2020 NEWS

27/06 20

RESTORATION OF THE EMM BROOK

The South East Rivers Trust working with various Agencys including FOTEB propose to make improvements to the Emm Brook through Area's 4 & 5 in Woosehill You can find out more about South East Rivers Trust proposals on their website. Restoration of the Emm Brook

26/06 20

EMM BROOK POLLUTION INCIDENT UPDATE

The Environment Agency has confirmed that the chemical spill has been contained on site (where the spill occurred) & has not affected the Emm Brook. As a precaution, an Environment Officer attended the Emm Brook & Dinton Pastures & found no signs of negative impact.THe Emm Brook has therfore been declared safe.

24/06 20

EMM BROOK POLLUTION INCIDENT

It was announced this afternoon by the Environment Agency that 8,000 litres of Nutriox had been discharged to the ground approx 1.5 miles upstream of the Emm Brook. The chemical has not entered the adjacent stream and it has not entered the underlying groundwater table . Nutriox is classed as a hazardous substance.The chemical is dangerous to eyes and harmful if swallowed.Advise is to rinse well with fresh water. Nutriox is used in a process which eliminates septicity , which produces dangerous and odorous hydrogen sulphide gas in sewer networks. Whilst this is being investigated please do not enter the Emm Brook or allow your dog to swim in it.

22/06 /20

NATIONAL INSECT WEEK

This week is National Insect Week. Organised by the Royal Entomological Society, it encourages everyone to appreciate and learn more about the ‘little things that run the world’. Insects are by far the most diverse and ecologically important group of animals on land and there are over 24,000 known species in the United Kingdom alone, with hundreds of species to be found in almost every garden and green space. With so many to study they are grouped into orders, for example the Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths), Odonata (dragonflies and damselflies), Hymenoptera (bees, ants and wasps), Orthoptera (grasshoppers and crickets) and Coleoptera (beetles) to name a few. Insects have a huge role to play and without them our lives would be very different: they pollinate fruit, flowers and vegetables; they are food for amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals; and they feed on lots of living and dead things themselves, breaking down waste and helping to keep the balance of nature. You can find out more about National Insect Week on their website. National Insect Week

12/06 20

NEW AREA ADDED TO FOTEB MONITORING LIST

Area 7A The FOTEB committee have decided to incorporate a new wildlife monitoring area to the list. It will encompass the Ashridge Stream (a tributary of the Emm Brook).With the building of the new houses in the Emmbrook area it has opened up the Ashridge Stream.It will be known as Area 7A of the Emmbrook for monitoring purposes . It will be from its emergence at Warren House Road (SU 816698) to its confluence with the Emm Brook (SU 798704) close to Toutley Bridge on Old Forest Road. Eldridge Park Area 7A incorporates Eldridge Park a 25 acre SANG.

NORTH WOKINGHAM DISTRIBUTOR ROAD

In case anybody is wondering whats going on at Old Forest Road Meadows with Heras fencing everywhere it is part of the Flood Allevation Works for the new road. This involves the realignment of the existing footpaths and construction of flood bunds and Balancing ponds. The plan above is attached to the Heras fencing. Old Forest Road Meadows Works

NORTH WOKINGHAM DISTRIBUTOR ROAD

NWDR I have recently been contacted by concerned residents, regarding the current tree and hedgerow removal at the junction of Old Forest Road and Toutley Road. These works have also included removal of several trees on Old Forest Road Meadows and also Emmbrook Walk.Clearance has also been undertaken around the Ashridge Stream. These areas are owned by Wokingham Borough Council. These works are in preperation for the proposed North Wokingham Distributor Road. FOTEB has been speaking with WBC to try and make this process as less invasive as possible to the wildlife of the area.NWDR Further information on the proposed route can be found by following this link NWDR . Any residents concerns should be addressed to: NWDR@balfourbeatty.com > Click here to send an email

Events 2020

21/03 20

ALL EVENTS WILL BE CANCELLED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE

FOTEB COMMUNITY LITTER PICK 2020

CANCELLED

Litterpick flyer

FOTEB will be holding a Community litter pick on Saturday 28th March between 10:30-12:30 meet at Dragonfly Bridge to the rear of Morrisons .Please wear suitable clothing including gloves. Litter pickers and bags will be provided.

