News & Current

Whats Happening?

April 2015- Images from the site

Lee Black has kindly permitted the Friends to use images that he captures on his site walks. These are some of those showing the variety of sights to interest visitors


New things appear daily amongst the sites different habitats. Some are amusing, others serene or colourful.
Many visitors to the Large Pond area have been entertained by herons as they gorge themselves. Sometimes they demonstrate their craft at blending into the landscape. Sometimes they act like brazen, boasting successful anglers, perching cockily on the top of one of the dipping platforms handrails.


When swans visit, they add tranquillity. Graceful, serene and effortlessly gliding across the water, even when the weather is sulky.


At the scrape area, along the copse margins and within the meadow areas, wildflowers are adding colour, texture and food. Presently it is the birds that are benefiting most from the seeds. Soon more insects will be actively feeding.

Sunday, 5th April 2015- An early service

A multi-denomination ecumenical service was held to celebrate the dawn on this Easter Sunday.
The congregation assembled in the dark ready for a 6.00am start. Competition with the bird’s early morning chorus was brief. With musical support, the congregation song loudly their joy.

This is an annual event started in 2001. It is organised by the local churches.

March 2015- Welcome back

A colourful male proudly leading the female, is a much welcomed sight on the Large Pond. Mandarins have nested in previous years but have never stayed for the full spring/summer period.
If we are lucky, this year we may be more successful.

Please be aware, dogs entering the water will scare them away. Please keep all dogs on a lead and away from the waters edge.

Feeding ducklings with bread puts them at risk of choking. Corn pellets and similar feeds are available. These products include essential nutrients.

Our thanks to John Smith and Geoff Caldwell for these images.

Wednesday, 25th February 2015- Removal of fence

A relic from the opencast mining days, the 6’ chain-link fencing along the Blackshale West Track, has been getting progressively distressed. Today Broxtowe began work on its removal.
This should give a more open feeling to this access path along the rear of the industrial units. Even with the posts still standing, this is evident.

Tuesday, 24th February 2015- Another habitat improvement

The mixed species hedgerow adjacent the bottom (north)end of Greasley FP67, has well established growth that was becoming bare at the base. It also contained gaps formed by unauthorised access into the Mound Copse.
Today work commenced to lay this hedgerow. After a few years, this change should result in continuous cover along its length for birds and small mammals. Some infill planting may be necessary.
Visitors accessing the site from the West Entrance, will have a view of the Mound Copse trees. Additional light will reach the bottom of the slope and this will encourage wildflowers to root.

Wednesday, 4th February 2015- a good day for a task

On this second work morning of this new year, FoCW enjoyed the strong rays of unseasonal sun. Our first work morning had not gone so well. Horizontal hail sprang suddenly from the clouds and bit into our faces. We were glad when the task was complete and we could retreat home.
Presently we are creating habitat piles from brash arising from the halo pruning. These assist the overwintering of insects and small mammals.

Our next work morning is on Saturday 14th February. This is open to public participation. Bring along a pair of loppers, warm clothing, strong waterproof shoes or wellingtons and good gloves. We meet in the car park at 9.30am.

Sunday, 7th December 2014- Lottery winners

The prize draw for the FoCW Storage Container lottery took place on Sunday 7th December.

The winning tickets in the order of draw were:

Draw order

Ticket No




£60 shopping voucher



£30 shopping voucher.
Winner generously donated this prize for purchasing food items to be added to Morrisons charity food bank.



£10 shopping voucher



Multi-coloured crystal brooch



Crystal ear-rings & pendant set



Christmas bear

Our grateful thanks to all those who have supported this fund raising. It has enabled us to install the container and helped finance the additional works required.

Sunday, 7th December 2014- Santa enjoys a visit

As part of the national Tree Dressing Day, children were invited to hang baubles and decorations on our adopted pine ‘Christmas tree’. Parents ‘helped’, and sometimes children were able to get a turn. It was good fun to reach as high as possible. Adjacent trees and saplings were not ignored.
Over the next few days, visitors will add further decorations.

Santa arrived and went to his prepared grotto. He was welcomed by the children who queued expectantly. They emerged clutching their special hand delivered gifts.

To add to the festive feeling, children created their own plate Christmas trees. On this task they were definitely in charge. Skilled use of a paste spatula, deft application of coloured, sparkly shapes and fingers that could wrap decorative string into the scales of open cones, soon showed their play experience. Proud artists balanced their masterpieces home to display for the family.

Monday 1st December- winter homes

The FoCW are busy creating habitat piles from cut material.
Habitat piles provide winter protection for a host of insects and refuge for small mammals. Both key components of the sites food chain.

Our log stacks are a long term investment for encouraging beetles. Eventually, in perhaps five to eight years time, these stacks will be used for children’s environmental investigations. Until then we just have to be patient.

Monday, 24th November 2014- Caught in the act

Broxtowe’s manager of Parks and Green Spaces, Tim Crawford, contributed time and effort to help with the DH Lawrence Copse halo pruning work. Far more enjoyable than sitting behind a desk.

The FoCW and Notts. Wildlife spent a second day progressing with this task in the first of five areas. Already there is noticeably far more light reaching the ground. This will encourage the under-storey level to flourish and provide food sources for insets and small mammals.

Monday, 17th November 2014- Woodland work

Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust with their volunteers and FoCW, began halo pruning around trees within the DH Lawrence Copse.
This is the last of the copses to have any thinning work. Halo pruning encourages chosen tree specimens to grow more strongly by reducing competition for nutrients and water. Three species are being treated in this manner- oak, larch and Scots pine. The chosen specimens will form the long term framework for this copse.
Pruning and thinning work will continue for the next four years.

Monday, 27th October 2014- At long last

FoCW have been working to raise money to purchase a container in which they can store items and equipment used for site events and activities. Nothing of any re-saleable value will be stored. However, this facility will remove the increasingly difficult task of conveying everything required for the activity to the site and then having to cart it back for storage.
Today we installed the container.

Sunday, 12th October 2014- Running into sunshine

The annual Broxtowe Duathlon day started with a heavy mist that enthusiastic competitors seemed not to notice. The first race commenced with a mass start before any sunshine appeared. And away they ran at a competitive pace.
When that sunshine eventually broke through the mist, the race was well established with the front runners already well into the cycling section.

The event was a challenge for many. For the first time in this event, an assisted competitor with visual impairment, joined the race. (The first tandem to take part.) True supportive teamwork that was also evident from so many competitors.
Another good successful event. Our thanks to the Broxtowe Sports team for all their enthusiastic dedication.

Sunday, 14th September 2014- music in the park

The Newmount Brass band, conducted by Tim Robinson, performed the picnic concert at the Auditorium.
This performance is part of the DH Lawrence Festival program.
A range of themes were played with orchestral skill to an appreciative audience.

Friday, 29th August 2014- a bug hunt

The Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire Entomology Society (DaNES) conducted an insect survey as part of their centenary celebration. An intense year of recording at sites across the two counties, many of which they will visit for the first time.
Colliers Wood has had the benefit of three previous surveys. Their recordings form the key part of the insect categories of our species list. We hope to add further identifications this year.

The evening moth survey always provides anticipation and excitement. The subjects come to you, rather than you having to carefully sift through grass or leaf litter. Like angling, there is always the ‘one that got away’. Seen but not captured for firm identification with the help of a lens.

Friends are grateful to the DaNES team for the tremendous effort they make and their willingness to share their experience and knowledge.

Sunday, 3rd August 2014- Companion Dog Show

The annual Colliers Wood Companion Dog Show, held under Kennel Club rules, was well attended and enjoyed a slightly windy, but DRY day with some sunshine.

We were privileged to have Judy and Barry Alton to judge the twenty two classes, plus ‘best-in-show’ and ‘reserve best-in-show’. A difficult task that they managed with enthusiasm and kind encouragement for the participants. Judy, additionally, contributed dog beds to the first placed in all the classes. They were gratefully received.
Well done to all who took part and our congratulations to those who were placed and received the rosettes and medals.

Friends of Colliers Wood work to expand this event and welcome feedback from attendees. If you have points to raise, or ideas to help the show, please email
Income from this show is donated to Dogs for the Disabled. Sponsors help the finances. This year the sponsors were: Wagg Dog Food, Matkin Butchers, Beach’s Bakery, Leabrook Service Motors and Seals Fodder Room. We are grateful for their support.

Thursday, 17th July 2014- Treasure Island

The Rain or Shine Theatre Company delivered their dependable enjoyable performance with their interpretation of the classic Treasure Island story. Tension, intrigue, deceit and action displayed with finesse, brought out the true nature of a story we all had wrongly believed we knew.
It was welcomed entertainment on a good summers evening.
Unusually, the audience level was significantly less than normal. Why?

Well done to Broxtowe’s Arts and Events team for a well organised event with easy parking.


Wednesday, 2nd July 2014- Children with enthusiasm for nature.

Greasley Scouts cub pack enjoyed a night of pond dipping on their local nature reserve.

A small number of insects were found, but a great number of fish were landed.
The delight of getting wet on a warm night was evident as they progressively became more adventurous. Definitely true scout material.

Sunday, 29th June 2014- Family fun, whatever the weather.

Our annual Family Pond Dipping event had a surprisingly good turnout in unpredictable weather that varied from very hot sunshine to rain; warm rain. The event brought joy to the youngsters and clearly to many of the parents who participated enthusiastically in the dipping themselves.

Again a disappointing quantity of insects were available. The fish were numerous. For many children, this was the first time they had landed a fish.
This event is part of the FoCW ‘Fun with Learning program’.

Wednesday, 26th June 2014- Disrupted feeding

The grey heron flirted between the two dipping platforms, perching on the top rails. This clearly helped him see the most tasty fish. The moorhen found satisfaction in cleaning up the crumbs from the platforms.
Suddenly the heron heard the growing chorus from the approaching children and decided it was time to depart.

The children were the 1st Kimberley Scouts cub pack coming for a pond dipping evening. Cheerful, excited and full of expectation. They got stuck into the task. Unfortunately, few insects were found and no frogs in transition. But loads of fish were landed and this was clearly an unpleasant sight for the returning heron who circled twice and sulked off.

Wednesday, 26th June 2014- A rewarding experience

Greasley Gathering generously awarded two money prizes for the best scarecrow displayed at the bank holiday event. One was won by the 1st Kimberley Scout pack.
Margaret Turner, chairman of the FoCW had the privilege of handing over the cheque to arkela Dawn Radford, on behalf of the Greasley Gathering committee. Well done.

Monday, 26th May 2014- There will be no birds on this site!

As part of the Greasley Gathering, the Moorgreen Residents Association has organised an annual scarecrow display in front gardens. This year the FoCW were encouraged to become involved and arrange a display at the site.
Schools, uniformed groups and youth clubs were invited to prepare scarecrows with the theme of Treasure Island. Twenty seven scarecrows were erected. They display a talent for imagination, amusement and determined endeavour.

The contributors were:-
Brookhill Leys School, Gilthill Primary School, ECO Club, 1st Greasley Guides, 2nd Kimberley Brownies, 1st Greasley Cubs, 1st Greasley Scouts, 2nd Kimberley Cubs and FoCW.

