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

AUGUST

General

August is the month when high summer turns to late summer. In the hedgerows the Blackberries have already started to ripen, going from green to red then finally black and delicious.

Birds

August sees the departure of the majority of Swifts. Their short stay in Britain reminds us just how fleeting summer can be. Most migrant birds are, however, with us for a while yet.

Insects

Hot days also bring the restful sound of Grasshoppers calling ('stridulating') from the long grass, advertising their territories. They are difficult to spot due to their green or brown colour, but soon hop to reveal themselves if disturbed, only to disappear again. Along the Emm brook the species most likely to be spotted are the Common Green, Common Field and the Meadow Grasshopper.

Butterflies

: Gatekeeper

Butterflies on the wing this month include the Meadow Brown, Small Skipper and Large Whites. Gatekeepers are particularly attractive orange and brown butterflies and can usually be found near hedgerows.

Other Wildlife

Early in the month Grey Squirrels are impatient and insist on cracking open the pale green Hazel nuts, even though there is little reward inside. They can be heard chattering and squealing at one another. Aggressive confrontations can lead to tree top chases.

Plants & Trees

The grasslands adjacent to the Forest Road contain Ragwort and Creeping Thistle. at this time of year . Ragwort is poisonous to livestock but supports approx 30 species of insect including the Cinnabar moth (the adult is black and red) feeds on this species at its caterpillar stage. The caterpillars are black and orange to ward off predators who may view them as a tasty snack. The caterpillar stores alkaloids from the plant which means that birds do indeed find them nasty to eat.

For more information click the link August 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

2018 NEWS

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