FOTEB AGM 2020

CANCELLED

The FOTEB 2020 AGM will be held on Monday 11th May 19:30-21:30 at Woosehill Community Hall ,Emmview Close,Wokingham,RG41 2TS

ELM TREE PLANTING

Elm Planting

On 03/01/2020, Friends of Emm Brook joined forces with Wokingham District Veteran Tree Association and Butterfly Conservation Upper Thames volunteers along with Duncan Fisher of Wokingham BC and Peter Cuss (Butterfly Conservation Upper Thames)to plant 20 disease resistant Elms at 4 sites, including Emmbrook Walk (Area 7) and Old Forest Road Meadows (Area 8). Thanks to all who helped. It is hoped that this habitat will help the White-letter Hairstreak (Satyrium w-album) a diminutive dark butterfly with a white W on its underside. It has declined by 93% since the 1970s because Dutch elm disease has destroyed the trees on which its caterpillars feed.

BASH THE BALSAM 2020

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.

JOIN US FOR BALSAM BASHING

Dates for 2020 Bashing are to be arranged:

NATIONAL MOTH NIGHT 2020

The date for Moth Night in 2020 has been set for 27 - 29 August . The theme for Moth Night 2020 is to be the various "Red" Underwings - Red Underwing Catocala nupta; Rosy Underwing Catocala electa; Dark Crimson Underwing Catocala sponsa and Light Crimson Underwing Catocala promissa. https://www.mothnight.info/home

MONTHLY BIRD WALKS AROUND DINTON PASTURES 2020

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.

LAVELL'S WETLAND TRUST

On the second Sunday of every month Lavell's Wetland Trust formally 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

JULY

General

The arrival of summer is a fantastic time for viewing wildlife along the Emm. The skies are filled with birds many of them Swifts and Swallows which we only really get to see at the height of summer. Butterflies herald the start of warmer, longer days and, if you’re a butterfly enthusiast, it’s fun to see how many different species you can identify. Insects of all types will be more active and, if you’re lucky, you may even get to spot a few bats which will have a great interest in the increase in insects.

Birds

The first of the summer migrants to depart are the Cuckoos. The adults leave in July to be followed by the offspring from this year later. Somehow they find their way to Africa independently. Woodlands are largely quiet by July as the main bird breeding period is drawing to a close and territories do not need to be advertised.

Insects

The moths are now plentiful and can be attracted with lights at night. The large and magnificent Broad-bodied Chaser dragonflies can be easy spotted as they aggressively tussle with competitors over a patch of river, pond or wet ditch. They clash in mid air and with surprising loud impacts. Damselflies are common where there is any standing water. Hummingbird Hawkmoths look like tiny Hummingbirds - hovering in front of flowers and feeding on nectar with their long proboscis. Most years, between June and August these moths can be seen in Berkshire. They are day flying and often seen in gardens. They dart from one flower to the next and are expert at hovering, beating their wings so rapidly you can hear them hum. They are resident in the Mediterranean and migrate northwards through Europe in the spring. Hummingbird Hawkmoths breed in the UK but unless it's very mild are unlikely to survive our winters.

Butterflies

Marbled White

Butterflies are one of our most enduring symbols of summer. The UK is home to over 50 species of butterfly. Marbled Whites,Common Blues are in flight alongside the Emm in July.

 

Other Wildlife

In July many young mammals born earlier in the season are now out of the nest and visible You may spot baby Fox cubs. The evening is the best time to spot many species. Pipestrelle

This is peak bat-watching season. British bat species are garden friendly, eating midges and tiny insects that cause annoyance on summer evenings. The Pipistrelle bat is the smallest and most widespread, favouring buildings where they congregate in large colonies. They enjoy a modern house and will hide behind tile-hung walls or weather-boarding. Young are born in June and will fly in July. They feed on tiny Caddis Fly gnats and tiny moths and will continue the rest of the summer preparing for winter hibernation between November and March. A pond in the garden will ensure they have good food supplies available.There are 16 native British bat species, all are protected by law.

Young litters of Hedgehogs are now learning their survival skills. You may see or hear them foraging for food at night.

Plants & Trees

At this time of the year the showy rosebay willow herb can be found along the banks of the brook, Greater Bindweed can be seen climbing though the hedgerows. Its big white trumpet flowers open during the day then twist closed as night falls. Along the river banks the creamy white Meadowsweet flowers put out a heady summer scent and are accompanied by many other waterside species.

For more information click the link July 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

2019 NEWS

EMMBROOK BIRD BOX USAGE 2018

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

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