Saturday, 17th May 2014- another step forward

At long last the FoCW were able to devote time to concreting the foundation pads for the event storage container. A dry warm day cheered us as we hand mixed the concrete and carefully placed into the shuttering.
Our next step forward will be a major one; installation of the unit, when we have the funds.


Monday, 15th March 2014- Trees showing life

The Scotch pines and larch have, so far this year, provided the only colour and main interest within the copses. However for the last two weeks, colourful catkins have sprouted on the willows to provide spotlights against otherwise drab backgrounds. Many alder catkins still exist, but these are dull in comparison.
Close inspection shows leaf buds quickly developing on several varieties of tree. A response to this unseasonal warmth and sunshine?


Saturday, 16th February, 2014- Hardy runners

The Kimberley and District Striders demonstarted their determination and toughness by turning out for the first Colliers Wood Canter.
Wet, windy and cold. Not the best way to start an event.
Paul and Sue were as pleased as the FoCW to see this new initiative launched. It will be held on the second Saturday of each month. Starting from the car park at 9.00am, there is an option of two run lengths, 3k and 5k. Sufficient for novices and occassional runners to get the heart pumping faster.
For information, email The event is free and open to all comers. Under 16 year olds must be accompanied by an adult.

Saturday, 25th January- some progress

Excavation for foundation [pads and positioning of shuttering for the FoCW container storage unit, made some progress today.
When the formwork is levelled in, we will concrete the pads in readiness for a June installation.


Sunday, 1st December, 2013- Santa returned

Our tree dressing day was blessed with a visit from Santa Claus. Fortunately we had prepared a grotto on the hope that he would visit. The youngsters were delighted and kept him busy until he had to depart, or at least tried to. One look at the late comers faces was sufficient for Santa to return to his ‘duty’. He wouldn’t go and leave them disappointed. They weren’t.

Friends had their environmental workshop to involve older children. The normal range of formats for fat based and fruit based feeders were made, with an added half apple format to encourage participants to think of different ways home products could be used. Parents were happy to hang some of the items around the Miner’s Copse area. They quickly caught the attention of tits and thrushes.

As always, the hanging of baubles was a big draw for both children, parents and grandparents. The lower branches were quickly well decorated. Frustrated parents could not resist temptation and were soon stretching to demonstrate how high they could mount decorations. It all added to the colour that sparkled in the bright light of the low winter sun.
Over the next few days, many site visitors will add their decorations. Our Christmas tree is popular, but is now too large for practical use. FoCW are investigating an alternative.

Friday, 22 November, 2013- ICE

Gulls standing on water!
Surface ice covered much of the Large Pond this morning. No apparent problem for the gulls, standing stationary, hunched up, awaiting visitors food. Fortunately free water was still present along some of the perimeter. Mallards and Moorhen were busy foraging in this restricted space.

The low, strong, sunlight sparkled from the frozen particles on the path surfaces and off the raindrops still clinging to grass.
Visitors found it difficult to see in the glare when walking towards the south boundary, but an enjoyable morning, hinting at the cold weather to come.

Wednesday, 20th November, 2013- we’ve given up hope

The mute swans have not been seen for over one week.
Once again, this is a sad lose. We had hoped that this pair could resist the disturbance caused by dog’s entering the water.

Saturday, 16th November, 2013- another initiative

Preliminary work began today in preparation for thinning works to the last area of the site; the DH Lawrence Copse
This copse contains all of the species planted at site formation and subsequently. It is the only copse to do so.
Marking of samples of three species was undertaken, ready for halo pruning. These trees will eventually form the main structure when the copse is mature.
Halo pruning allows more light to reach the chosen trees and reduces competition for nutrients from the soil.

Monday, 4th November 2013- Will they stay?

A week ago, early visitors were welcomed with the sight of a pair of mute swans.
Once a regular event on the Large Pond, in the last few years swans have not stayed for very long. Occasionally, young swans trying to establish territory, have tried to establish and breed. Inevitably, loose dogs entering the water have eventually caused them to flee.
Keeping our fingers crossed, this fully grown pair may stay, survive the winter and breed next spring.


Saturday, 19th October 2013- Lottery results

At Dora Phillips Hall, the FoCW’s ‘Project Fund’ lottery was drawn.
The winning tickets, in the order they were drawn are:

Draw order

Ticket No




£60 shopping voucher



£30 shopping voucher



£10 shopping voucher



Ceramic table fruit display



Solid silver ‘pierced’ earrings, mouse design



‘Pot of Dreams’ ceramic money box for males

Monday, 23rd September, 2013- Welcomed visitors

Early morning walkers were greeted by the sight of a pair of magnificent looking Whooper Swans on the Large Pond. They towered upright in the weak sunlight with the other waterfowl keeping their distance, making no effort to feed, just bold sparkling white against the dark background for our enjoyment.
After about one hour, with great effort they lifted off from the pond, turned and headed uphill along the Tupton Track barely above ground level. Standing at the time in the Central Meadow, I watched these wide wingspans approaching at eye level; my companion and I stood transfixed as they skimmed low over us, whooping loudly, with their wings laboriously beating as they tried to gain more height. One passed just below the overhead power cables along the south boundary. The other couldn’t gain that height and had to deftly twist through the Wetland Copse trees- fortunately where the larger trees had recently been felled. We stood, like other early visitors, staring in awe at this magnificent spectacle and their amazing avoidance of the obstacles, including ourselves.
This is the first time whoopers have been recorded at Colliers Wood.

Sunday, 8th September 2013- Auditorium Concert

The Community Choir, conducted by Charlotte Bullock, performed this year DH Lawrence Festival concert at the Auditorium.
This is a newish local choir who delighted the audience with a wide range of music genera. Their first visit to Colliers Wood, but hopefully this will be repeated.

Sunday, 4th August 2013- Companion Dog Show

Deputy Mayor, Councillor Stan Heptinstall joined in the fun at the years Companion Dog Show. He admired many of the dogs who were competing in the classes or taking part in the agility and re-call tests that Broxtowe wardens had brought to entertain those attending.
The show had a new judge, Barry Alton, assisted by his wife Judy. They dealt with the task with a smooth efficiency that maintained the audiences’ interest and added to the excitement of the competition. Margaret Sutcliffe had a team demonstrating obedience. This theme is part of the FoCW efforts to promote responsible dog ownership in practical ways. Testing for the RDO certificates at all levels was also undertaken- see Dog Show tag under Events for testing details.

Below are images of the dogs that won specific titles this year.

Monday, 29th July 2013- Another Green Flag year

For the period 2013-14, Colliers Wood has again achieved Green Flag status.
This is the first year covered by the new five year management plan. (The plan can be viewed on the FoCW and Broxtowe websites.)


Monday, 29th July 2013- Electrical safety

Western Power Distribution operatives completed the cutting back of tree foliage to achieve a safe distance between the remaining foliage and the overhead power line that runs along the southern boundary. They have made a decent job of the task.
Whilst the loss of this foliage, especially the oaks, will impact upon the species in that area, it is noticeable how much extra sunlight light reaches the Blackshale Track. This is beneficial to the adjacent plants.

Thursday, 18th July 2013- A Comedy of Errors

Our annual theatre event was held on the Moorgreen Meadow, in warm, dry conditions. Such a welcome change to that of the last two years weather conditions.
Plenty of well prepared picnics prepared a good sized audience eager for a night of entertainment from The Rain or Shine Theatre Company. And entertainment it certainly was.

Shakespeare’s romantic comedy was fast moving, full-on, bawdy and hilarious. Tangled love with mistaken identities tested the audience as they followed the story line. The actors ad-libbing drew much appreciation, melding us with the on and off stage action. Laughter was frequent, extensive and comfortably rewarding.

Darkness and the copse background increased the romantic atmosphere. We all welcomed the joy when miss-identity was resolved and the love tangle came to a successful conclusion.

A great way to spend a summer night. We thank Broxtowe’s Arts and Events team for successfully staging this show.

Friday, 12th July 2013- Colour and food

A kaleidoscope of colour is developing along the un-mown areas of meadow. Blues and purples have become prominent both as the base colour of wildflowers and as a tantalising hue on the seed heads to such grasses as Yorkshire Fog.
Grasses are providing the greatest variety of colours, heights, textures and shapes. An unusual number of species are presently in their most showy state.
Our native honeysuckle, Lonicera Periclymenum, continues to display- see the plant at the Moorgreen Entrance. In the same area there are also several Common Spotted Orchids close to the Moorgreen and Blackshale Tracks. Look out for an upright mauve plant whose leaves have brown marks. This species has been present on the site for a number of years at limited locations. It now seems intent on expanding into new areas.

Wednesday,26th June 2013- Green Flag Judging

As part of the procedure when an application is made for a site to be granted Green Flag status, it is inspected by two judges to ensure that the standards required are being achieved. It is normal for those judges to meet people associated with the management of the site and those typical of the sites regular users.
The judges will be visiting Colliers Wood at 2.00pm tommorrow, Thursday 27th June. If you would like to support this application by attending, please congregate at the Auditorium.

Sunday, 16th June 2013- Family Pond Dipping

Sunshine was the order of the day for this event which was scheduled in the BBC’s ‘Things To Do’ as part of the Summer of Wildlife program.

Surface insects were very limited in number and species. Even sub-surface insects were hard to find. A few Boatman, Pond Skater, Whirligig beetles, Springtails and even fewer tadpoles at the first stage of transformation. No nymphs were seen.
However, fish were plentiful, easy to catch and many of considerable size. Male and female stickleback fascinated the children and adults with the prominent different breast colour. Gudgeon and Minnow were also plentiful, but the excitement was greatest when small bream were caught, several of a size too large to be accommodated in our trays. A few small decorative carp were landed and many could be seen near the surface. Just one reasonable sized Goldfish was netted. Its strong bright colour fascinated the younger dippers.
Mr Russell Norman totted up a catch of stickleback and gudgeon numbering 60. He also helped his children to catch a few. Truly an enjoyable family event.

A Grey Heron made several attempts to find a ‘safe’ spot from which to join the fishing, but eventually accepted that the competion was too strong. Likewise a Common Tern tried to muscle in, showing off its skills before finely deciding to wait until the crowd departed.

Friday, 7th June, 2013- Meadow colour

Around the perimeter of meadows, white blossom is still plentiful and the Scotts Pine cones have a bright coppery colour to contrast with the pale lime green new growth that is emerging, but it is the wildflowers that are most evident. These are a few examples that contrast with the hawthorn.
Most importantly are the flowering grasses; some of which have maturing seeds. With the insect population at a very low level, this food source is essential for supporting the lower end of the food chain.

Thursday, 6th June, 2013- IKEA supports environmental work

FoCW enthusiastically accepted IKEA’s offer to take part in the stores environmental week. It enabled us to meet many people of different ages with some degree of environmental interest.
The theme we concentrated upon was garden birds and bats. Our various ‘Fun with Learning’ handouts covering boxes, feeders and food were popular. Equally the event program, Eastwood Arts Festival, Broxtowe Walks and the DH Lawrence Festival attracted customers from further afield who were not aware of these opportunities.

