016, although many of the tit chicks in the boxes along Emmbrook Walk perished. A full report can be found here. 2016 Bird Box Usage

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 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.