Saturday, 20th April, 2013- Wildflowers

Wild flowers are as slow as the leaves to make an appearance this year. These are three of the yellow flowers presently showing.

Cowslips to join the earlier flowering primroses, dandelion taking advantage of the sun and moisture, and lesser celandine. Coltsfoot is also flowering at several locations, adding to the yellow, sun feeling.

Saturday, 13th April, 2013- A spring clean

Friends managed to fit in a litter pick before the meadow grass and tree leaves begin to grow, which would have made it far more difficult.
Probably the only beneficial effect of this very late start to spring growth.
At least, overnight, the site looked cleaner. FoCW request all visitors to remove rubbish and drink containers to the bins. Such things are very dangerous to our wildlife creatures and visiting dogs.

Wednesday, 10th April, 2013- AGM

The Friends were pleased to welcome the appointment of Aileen Fergus as Treasurer and Marketing Officer. Aileen has an experienced background that will benefit the FoCW’s marketing efforts.

March 2013- Bird sightings

40 species recorded this month. Fortunately, woodpeckers and owls were back. We are still short of spring arriving visitors.

The birds spotted were:

Blackbird Bullfinch Buzzard, Common Chaffinch Coot Dove, Collared
Dunnock Fieldfare Goldcrest Goldfinch Goose, Canada Goose, Greylag
Greenfinch Gull, Black-head Jackdaw Jay Kestrel Magpie
Moorhen Owl, Tawny Pheasant Pigeon, Wood Redpoll, Common Redwing
Robin Rook Siskin Sparrowhawk Sparrow, House Starling
Thrush, Mistle Thrush, Song Tit, Blue Tit, Coal Tit, Great Tit, Long-tailed
Wagtail, Pied Woodpecker, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Green Wren

Thursday,14th March 2013- A home to let

The first bird box to be installed at the site was positioned today by Broxtowe BC tree team. It is a rather larger box than those for song birds that are made at the FoCW environmental workshops.

This box is designed to attract tawny owls. Tawny owls have been regularly hunting at the site and in adjacent fields for some years, but no nest holes are known in the immediate area. The box is based on a well used design and incorporates additional safety features for fledglings.
It will only be occupied for egg laying- if we are lucky- early in 2014. Roosting may occur sooner and, unfortunately, it may prove desirable to other birds or squirrels before then.

February 2013- Bird sightings

41 species recorded this month. Woodpeckers and owls were not seen to be recorded!

The birds spotted were:

Blackbird Bullfinch Buntin, reed Buzzard, Common Carrion Crow Chaffinch
Dove, Collared Dunnock Fieldfare Goldcrest Goldfinch Goose, Canada
Goose, Greylag Greenfinch Gull, Black-head Gull, common Heron, Grey Jackdaw
Kestrel Linnet Magpie Mallard Moorhen Pigeon, Wood
Raven Redpoll, Common Redwing Robin Rook Siskin
Sparrowhawk Sparrow, House Starling Thrush, Song Tit, Blue Tit, Coal
Tit, Great Tit, Long-tailed Waxwing Wren Yellowhammer

Tuesday, 26th February 2013- A first sign of spring

A sudden brightening of the Moorgreen Copse as the first primrose flowers open. Several displaying clumps are visible from the north- car park- end of the Moorgreen Track. Hopefully more will quickly follow.
Various catkins and buds are also adding colour to the remaining berries, seed pods and cones. Warm weather will herald these emerging colours.


Monday, 25 February 2013- Filling in the gaps

Today FoCW completed their planting tasks for this winter period by filling in some of the gaps along the south boundary laid hedgerow.
Gaps naturally occur where a cut trunk has not survived the stressful procedure; usually when the cut was too severe. Unfortunately other gaps have been created by people intent upon forming shortcut pathways, pushing through the hedgerow and crushing the laid trunks and branches. This badly affects the environmental value of the hedgerow and takes a long time to rectify.

Monday, 19th February 2013- More hedge work

Today, Friends replanted a section of hawthorn hedge that had failed to establish on two previous occasions. Plug whips were used this time instead of the previous bare-root plants. We hope that this may improve the prospect of the plants establishing in ground consisting largely of coal washing waste.

This alignment is along the perimeter of the industrial units. If successful, in another 10 to 15 years it will extend the habitats available for birds, small mammals and shade loving wildflowers.Together with the other hedgerows that have been planted in a staggered twin line pattern, safe routes for small mammals to move around the site are created.


Saturday, 16th February 2013- Planting for the future

Following the laying of the hedge at the east end of the Engine Lane Copse along the Moorgreen boundary, FoCW today planted a parallel hedge. This alignment will eventually (in perhaps 20 years) replace the existing hedge line and avoid the compromising of the pavement that presently occurs. The hedge connects to the previously planted ‘new’ boundary hedge that runs along Engine Lane.
Additionally, a hawthorn thicket was established adjacent to the bridge parapet. This should mature into a safe refuge for our larger mammals and birds.

Wednesday 13th February- Meeting cancelled

Friends of Colliers Wood meeting scheduled for this evening at Durban House has been cancelled due to the inclement weather. A revised date may be possible.

Saturday, 9th February- Another step forward

Ignoring the rain and snow flakes, Friends made a determined start with the intent of erecting the boards for the bird viewing screen- at long last. The weather improved and the task was completed. Just a few minor bits left to finalise the job.
Next task on this project is to erect the feeding station.

January 2013- Bird sightings

46 species recorded this month, including another first for the site- Lesser Redpoll, a red listed bird and only recently split from the common redpoll. Small flocks of redpoll’s, siskin, goldfinch and mixed tit groups have been frequent visitors, mostly feeding off alder and dog rose.

The birds spotted were:

Blackbird Bullfinch Buzzard, Common Carrion Crow Chaffinch Dove, Collared
Dunnock Fieldfare Goldcrest Goldfinch Goose, Canada Goose, Greylag
Greenfinch Gull, Black-head Heron, Grey Jackdaw Kestrel Lark, Sky
Linnet Magpie Mallard Moorhen Owl, Little Owl, Tawny
Pheasant Pigeon, Wood Redpoll, Common Redpoll, Lesser Redwing Robin
Siskin Sparrowhawk Sparrow, House Starling Thrush, Mistle Thrush, Song
Tit, Blue Tit, Coal Tit, Great Tit, Long-tailed Wagtail, Pied Waxwing
Woodpecker, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Green Wren Yellowhammer

Monday, 21st January, 2013- over exposed?

This late night reveller seems to have slumped on the bench for a little too long. His mate is still in party mood, but so exhausted thats he’s rooted to the spot

The snow and freezing conditions have visually stripped the site of waterfowl and birds. Those few seen are using the various feeding stations that have been replenished. Keep up the good work. It is helping our aves and small mammals to survive.

December 2012- Bird sightings

The appearance of more winter visitors, plus the unexpected brief visitors, boosted the species recorded to 48. Food sources at the site are severely depleted compared with previous years.

The birds spotted were:

Blackbird Bullfinch Buzzard, Common Carrion Crow Chaffinch Cormorant
Dove, Collared Dove, Stock Dunnock Fieldfare Goldcrest Goldfinch
Goose, Canada Goose, Greylag Greenfinch Gull, Black-head Heron, Grey Jackdaw
Kestrel Lapwing Lark, Sky Linnet Magpie Mallard
Moorhen Owl, Little Owl, Tawny Pheasant Pigeon, Wood Raven, Common
Redpoll, Common Redwing Robin Rook Siskin Sparrowhawk
Sparrow, House Starling Thrush, Mistle Thrush, Song Tit, Blue Tit, Coal
Tit, Great Tit, Long-tailed Wagtail, Pied Woodpecker, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Green Wren

Sunday, 23rd December 2012- Getting ready to skate?

The flooding of the Horseshoe Meadow has never previously reached this level. Water is still flowing through the culvert that drains to the Large Pond, but a significant blockage must be constricting the bore.
The relative altitudes of the two adjacent copses and the bottom end of the Moorgreen Track are clearly illustrated by the water level that has also submerged the lower portion of the Winding Wheel rim member. Parts of the Horseshoe Copse have regularly been flooded, creating a small area of wet woodland habitat. The Car Park Copse has never previously been affected.

What would a snap freezing period produce?

Wednesday, 19th December 2012- What an improvement!

As part of the long term aim of establishing hedgerow perimeters to the road boundaries, the existing mature hawthorn hedgerow adjacent to the B600 (Moorgreen) road has been laid in the Nottingham finish pattern- e.g. twisted whips along the top binding the support stakes.
The immediate visual improvement is rewarding. Gradually the increased light penetration into the adjacent Engine Lane Copse will encourage a more varied and robust under storey to develop and further enhance the aspect.
A further hedgerow line will be established on the inner side of this laid hedge. This will eventually replace the existing hedge alignment.
This work was carried out by Chris from C.L.M.S, based in Smalley.

Sunday, 2nd December 2012- Winter Woodland joy

Sparkling frost across the landscape provided a good atmosphere for the Winter Woodland Celebration event.
Children made a variety of bird-feeders at the environmental workshop and learnt how to help birds through the winter period. Santa took up residence in his grotto to greet the young and provide a taster present for the big day. Even dog walkers were able to provide their pets with a surprise present.

Excitement around the adopted ‘Christmas tree’ engaged parents who were only supposed to be helping. Fortunately there were sufficient baubles for everyone to add to the decoration. Over the next few weeks, visitors will add more.

November 2012- Bird sightings

A good month with 43 different species and, most importantly, first confirmation for Treecreeper. Additionally the Goldcrest has again been spotted in the same area as on previous occasions. Waxwing and Redwing also reappear.

The birds spotted were:

Blackbird Black-headed Gull Blue Tit Bullfinch Canada Goose
Carrion Crow Chaffinch Coal Tit Collared Dove Common Buzzard
Common Gull Dunnock Goldcrest Goldfinch Greater Spotted Woodpecker
Great Tit Greenfinch Green Woodpecker Grey Heron House Sparrow
Jackdaw Kestrel Lapwing Long-tailed Tit Magpie
Mallard Mistle Thrush Moorhen Pheasant Pied Wagtail
Raven Redwing Robin Rook Skylark
Song Thrush Sparrowhawk Starling Tawny Owl Treecreeper
Waxwing Wood Pigeon Wren

Sunday,18th November 2012- nearly 100 years

Mrs V Whellan with family supporting, planted a tree in the Waterloo Memorial Copse in memory of her mother who died on the 19th November 2011.
Her mother was 99 years old. In her long life she would have been witness to all of the major changes that have occurred at the location of which Colliers Wood now forms a part.

Saturday, 10th November 2012- Some progress

Help from scouts engaged on the Duke of Edingborough Bronze Medal course, spured FoCW to substantially complete the bird viewing screen paving. Progess may be slow, but it will be completed.

Sunday, 3rd November 2012- Autumn bird walk

On a cold morning with bright sunshine, Chris, with Vic in support, lead the group through Colliers Wood and up to Conneygrey Farm. Thirty six species were recorded. This included Little Owl, Lesser Redpoll, Fieldfare and Redwing.

A warm debriefing at the Horse and Groom, was much appreciated.

October 2012- Bird sightings

A drop in number of species to 29. Could this indicate a shortage of food sources?

The birds spotted were:

Blackbird Black-headed Gull Bullfinch Canada Goose Carrion Crow
Chaffinch Collared Dove Common Buzzard Common Gull Dunnock
Greater Spotted Woodpecker Greenfinch Green Woodpecker Grey Heron House Sparrow
Jackdaw Kestrel Magpie Mallard Moorhen
Pheasant Pied Wagtail Rook Siskin Song Thrush
Sparrowhawk Starling Tawny Owl Wood Pigeon

Saturday, 20th October 2012- Lottery draw

Cllr Madeleine Fletcher kindly drew the Jubilee Lottery winning tickets at the Friends annual table-top sale in Dora Phillips Hall.
Joint first prizes were won by tickets numbered 364 and 453. Other prize winning tickets were 6, 51, 350 and 739. The Friends of Colliers Wood thank the many people who participated and the many who generously donated.

Sunday, 14th October 2012- Duathlon

Broxtowe Sports third Duathlon event at Colliers Wood, again drew a record number of entrants. Some entrants take the event so seriously that they reconnoitred the route in the proceeding days.
Contestants are largely drawn from the ‘local’ East Midlands towns and cities, with a fair number being attracted from much further away. Comments received from them were all very favourable about the organisation, the site, the routes and the race atmosphere.
These images show a sample of the entrants, including stage leaders, in the bright sunshine that blessed the competition.

September 2012- Bird sightings

The number of recordings was stable this month. Chiffchaff arrived to complete our normal list of winter visitors.

The birds spotted were:

Blackbird Blackcap Black-headed Gull Blue Tit Bullfinch
Canada Goose Carrion Crow Chiffchaff Coal Tit Common Buzzard
Common Tern Common Whitethroat Dunnock Garden Warbler Goldfinch
Greater Spotted Woodpecker Great Tit Greenfinch Green Woodpecker Grey Heron
Greylag Goose House Martin House Sparrow Jay Kestrel
Lapwing Lesser Whitethroat Linnet Little Owl Magpie
Mallard Mistle Thrush Reed Bunting Robin Skylark
Song Thrush Sparrowhawk Starling Swallow Swift
Tawny Owl Tufted Duck Willow Warbler Wood Pigeon Yellowhammer

Saturday, 8th September, 2012- Bluecoat Singers

The Nottingham Bluecoat Singers performed for the DH Lawrence Festival picnic concert at the Auditorium and brought along a fine sunny day.
Linda Harvey led the choir through a delightful variety of musical, traditional and ‘pop’ songs. Spencer Spooner, in his role as master of ceremonies, delighted the audience with wit and background detail for the entire performed repertoire.
A successful first concert from the choir at our venue.

August 2012- Bird sightings

A large jump in the number of species this month- 45 in total, observed over four visits. The warm weather saw an increase in insect activity, but still below the ‘norm’..
What was special was another ‘first time’ report- Hobby. It was far from home and stayed only briefly. We don’t mind such brief visitors when they are so unexpected.

The birds spotted were:

Blackbird Blackcap Black-headed Gull Blue Tit Bullfinch
Canada Goose Carrion Crow Coal Tit Common Buzzard Common Tern
Common Whitethroat Dunnock Garden Warbler Goldfinch Greater Spotted Woodpecker
Great Tit Greenfinch Green Woodpecker Grey Heron Greylag Goose
Hobby House Martin House Sparrow Jay Kestrel
Lapwing Lesser Whitethroat Linnet Little Owl Magpie
Mallard Mistle Thrush Reed Bunting Robin Skylark
Song Thrush Sparrowhawk Starling Swallow Swift
Tawny Owl Tufted Duck Willow Warbler Wood Pigeon Yellowhammer

Sunday, 5th August 2012- Dog Show

Cllr June Laytonis, chairman of Greasley Parish Council, greets Broxtowe’s Mayor, Cllr Margaret Handley and her escort to the annual dog show.
Both councillors kindly involved themselves with the day’s activities, meeting the many competitors, including Ken Heathcote who came along to support the show on behalf of the charity, Dogs for the Disabled. (The show ground area and the main site paths are accessible to wheel-chair users who have RADAR keys.)

A record number of dogs were entered for the twenty two scheduled classes. Following requests by attendees, an additional class, Veteran Dogs, was added. Rosettes were awarded to the first five in each class by the judge, Sue Gibbs.

Six annual held shields and cups were awarded for the best dog from key groups, including Best in Show and Best Child Handling.
All winning dogs are shown on the Dog Show page under the Events tag.
A random set of photographs are also shown. These will be posted for three months.

July 2012- Bird sightings

Our recorder only managed to observer 29 different birds this month, dodging between the rain storms. An encouraging event was the birth of another Moorhen chick. Our fingers are crossed for its survival.
When the sun does shine, dragonflies are suddenly apparent on the paths and near the Large Pond. Insect levels are generally comparatively low and this may be impacting on the bird species we record.

The birds spotted were:

Blackbird Blackcap Black-headed Gull Blue Tit Canada Goose
Carrion Crow Chiffchaff Common Buzzard Common Tern Goldfinch
Greater Spotted Woodpecker Great Tit Greenfinch Green Woodpecker House Martin
Jackdaw Jay Kestrel Magpie Mallard
Moorhen Rook Song Thrush Swift Sparrowhawk
Willow Warbler Wood Pigeon Wren Yellowhammer

Thursday, 19th July, 2012- As You Like It

The weather was definitely not as you would like it. The rain ruled out Moorgreen Meadow for the show and vehicle parking. Clare Jane led her dedicated Events Team who used outstanding initiative and determination to relocate the performance in the car park, ensure the suitable location of all the associated facilities, and, provide the encouragement to persevere for both the actors and their audience.
Despite the inclement weather, Rain or Shine Theatre Company gave a very entertaining interpretation of this story of love overcoming adversity. Appropriately set in the Forest of Arden, the story used all of Shakespeare cunning intrigue to beguile and amuse, though the eventual outcome was certain from the first scene.

Well worth a little discomfort. Look forward to next year.

Thursday, 19th July 2012- Celebrating success

The mayor of Broxtowe, Cllr Margaret Handley, joined with the Friends of Colliers Wood to celebrate the fifth consecutive year of Green Flag award. Margaret kindly agreed to hoist the new Green Flag.

The right hand image shows the flag adjacent to one of the new signs erected after the site achieved Local Nature Reserve rating. 2012 may have been a wet year, but for the site it has been one of further progress.

Sunday,8th July 2012- Some progress

Is this why the bird screen work is so slow?
Friends stand chatting at a refreshment break. The second post was successfully positoned.

Wednesday, 4th July 2012- There must be something there!

With determination, the 1st Greasley Scout cubs sought for insects amongst the reeds and irises of the Large Pond. Only a small number were retrieved. Plenty of fish though and the house martins and common tern kindly entertained.

June 2012- Bird sightings

34 different birds were recorded this month. A drop in numbers that probably represents the infrequency of the recorders visits rather than the inclement weather.
The disappearance of several waterfowl young continues, Moorhens being the latest victims. On a brighter note, we have had another ‘first’- regular visits from Common Tern that delight onlookers with their diving technique.

The birds spotted were:

Blackbird Blue Tit Canada Goose Carrion Crow Chaffinch
Chiffchaff Coal Tit Collared Dove Common Buzzard Common Tern
Dunnock Goldfinch Greater Spotted Woodpecker Great Tit Greenfinch
Green Woodpecker House Martin House Sparrow Jackdaw Linnet
Magpie Mallard Moorhen Raven Reed Bunting
Robin Song Thrush Starling Swallow Swift
Whitethroat- Common Willow Warbler Wood Pigeon Wren

Wednesday,20th June 2012- 2nd Kimberley Cub group

Kimberley cubs demonstrated their enthusiasm on their pond dip evening. Getting wet was the norm and most certainly expected if you were to catch the most fish.
FoCW were delighted to host these youngsters, brimming with curiosity.

Saturdays, 16th & 23rd June 2012- What are they up too?

FoCW devoted two work days to preparing the holes for posts to support a bird viewing screen and to concrete in the first post.
The second post and the boarding will follow on further work days.

Sunday, 10th June 2012- Pond dipping

A well chosen day that had a dubious start, then turning warm and finally, that elusive sunshine. Its effects on the insects, birds, waterfowl and event participants was immediate.

In addition to the skaters, boatmen and beetles, we had emerging dragonflies on the irises and reeds, stickleback, gudgeon and sizable carp. The latter proved appealing to a first time visitor. Most unexpectedly a Common Tern arrived to feed. He ignored the people and the waterfowl, displaying his acrobatic diving technique and skilful flight, then showing proudly his catch. He visited five times during the event, consuming several carp each time. (He has subsequently returned on several days. We can only speculate on how far he travels.)

May 2012- Bird sightings

40 different birds were recorded this month.
Whitethroat and Garden Warbler were recorded on the 7th. The months highlight was an Osprey making a fleeting visit and the first Canada Goose goslings born at the site.

The birds spotted were:

Blackbird Blackcap Blue Tit Bullfinch Canada Goose
Carrion Crow Chaffinch Chiffchaff Collared Dove Common Buzzard
Dunnock Garden Warbler Goldfinch Greater Spotted Woodpecker Great Tit
Greenfinch Green Woodpecker House Martin Jackdaw Jay
Kestrel Magpie Mallard Moorhen Osprey
Pheasant Reed Bunting Red-legged Partridge Robin Rook
Skylark Song Thrush Sparrowhawk Swallow Swift
Tawny Owl Whitethroat- Common Willow Warbler Wood Pigeon Wren

Tuesday, 29th May 2012- Day flying moths

Wet weather has limited the activity of day flying moths in the meadow areas. A flash of bold red was a welcomed sight as Cinnabar soaked up the warmth of this ‘rare’ sun bathing opportunity. Their appearance is some 10-14 days later than previous years.
Look in the Central Meadow to enjoy this colour.

Sunday, 20th May 2012- No fishing

Martina and Simon donned wadders to erect our ‘no fishing’ signs in the Large Pond. They proved to be more interesting to site visitors than the waterfowl.
We have had to erect signs because recently there has been frequent breaches of the rule and the offenders use every excuse to justify why its is OK for them to fish.
We wish to have a balanced pond environment, providing food for visiting herons, controlling vegetation growth, and predating amphibians. Fishing disturbs this balance and adds unwanted bait to the water, and sometimes, dangerous line, hooks and tackle.
If you see people fishing, please challange them.

Tuesday, 15th May 2012- Bird Walk

Chris Hall led a group for this evenings walk.
Chris was careful to draw attention to the character of each different bird call, noting signature calls to aid quick recognition. Different songs were well illustrated by a Song Thrush, as if on a stage. The calls of the summer visitors were represented with Willow Warbler, Skylark and Siskin.
A Kestrel demonstrated its hunting technique and showed of its aerial skills. This competed well with the admiration we heaped on the first Canada Goose gosling to be born at the site, that had just taken to the water for its first foray. Our normal corvus family permitted careful inspection of their key features and colour highlights and several of the finches chose to display close by.
Chris illustrated the habitat affect on bird populations by extending the walk up to Coney Grey Farm. A Little Owl duly showed its flight pattern as a comparison with the Swallows and Swifts. A noisy flock of Goldfinch entertained with their tumbling and turning as they jostled for food. Calls of Grey Partridge and Pheasant echoed in the evening light.
Chris gave a debriefing at the Horse and Groom. A good finish to an enjoyable evening. Thank you Chris

Monday, 7th May 2012- More tourists

Common Whitethroat spotted today. Not the best singer of the warblers, but has an entertaining flight pattern.
Look along the edges of the copses and in hedgerows at the field boundaries.
A much better singer joined the Whitethoat- Garden Warbler. They will be seen in the same places.

Tuesday, 2nd May 2012- Amphibian survey

Ben Driver again helped the FoCW by demonstrating techniques for amphibian surveys. It was colder than desirable, but we were able to confirm smooth newt presence in site ditches.
Whilst toads were readily detected on paths, in grassland and shallow water, few frogs were found. An unidentified ‘worm like’ creature swimming in the Horseshoe Meadow ditch, encouraged much speculation.

April 2012- Bird sightings

39 different birds were recorded this month.
Summer visitors continue to appear. Willow Warbler was spotted on the 23rd March and the Chiffchaffs on the 2nd April.

The birds spotted were:

Blackbird Black-headed Gull Blue Tit Bullfinch Canada Goose
Carrion Crow Chaffinch Chiffchaff Coal Tit Collared Dove
Common Buzzard Dunnock Goldfinch Great Tit Greenfinch
Green Woodpecker Grey Heron Greylag Goose House Sparrow Linnet
Jackdaw Kestrel Long-tailed Tit Magpie Mallard
Moorhen Pheasant Robin Rook Skylark
Song Thrush Sparrowhawk Starling Swallow Tawny Owl
Willow Warbler Wood Pigeon Wren Yellowhammer

Monday, 30th April 2012- Reluctant visitor

Much later than normal, our first Tortoiseshell butterfly this year was seen basking.

Saturday, 28th April 2012- Planning approval

Friends were pleased to receive the approval letter for their application to position a storage container adjacent to the car park. This will be used for maintenance hand tools and the signs and equipment needed for events.
Nothing of resellable value will be stored.

Tuesday, 24th April 2012- Reptile surveying

Ben Driver, from Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust, guided the FoCW in establishing several reptile transects at appropriate locations.
These will be monitored to find if any reptiles have established residence. In particular we hope to find grass snake.
If anyone would like to assist with this survey, please contact the Secretary.

Saturday, 14th April 2012- Mayor helps with habitats

The mayor of Broxtowe, Councillor Jackie Williams, visited Colliers Wood to acknowledge its recent recognition as a local nature reserve. Jackie came across the Friends engaged in forming dense piles of brash arising from hedge laying work. These are intended to create refuges for insects and small mammals, helping them to survive the winter and avoid some predators.
Jackie wasn’t content with being an onlooker. She took up a saw and set to work. The FoCW were impressed and very grateful for her enthusiastic help.
The LNR designation should help concentrate minds on the need for ongoing habitat enhancement works.

Tuesday, 27th March 2012- Waking up for the summer

An overwintered Peacock butterfly was enjoying todays sun.

Friday, 23rd March 2012- Just arrived

Today, the first sighting of this years Chiffchaffs was a good event. They should be well established by the time of our bird walk.

Wednesday, 21st March 2012- Welcome back

Willow Warbler sighted in the Moorgreen Copse. A good area to feed in as there are many plump willow flowers in this and adjacent copses. These have become reiable summer visitors.

Monday, 19th March 2012- Spring again

Willow buds bursting present a bright spectacle amongst the copse trees, whose buds are still emerging. The warm, dry weather leaves the willow in good condition.
There is activity in the meadow areas. Birds feeding on the growing number of insects are joined by toads, patiently awaiting food to pass by.

Tuesday, 6th March 2012- Nearing completion

BTCV had a large group of volunteers working on the laying of the last main section of the southern boundary hedge. This is at the west end where it turns at right angles to join the Waterloo Memorial Copse boundary hedge. BTCV have spent several days since mid January on the task. Now that this is completed they will commence removing re-growth from the thinned area of the Blackshale Copse.

February 2012- Bird sightings

39 different birds were recorded this month.
The Goldcrest sightings are becoming more frequent. Usually they are seen on the Blackshale Track adjacent the DH Lawrence Copse.
A swarm of a very large hoverfly species spotted on the 24th February were a draw for many birds.

The birds spotted were:

Blackbird Black-headed Gull Blue Tit Bullfinch Canada Goose
Carrion Crow Chaffinch Coal Tit Collared Dove Common Buzzard
Common Raven Cormorant Dunnock Goldcrest Great Spotted Woodpecker
Great Tit Greenfinch Green Woodpecker Grey Heron Greylag Goose
House Sparrow Jackdaw Kestrel Long-tailed Tit Magpie
Mallard Mistle Thrush Moorhen Pied Wagtail Redpoll
Reed Buntin Rook Siskin Skylark Song Thrush
Sparrowhawk Starling Wood Pigeon Wren

January 2012- Bird sightings

The species recorded this month fell to 35.
The Cormorant was our special, but brief visitor. Lots of Bullfinch and Long-tailed Tit were present, feeding in the copses.

The birds spotted were:

Blackbird Black-headed Gull Blue Tit Bullfinch Canada Goose
Carrion Crow Chaffinch Collared Dove Common Buzzard Common Raven
Cormorant Dunnock Fieldfare Great Tit Greenfinch
Green Woodpecker Grey Heron Greylag Goose House Sparrow Jackdaw
Kestrel Long-tailed Tit Magpie Mallard Moorhen
Pheasant Redpoll Redwing Robin Rook
Siskin Sparrowhawk Starling Wood Pigeon Wren

Saturday 24th January 2012

Reports of hares sighted in the fields to the south of site have been frequent this month. Today they were hunting in a pack of three.

Friday, 6th January 2012- hedgework

All of the planned hedgework for this year has been completed. When the site was first formed, hedges were originally laid around the security fencing of the industrial area. Most of this perished. This years work has included the reinstatement of some of this hedge system.
Whilst these hedges are not generally visible to site visitors, they are still very important as habitats for birds, mammals, insects and wildflowers.

December 2011- Bird sightings

As the winter feeders numbers grew this month, the species recorded jumped to 41.
The airborn Raven was this months special bird.

The birds spotted were:

Blackbird Black-headed Gull Blue Tit Bullfinch Canada Goose
Carrion Crow Chaffinch Coal Tit Collared Dove Coot
Common Buzzard Common Raven Dunnock Fieldfare Goldfinch
Great Spotted Woodpecker Great Tit Greenfinch Green Woodpecker Greylag Goose
House Sparrow Jay Kestrel Long-tailed Tit Magpie
Mallard Mistle Thrush Moorhen Pheasant Pied Wagtail
Redpoll Redwing Reed Buntin Robin Rook
Siskin Song Thrush Sparrowhawk Starling Wood Pigeon

Saturday,17th December 2011- Hedge work

Friends of Colliers Wood enjoyed a brisk winter morning planting a hedgerow adjacent to the car park entrance road. It is a mixed species hedge, predominantly Hawthorn, with about 30% consisting of a mix of Blackthorn, Hazel, Holly and Field Maple.

This work was made possible by a grant from Greenwood Community Forest for the young plants. This will enable about 92m of new and remedial work to existing hedgerows. Today we managed some 32m of new and 14m of remedial work.

Hedgerows are important habitats for birds, insects, small rodents and some wildflowers. The tree content will provide a variety of fruits and catkin seeds to help the food resource and add colour for visitors to enjoy.

Sunday, 2nd December 2011- Winter Woodland Celebration

Santa kept his promise and visited the Winter Woodland Celebrations. Clr Bird, chair of Greasley Parish Council, greeted him on behalf of the FoCW and received in return a warm thank you. (Very welcomed on such a cold day.)

An environmental workshop entertained the children. Pre-prepared bird boxes were carefully assembled; sometimes with a little parental help. A range of different feeders, suitable for typical garden birds, were made using pine cones, paper cups, string (for kebab style) and little hands to fashion fat balls. Fixing instructions and feeding advice sheets were handed out to participants.
(These are available to any one who wishes to make boxes and feeders at home.)

This event is held to coincide with National Tree Dressing week. Children and adults were keen to help dress the sites chosen Christmas tree, using their own baubles or ones supplied by the Friends. This is an annual activity, the result of which quickens the heart of site visitors walking through the Moorgreen Meadow. Come and have a look. You can still add your own decoration.
Santa met lots of children in the temporary grotto and gave each a little taster present to maintain their expectations. Before he left for his next appointment, Santa insisted on a group photograph for the Friends. We were delighted at the opportunity it gave us to ask him to visit next year. He graciously accepted.

November 2011- Bird sightings

A further drop this month in species recorded; down to 27.
Redwing and Common Redpoll have joined our winter feeders. A large number of Bullfinch around the copse edges are an attractive sight for visitors, but this months special sighting was on the 21st when a Goldcrest was seen at several locations along the Blackshale Track that runs parallel to the south boundary. Our smallest bird and one that is only occasionally spotted at the site.

The birds spotted were:

Blackbird Black-headed Gull Blue Tit Bullfinch Canada Goose
Carrion Crow Collared Dove Dunnock Fieldfare Goldcrest
Goldfinch Great Spotted Woodpecker Great Tit Green Woodpecker House Sparrow
Jay Kestrel Long-tailed Tit Magpie Moorhen
Redpoll Redwing Robin Rook Sylark
Starling Wood Pigeon

Tuesday, 1st November 2011- memorial seat

The family of Stephen Craven, kindly donated an oak bench to Colliers Wood in loving memory of Stephen. Installed by the Broxtowe team today, the anniversary of his death.
It is positioned on the hill in the Waterloo Meadow. A welcomed break for many along this well used route and a good place to view that part of Eastwood prominent in the writings of DH Lawrence.

October 2011- Bird sightings

Birds recorded this month has dropped to 31 species. All of the summer visitors have departed and the first of the winter feeders have arrived- Fieldfare and Siskin. (By the 7th November they were joined by Redwing.)
A surprising number of insects are still active. They include Orange-tip Bumble-bees and Hawkers.

The birds spotted were:

Black-headed Gull Blackbird Blue Tit Bullfinch Canada Goose
Carrion Crow Chaffinch Coal tit Collared Dove Common Buzzard
Cormorant Dunnock Fieldfare Gold Finch Great Tit
Green Woodpecker Greylag Goose House Sparrow Jackdaw Kestrel
Long-tailed Tit Magpie Mallard Moorhen Mistle Thrush
Pied Wagtail Robin Siskin Sparrowhawk Starling
Wood Pigeon

Saturday, 29th October 2011- Table-top sale

The Friends annual fund raising event was successfully held at Dora Phillips Hall. Home-made cakes and preserves were again popular and the children’s party dresses were welcomed as appropriate for the upcoming festive season. Our thanks to the stallholders and customers for their support.

Clr Christine Bird obliged by drawing the winners for our Lottery. This year there were two equal first prizes. These went to tickets numbered 0421 and 0035.
The other winning tickets in draw sequence were numbered.0414, 475, 562, 130

Sunday, 16th October 2011- Broxtowe Duathlon

Following on from the success of last years inaugural event, Broxtowe Sports expanded the equipment capacity this year to permit 200 entrants. (It was again pre-sold before the event day.) To accommodate this enlargement, the participant preparation, transfer, start and finishing areas was moved onto the Moorgreen Meadow. The cycle route was also changed to utilise the B600 for most of the route stretching from Underwood to Watnall.

The morning weather was ideal, runners starting whilst a mist was still clinging to the hills and the event concluding prior to the sun’s heat being taxing.

FoCW pay tribute to Broxtowe Sports for organising this event so well. Plenty of marshals and signs at all key points. We are pleased that they have already put the event in next year’s diary.

September 2011- Bird sightings

37 different birds were recorded this month. Few of our summer visitors remain. However, a fourth member of the corvus family was present for the first known time. A pair of Ravens provided spectacle as they teased and pestered a Buzzard. Buzzards have become regular visitors.

The birds spotted were:

Blackbird Blackcap Black-headed Gull Blue Tit Bullfinch
Canada Goose Carrion Crow Chaffinch Chiffchaff Collared Dove
Common Buzzard Common Raven Dunnock Gold Finch Great Tit
Greater Spotted Woodpecker Greenfinch Green Woodpecker Greylag Goose House Martin
House Sparrow Jackdaw Kestrel Long-tailed Tit Magpie
Mallard Moorhen Mistle Thrush Pheasant Robin
Rook Sparrowhawk Starling Swallow Willow Warbler
Wood Pigeon Wren

Monday, 26th September- Seeing off a predator

This afternoon, a pair of Ravens harassed a Common Buzzard until it gave in and flew away towards High Park Wood.
This was exciting to watch. It was also the first confirmed sighting of Ravens at the site.

Saturday, 24th September- Supporting the FoCW

Friends sold lottery tickets at Tesco Express yesterday and today.
Many people showed their support with ticket purchases and generous donations. All of the money aids the Friends work.

Selling lottery tickets helps members of the Group to meet people who use the site for a variety of reasons. Their feedback is valued as it helps guide consideration of proposed changes and promotes new initiatives.
Thank you to everyone who helped and a big thank you to the staff of Tesco Express for permitting us this opportunity.

Thursday, 1st September 2011- A common dragonfly

This male Southern Hawker is new to our species list, even though it is a common dragonfly. It likes still water and tends to fly alone, being territorial. It may be spotted alongside copse edges and at the Large Pond when the water level is low. Often hangs vertically from twigs. It is inquisitive and will fly towards people.

August 2011- Bird sightings

Only 40 different birds were recorded this month. It was nice to have the Song Thrush back and the group of five Buzzards was spectacular

The birds spotted were:

Blackcap Black-headed Gull Blue Tit Bullfinch Canada Goose
Carrion Crow Chaffinch Chiffchaff Coal Tit Collared Dove
Common Buzzard Dunnock Gold Finch Great Black-backed Gull Great Tit
Greenfinch Green Woodpecker Greylag Goose Heron House Martin
House Sparrow Jackdaw Kestrel Linnet Long-tailed Tit
Magpie Mallard Mistle Thrush Moorhen Robin
Rook Song Thrush Sparrowhawk Starling Swallow
Swift Tawny Owl Willow Warbler Wood Pigeon Wren

July 2011- Bird sightings

43 different birds were recorded this month. Six are regular summer visitors. We still have young families of Grey Partridge, Mallard and Moorhen.

The birds spotted were:

Blackbird Blackcap Black-headed Gull Blue Tit Bullfinch
Canada Goose Carrion Crow Chaffinch Chiffchaff Coal Tit
Collared Dove Common Buzzard Common Whitethroat Dunnock Gold Finch
Great Spotted Woodpecker Great Tit td> Greenfinch Green Woodpecker Greylag Goose
Grey Partridge Heron House Martin House Sparrow Jackdaw
Kestrel Linnet Long-tailed Tit Magpie Mallard
Moorhen Pheasant Pied Wagtail Robin Rook
Sparrowhawk Starling Swallow Swift Whitethroat
Willow Warbler Wood Pigeon Wren

Wednesday, 26th July 2011- Raising the new flag

A proud moment for the Friends.

Mayor of Broxtowe, Clr Jacky Williams, lead the way. She started our new flag on its upward journey.
Geoff, our Facilities Officer, took over to pull it to its peak, fluttering proudly across the Engine Lane entrance.

Tuesday, 25th July 2011- Another success

For the fourth consecutive year, Colliers Wood has achieved the Green Flag Award.

This award is judged on many aspects of the site and the activities that take place. Most importantly is the way it is looked after by all users. This signifies a feeling of community ‘ownership’ that the judges consider essential.
The judges are realistic and recognise that some site users are sadly lacking in community responsibility. It is thus very important to them that the majority care about the site’s environment and demonstrate this by avoiding littering, fouling and vandalism, and are willing to drawn offenders attention to their wrongful behaviour.
The Friends want to say a big THANK YOU to our overwhelmingly responsible visitors. The flag is a sign of your consideration for our communities.

Saturday, 23rd July 2011- Ragwort

Ragwort is a scheduled weed that requires control. For the Friends it presents a conundrum. This plant is host to many feeding insects and is the plant of choice for cinnabar moths to lay their eggs. Their caterpillars squirm over the leaves, often in a bright mass of orange and black.
Friends introduced a rotational removal program. Today the plant was removed from some of the copses. (Other copses have yet to be dealt with.) Next year we will remove the plant from meadow areas only. By this approach we hope to maintain sufficient plants to support the feeding insects and still control its numbers.

Thursday 21st July 2011- Live theatre in a living landscape

Anticipation was justifiably high as a capacity audience enjoyed a picnic in preparation for an evening entertainment of varying emotions with an underlying comedy framework. The Rain or Shine Theatre Company lived up to our expectations.
Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing was packed with a variety of themes resulting from desires and misunderstandings. Romance was the propagator of feuding, unwarranted suspicion and deceitful lies intended to harm the lovers. Presented in a light hearted manner, the Bards verbal jousting lead the audience along with the stories emotional twists until the inevitable end- a triumph of love.
A lovely evening entertainment; and it stayed dry all night. Well done RoSTC and Broxtowe Events team.

Wednesday, 13th July- Interesting flying insects

We think this is a maleSmall Skipper, but the black patch at the front underside of its antennae suggest an Essex Skipper. What do you think? Essex Skipper isn’t usual in this part of the East Midlands.

Ragwort, the prominent bright yellow weed, is home of choice to the Cinnabar Caterpillar whose bright orange and black rings make it very obvious but slightly frightening for predators. The moth form is day flying and seen as a bright red flash, especially when the sun is shinning. A very attractive moth. Another of the sites day flying moths is Lattice Heath. These will be evident up until September. They are difficult to spot wings spread as they normally perch with them partly closed.

Monday, 11th July- A difficult subject to photograph

Dragonflies are frustrating to photograph. Their length makes it difficult to achieve an in-focus image and they always seem to flit from one perch to another just as you are ready to snap them. This is a Brown Hawker. It is evident near the ponds and ditches.


Monday, 11th June 2011- Found

Found today at Colliers Wood- digital camera.
Owner please contact Friends for information on retrieval.

Friday, 1st July- Meadow images of June

Bright colours abounded in the meadows and along the edges of copses. Meadow Crane’s-bill, a member of the geranium family, had that delicate, but rich, blue, especially when out of the sunlight. Two bold whites that shone on cloudy days were the Common Bramble and Dog Rose flowers.

Flowers attract insects. Presently Knapweed is particularly popular. Here we have a Ringlet butterfly and the day flying moth (that flashes red in our sight), Six-spot Burnet feasting off that species.
The charmingly coloured Longhorn beetle has chosen Cow Parsley as its food source. Cow Parsley adds movement in the meadow breezes and more supporting white at darker moments.

A Buff-tail Bee enjoys Common Cat’s-ear. (Friends are keen to encourage all plants that support bees.)
Amongst the longer grasses, other day flying moths catch the visitors’ attention. Amongst the small moths, the Grass Moth is very common and easily disturbed. Burnet Companion is particularly relevant to Colliers Wood as it is often seen on re-vegetated brown-field sites.

June 2011- Bird sightings

39 different birds were recorded this month. The special one is the Tree Pipit. Our first recorded pipit and not the more common meadow pipit. An unusual visitor was the Cockateal; presumably an escapee. He didn’t hang around for many days. The Tufted Ducks just dropped in for a rest.

The birds spotted were:

Blackcap Blackbird Blue Tit Bullfinch Carrion Crow
Chaffinch Chiffchaff Cockateal Collared Dove Common Buzzard
Common Tern Common Whitethroat Dunnock Garden Warbler Great Tit
Greenfinch Green Woodpecker House Martin Heron Jay
Kestrel Long-tailed Tit Magpie Mallard Moorhen
Pheasant Pied Wagtail Robin Rook Sky Lark
Song Thrush Sparrowhawk Swallow Swift Tree Pipit
Tufted Duck Willow Warbler Wood Pigeon Wren

Tuesday, 28th June 2011- A first time visitor

A Tree Pipit was sighted along the Blackshale Track today. This is our first record of a pipit at the site. Their appearance is similar to Meadow Pipit which is a resident species in the area. Tree Pipit’s are summer visitors.

Sunday, 12th June 2011- A wet dip

When the rain came it did not deter the children, busy searching the Large Pond for the best water bugs and the largest fish. Parents persevered under umbrellas. The children had wet legs and feet, but stayed upright. It was this Friend who found the stickiest mud and failed to pull free.
Today’s event did not produce as many insects as last year, but, we did have tadpoles in all three stages of development and a few dragonfly larvae in different stadium.


Monday, 6th June 2011- Green Flag judging

Green Flag judge Tim Brooks inspected the site today as part of the process for the 2011-12 award application. Friends were delighted at his expressed interest and obvious preparation for this visit.
A meeting at the Auditorium followed. Tim was able to meet Friends and representatives from many partner organisations who help in diverse ways to make the site a place to visit.

Monday, 6th June 2011- Builders are back

House Martins announced their return with skilful acrobatics across the Large Pond. To see them gathering mud, go to the Dipping Platform end of the pond

Saturday, 4th June 2011- Butterflies

The male Common Blue is easily spotted skimming across the meadow grasses or sunning itself. Females are plentiful but more difficult to see. Thankfully, this one patiently posed for a Friend.
When they fold their wings to expose the attractive underwing colours and markings, it is difficult to distinguish male from female.

This Small Copper is in its element as the hot sunshine continues. It is often seen around ground level, even sunning on barren patches. We do not have a large population on site, but they are apparent from May until the start of winter.

Speckled Wood was one of our first residents. Look along the edges of the copses and along the hedgerows. This butterfly can over-winter in caterpillar form, which is why they are seen from March onwards.

Thursday, 2nd June 2011- Proud parent

A recently fledged Blue Tit hides amongst the needles of a Scotch Pine whilst one of its parents perches on an adjacent tree encouraging it to try again.

Flocks of Goldfinch are currently trawling the site. Unfortunately they are rarely still for long enough to capture a full image. This shot shows the underside colouring but against the light sky, the crimson face with white collar does not appear as prominent as it is.

May 2011- Bird sightings

35 different birds were recorded this month. They include lots of Bullfinch and Willow Warblers, plus two more summer visitors

The birds spotted were:

Blackcap Blackbird Blue Tit Bullfinch Canada Goose
Carrion Crow Chaffinch Chiffchaff Collared Dove Common Whitethroat
Garden Warbler Great Tit Greater Spotted Woodpecker Green Woodpecker Grey Partridge
House Martin Heron House Sparrow Kestrel Long-tailed Tit
Magpie Mallard Mistle Thrush Moorhen Pheasant
Pied Wagtail Robin Rook Song Thrush Starling
Swallow Swift Willow Warbler Wood Pigeon Wren

Tuesday, 31st May 2011- Caught in the act

This master fisherman, Grey Heron, seems to ignore the fact that people are nearby as he concentrates on the task in hand. Mick Leivers was watching as it chose a choice carp and he just managed to photograph the action before the fish was consumed.

Wednesday, 25th May 2011- Butterflies and bees

Butterflies have enjoyed the calm warm days. Winds blowing the grasses and flowers, tend to ravage them. This Common Blue is in pristine condition. It is from the early brood that emerges in May/June. A second brood usually emerges in August/September.
We recognise the Common Blue from its white wing margins, finely edged with black.
The Large Skipper is a bright golden flash, normally seen on wildflowers. It likes to sunbath with spread wings, but when they fold, the greenish underside with yellow spots is an attractive sight. It is usually a single brood butterfly that emerges between late May and mid-July.


As more grasses and wildflowers progressively flower, the insect population increases. This helps pollination for seed setting to expand those vegetative species. It is particularly pleasing to see a- very steady- increase in bees. This Red-tail Bumble Bee was busy helping.


Sunday, 16th May 2011- Colours of summer

Two bright summer colours are showing at their best. The Ox-eye Daisy shines white from copse edges and the meadows. Around the Large Pond, the Yellow Flag Iris shouts its rich sunshine bloom.


Saturday, 7th May 2011- Who cares about the rain when you are fishing!

This Grey Heron is developing a reputation. His hunger seems to embolden him. He has taken to perching on the rails of one of the dipping platforms at the Large Pond, regardless of nearby visitors; presumably to get a better view of his prey. Previously he used the reeds as a camouflage background, as the second image shows. This is the norm for most of the herons that have visited and it is a surprisingly affective tactic.

Wednesday, 4th May 2011- Day flying moths

The Cinnabar Caterpillar is readily spotted on the site when Ragwort is in flower. The moth is not so frequently seen. It has bright red or orange-red markings that stand out when it is flying amongst grasses. Unfortunately, getting a good in-focus image of the moth has proved difficult. The three rather poor images to the left are of Cinnabar Moths in the Tupton Copse.
In the meadows, the most commonly spotted day flying moth with bright red markings is the Six-spot Burnet. This is the right hand image (taken in 2010).

To distinguish, the six-spot Burnet has distinct spots on narrow forewings. It normally flies from late June, through August. Cinnabars are slimmer, slightly longer and have broader forewings that have a distinct red band along the leading edges. They normally fly from mid-May through to early August. This unusually sunny spring seems to have accelerated the pupation.

Tuesday, 3rd May 2011- Sunlight and leaves

The bright sunlight is creating many attractive images in the sites trees. This image is low down with sunlight spilling through an Aspen with a little shade from an adjacent Sessile Oak.
The Aspen leaves were active in today’s breeze, producing that loud rustling sound as the leave stalks bent to pivot the leaves, exposing their pale grey underside.


Monday, 2nd May 2011- A summer stroll

This Mallard drew the attention of visitors as she guided her chicks across the Waterloo Meadow, a long way from the Large Pond that is their normal haunt. She panicked when the chicks slipped through the rabbit fence into the Memorial Copse. Scampering around, she finally found a large enough gap and was re-united to her brood.
Why didn’t she just fly over the fence?


Saturday, 30th April 2011- To hot to fly

This Green Woodpecker strutted around near the Car Park. A busy place, but not apparently concerned. Woodpeckers are often seen in this corner of the site.
Also basking in the sun in this area were several butterflies. These are Orange Tip and Peacock.

April 2011- Bird sightings

41 different birds were recorded this month. They include some of our normal summer visitors

The birds spotted were:

Blackcap Blackbird Blue Tit Bullfinch Buzzard
Canada Goose Carrion Crow Chaffinch Chiffchaff Coal Tit
Collared Dove Common Whitethroat Coot Dunnock Goldfinch
Great Tit Greenfinch Greylag Goose Heron House Sparrow
Jackdaw Jay Kestrel Lapwing Lesser Whitethroat
Linnet Long-tailed Tit Magpie Mallard Mistle Thrush
Moorhen Pheasant Pied Wagtail Robin Rook
Song Thrush Sparrowhawk Starling Willow Warbler Wood Pigeon

Friday, 29th April, 2011- Bird identities

The difficulty of capturing suitable images of the birds that frequent the site results in the Friends generally being unable to show pictures that will inform visitors. Fortunately a local man has helped with the following shots from Colliers Wood. They are, from left to right, Long-tailed Tit, Pied Wagtail and Willow Warbler. This latter one is a more recent summer resident.

Wednesday, 27th April, 2011- Butterflies

Presently the regular ‘earlies’ are apparent in most areas. They include Large White, Peacock, Speckled Wood and Tortoiseshell. The male Green-veined White shown on the right, was a welcomed not so common sighting.


Thursday, 21st April- Homes to let

Piles of tree trunk logs and root balls are being established at a limited number of site locations. The intent is to encourage an expansion of the beetle numbers and, perhaps, new varieties. If all goes well, in a few years time the FoCW will be able to arrange beetle hunt days for the younger visitors.


Wednesday, 20th April- April flowers

Cowslips have been exceptionally abundant this spring, both within the copses and along the shadier margins. We also have Primroses, usually of a paler yellow or white, but there are some claret coloured patches. These may be garden escapees that should not be present.


The Celandine yellow is one of the bright spring colours that cheer every year. This sunny dry period has resulted in an earlier and extended flowering of the Hawthorn. Will it live up to its name and continue into May?


Saturday, 9th April 2011- Completing the spring clean

FoCW finished the spring litter pick today, concentrating on the west end of the site. Food wrappers and drink containers were again the most frequent waste, particularly along the Blackshale Track. There are adequate bins along this stretch. There is no excuse for such littering.
Similarly, poo bags had been discarded or even hung on trees. This is very unpleasant for those who have to remove them. Having made the effort to be a responsible owner, please complete the task and carry your bags to the red bins.

Tuesday, 4th April, 2011- An early arrival?

Spotted in the area today, the first Blackcap to arrive for the summer.
A melodious bird whose song is always welcomed.

Monday,29th March 2011- The first swallow

Always a welcomed sign of warmer weather, the first swallow arriving from Africa was sighted in the area today.

Friday 18th March 2011- Welcome back after your holiday

A few Chiffchaff found their way back to the site today. These summer residents are a sure sign of spring arriving. Their numbers will gradually increase over the next two weeks.
Two pair of another summer resident, Lapwing, were displaying over the fields adjacent to the south boundary, attracting walkers attention with their almost mournful pee-wit calls. Lapwings have only been absent since the end of December.

Sunday 13th March 2011- A first for this year

Today, the first report this year of frog spawn. It was spotted in one of the DH Lawrence Copse ditches. The timing is the same as last year.

Saturday 12th March 2011- What a clean sweep!

Friends picked accumulated litter from the copse areas today.
Cans and food wrappings are particularly dangerous to the wildlife that use the area and need to be removed before the undergrowth conceals it.

Saturday 12th March 2011- Is this a threatening sight?

A group of eight Buzzards circled the site today searching for prey. These may be an indicator of successful breeding of the two pairs that nest in High Park Wood. Their presence also reinforces the sites progress in habitat improvement for mammals.

Another welcomed sight was a flock of House Sparrows feeding in and around the copses. This bird breed features on several conservation lists as endangered, or in need of habitat help.

February 2011- Bird sightings

A list of 43 different birds have been recorded this month. Amongst them were singing Blackbirds and Chaffinch at several locations; and along the Blackshale Track and within the Wetland Copse, the sweet melodies of Fieldfare, Mistle Thrush, Song Thrush and Wren.

The other birds spotted were:

Black-headed Gull Blue Tit Bullfinch Buzzard
Canada Goose Carrion Crow Coal Tit Collared Dove Coot
Dunnock Goldfinch Great Spotted Woodpecker Great Tit Greenfinch
Green Woodpecker Grey Partridge House Sparrow Jackdaw Jay
Kestrel Long-tailed Tit Magpie Mallard Marsh Tit
Moorhen Pheasant Redpoll Redwing Robin
Rook Siskin Sparrowhawk Starling Waxwing
Woodcock Wood Pigeon Wren

12 February 2011- Sunshine

Work continues on forming habitat piles from the southern hedgerow off-cuts. The Friends enjoyed the morning but were surprised at the lack of activity amongst the scrub and around existing habitat piles. We may have considered it as a warm sunny day, but the insects and small mammals preferred to stay snug and safely hidden in their winter retreats.

14th January 2011- Additional plantings

Broxtowe staff have planted hawthorn whips along the hedgerows installed in 2010 to replace whips that were unable to establish. These hedgerows will eventually permit fencing to be removed and form important habitats.

Additional ‘decorative’ trees are being used to fill barren areas along the copse perimeters. Today, installation was along the west elevation of the DH Lawrence Copse. The aim is to raise visual value and provide aditional food sources.

Yew, a new species to the site, has been planted in a limited number of locations. A slow growing tree that will not contribute to the copse profiles for many, many years.

12th January 2011- A tourist takes an extended holiday

A male Silver Pheasant has been roosting in the Lime Avenue Copse for about two weeks. It is a spectacular sight, silver plummage and bright red wattle.

This is not the result of some adventurous artists new year eve party prank. The Silver Pheasant is a native of southeast Asia and parts of China where forest habitats are its normal territory. There are several sub-species and this one has not yet been determined. Neither do we know if it is an escapee or has been ‘donated’.
Our thanks to Alison Bramley for confirming the many sightings of this bird.

9th January 2011- A very special sighting

A Goldcrest has been seen along the Blackshale West Track hedgerow. This is our smallest native bird and is very cautious, moving along hedgerows, feeding off insects and seeking dense woodland- especially conifer- habitats. Previous sightings have been made on this south boundary of the site, but have never been independently confirmed.

Two Jays were noisy in the Lime Avenue Copse and Fieldfare and Redwing continued to trawl through most copses.

31st December 2010- Winter feeders return

As in previous years, flocks of visiting birds are present most days within the copses, feeding of the catkins, cones and surviving berries. Siskin, Redwing and Fieldfares are the most noticeable, and noisiest, but mix flocks of Great and Blue Tits, along with many Long-tailed Tits, are just as busy.

The Friends wait to see if the thinning work in the copses over the last two years has diminished the food sources available to such an extent as to seriously impact on the frequency of these visiting birds. (In the long term, this copse work will benefit the site habitats and help tree growth.)

Other birds reported during December are:
Blackbird, Bullfinch, Buzzard, Collared Dove, Greater Spotted Woodpecker, Green Woodpecker, Kestrel, Lapwing, common Redpoll, various Sparrows, Sparrowhawk, Waxwing, Woodcock, and Wood Pigeon. Joining the Mallards and Canada Geese at the cold Large Pond has been a female Common Teal and a regular visiting Grey Heron.

5th December 2010- Tree dressing

As part of the National Tree Week, the Friends invited local people to help dress the sites special Christmas tree. Gradually the bare tree donned a coat of colour, with walking sticks utilised to fix baubles at height. Dressing this particular tree has become an annual site event, with many visitors continuing to add further decoration in an attempt to surpass the previous years show.

Heavy snow may have had a detrimental impact on many aspects of the site, but today, blessed with warm sunlight reflecting on sparkling ice crystals, it added to the happy atmosphere.

10th November 2010- A long attractive autumn

Leaf colour has been spectacular through this extended autumn. We await the inevitable spoiling gales to create the carpets of colour below barren branches. The examples below are Field Maple, Aspen, Oak and Birch.

8th November 2010- Food sources

Many different catkins and cones have begun to ripen on the trees. These will provide a continuous source of food for the mammals and birds throughout the winter months. These examples are Alder, Hazel, Larch and Scots Pine.

Berries and hips are glowing brightly but are overwhelmed by the autumn leaf colours. They will remain on the shrubs and trees after the leaf drop to provide visual interest and most importantly, food. These are Dog Rose and Hawthorn.

7th & 8th November 2010- Aves observed

Since the meadow long grass areas have had their annual cut, most of the bird activity has been amongst the shrubs and trees or on the ponds. Those spotted over the last two days are our regulars.

Visiting flocks of Jackdaw and flocks of Rook are more frequently seen and Magpie numbers remain constant. Wood Pigeon are throughout the site and their numbers seem to be increasing.

Goldfinch vary from isolated pairs to small flocks whilst Chaffinch are dashing around in groups of a dozen birds and Greenfinch as a small flock. A single Bullfinch was present in the Waterloo Memorial Copse. Lots of family groups of Blue Tit, Great Tit and Long-tailed Tit are to be seen along the copse boundaries.

Wrens are present throughout the site as are singing Robins. Blackbirds are not so apparent, but look along the Wetland Copse as you walk along the Blackshale Track. Present also along this track are two Kestrels hunting the copses either side of the track and the hedgerows/environmental strips in the adjacent fields. On Monday there was also a Sparrowhawk hunting the same ground. (Hares can regularly be seen foraging in these fields.)

Our Green Woodpeckers were present in their normal locations of Tupton Copse and DH Lawrence Copse. Patient observation in these areas is inevitably rewarded.

At the Large Pond we have ten male and seven female Mallards along with seven Moorhen. The two hybrid Mallards are also still present but no Coots nor our single juvenile Mute Swan. However, the varying quantity of Black-headed Gulls have taken up their seasonal presence to add interest for the children who come to feed the waterfowl.

A treat on Sunday was the single Skylark. One, and occasionally two, are reported on most days.

7th November 2010- Poachers

Local thieves have shot and stolen waterfowl from the Large Pond area. Tonight they were interrupted in their getaway along FP67 up to Mill Road, dumped the carcasses adjacent the path and hid. After a dog walker had passed they retrieved the birds and escaped.

The police attended and gathered appropriate evidence from the dump site. The FoCW ask all local people to report to the police anyone who has a rifle that is taken out at nights, or anyone who is trying to sell game around the neighbourhood. They will also be the owners of a retriever.

4th November 2010- Santa has cancelled

In his pre-Christmas preparations, Santa Claus passes by Colliers Wood. Generously this year he promised to meet local children at the site on Sunday 5th December to ensure that he understood their Christmas wishes.

Unfortunately, he has just informed the Friends that he has modified his arrangements and will no longer be able to visit us this year.

Santa did say that he would probably still be able to attend the Durban House special event on the same Sunday. We hope all goes well for him even though we are sad to lose the opportunity to see him at Colliers Wood.

30th October 2010- Lottery draw

FoCW have two major methods of raising money for our site activities and running costs. They were brought together on Saturday.

Our annual table-top sale, held at Dora Phillips Hall, was well supported. Friends worked together as an effective team to ensure that everything ran smoothly and were able to offer customers a wide range of goods. Home made pastries, pies and preserves are always popular, with many customers coming specifically for these.

Several commercial companies are generous in their support of the Friends, providing a variety of items for re-sale.

Cllr Brian Griffin, the Mayor of Eastwood town, visited the event and obliged by conducting the draw for our Autumn Lottery, the second main source of finance.
The first ticket drawn was 0406.
Mrs McGarry’s ticket won the main prize of £50.

The other winning tickets in draw order were:
0128, 0648, 0147, 0175, 0667, 0573


25th October 2010- Autumn; colour and food

Our pleasure is enhanced in this unusually calm autumn by the many different sights that are contiguous throughout the site. Leaves that have adopted their seasonal colours have not yet been swept en masse from their branches. Warm wet conditions have extended the fungi period and ensured a giant crop of many of the species present and exposed some new ones, though not always as decorative as the Fly Agarics. Berries, hips, nuts and seeds are plentiful, many of which show as brightly coloured masses on the shrubs and trees. A delight for the walker to behold, but a joy and blessing for the insects, birds and mammals for whom the site is a food source and sometimes a home or place for surviving the winter.

Our corn meadow trial areas have displayed waves of colour. Sunflowers, though not native, have been a nectar bar for a wide range of insects from midsummer and continue into this autumn. Giant heads of maturing seeds from the first plants that flowered will sustain many mammals and birds when the inevitable coldness descends. Until then, Corn Marigolds help the Sunflowers light up the area with a deep bold yellow. Both yellows contrast nicely with the Field Maple, Oak and Aspen autumn leaves.

Meadow areas are busy with insects and small birds feeding off the retained grass seeds. This encourages predators. Buzzard visits are more frequent and now Sparrowhawks have joined the Kestrels hunting through the copses and along the perimeters.

Everywhere there are indications of a feeding frenzy. Chewed fungi, too plentiful to bother completely consuming. Hip skins peeled open with sharp teeth, halves of Hazel Nut cases, empty Acorn Cups, bare berry twigs on Rowan and split empty berry cases covering the ground under Hawthorn shrubs.

The water level in the Large Pond remains high, encouraging the submerged flora to flourish. This is clearly helping the waterfowl and may be the reason why the juvenile Mute Swan has lingered with us.

19th/20th October 2010- Aves sightings

There remains a lot of bird activity as this unseasonable warm weather continues. In addition to the autumn seeds and fruits, there is a high number of insects available . Four varieties of bumble-bee are still active.

Bird song is currently provided by wrens and robins.
Special attractions are the green woodpecker feeding on standing dead trees in the Tupton Copse, the jay spotted along the Blackshale Track and the more frequently seen buzzard circulating menacingly above the meadows.
Groups of birds include blue tit families, crowds of goldfinch, and passing over on Wednesday, a flock of 30 lapwing.
The normal field and woodland birds are regularly present- magpies, jackdaws, crows, rook and wood pigeon.
On Wednesday, two sparrowhawk noisily hunted the site with spectacular displays of skilful soaring and agile pursuit as they fed off the small songbirds and mammals.

The Large Pond is still very busy with waterfowl. Resident moorhens and mallards, many of which were born at the site, a juvenile mute swan and an itinerant flock of Canada geese are joined by black headed gulls.

17th October 2010- An active autumn morning

Broxtowe Sport’s first duathlon at Colliers Wood was heralded with a mist blanket that lingered until the strong autumn sun burnt it away; ready for the 9.00am mass start.

The event was fully booked with 140 participants of all ages who came from as far away as Lincoln. Many family spectators supported the competitors, helping to create a lively pre-race atmosphere of eagerness and anticipation around the registration and start areas.

Broxtowe’s preparation was excellent. Electronic timing with prompt display of duration, specialist racking for cycles in the transition area, support personnel for participants, ample good signage, marshals positioned along all routes, police stationed at key road junctions- with the police helicopter monitoring traffic along the section of the B600 used for part of the cycle phase- and an inviting looking site in good condition.

On completion, participants eagerly expressed their satisfaction and good impression of the event and routes used. Hopefully, this effusive support will help make this an annual Colliers Wood event.

5th October 2010- A welcomed visitor

Swans have been missing from the site for over two years. Previously they nested annually and several clutches were reared. Unfortunately, some irresponsible dog owners encouraged their animals into the Large Pond, with the inevitable result. Several adult swans were severely injured when they collided with the compound fencing whilst trying to hurriedly take flight in their prolonged laborious way. Breeding pairs moved to more secure locations elsewhere and their offspring stayed at those locations. Much to the dissapointment of many children and a loss to the sites diversity.
The appearance today of this juvenile Mute Swan raises hopes that eventually some may return.

1st October 2010- Rain does help in some ways.

This wet weather does provide some gains.
Our water system has a beneficial flush that also distributes seedlings and species around the site. The Scrape and Large Pond water levels reach their maximum, giving a boost to some of the reeds and rushes and creating suitable habitats at the margins for insecta and amphibians.

Visually we benefit from the emergence of the fungi. The varieties that are evident increases year-on-year- see species list. A particularly bright fungus is the Fly Agaric with its attractive red crown. This is present at several locations. It is easily spotted along the Blackshale East track, near the embankment bottom on the field side.There are many other varieties with different colours and form. Look carefully and you may also find circles of Fairies Bonnets!

30th September 2010- Mysterious ducks

These two ducks have been puzzling the FoCW. They arrived some two weeks ago and we are unable to identify them with certainty. We currently believe them to be a Mallard hybrid, but the comparison with a female mallard can be seen in the second image.

Can anyone help us determine what they are?

28th September 2010- A nice red marking

Vic was updating the list of birds to be currently seen around the site and was pleased to sight a Great Spotted Woodpecker. A bird that is a frequent but irregular visitor. Quickly observing a second one helped Vic determine where they were feeding. Your best chance of seeing them is along the east leg of the Tupton Track, rising up past the end of the Large Pond.

In addition to the 22nd September list of aves, there was also Cormorant and Black-headed Gull. An entertaining tingling sound came from the Goldfinch flocks as they trawled the site feeding off the Alder seeds. This will be a regular sight over the coming months.

23rd/24th September 2010- A generous community

The FoCW raised funds by selling t4ckets for their ‘Spring Lottery’ at Morrisons Supermarket in Eastwood. (The draw will be at our table-top event in Dora Phillips Hall on Saturday 30th October.)

We are very grateful to Morrisons Supermarkets for allowing us this opportunity and thank their staff for being so understanding and accommodating.

Apart from the essential financial help, these events provide a welcomed chance for FoCW members to talk to a wide range of people from our communities about the site and the various events held there. Their responses, and the ideas generated, help shape the FoCW planning. FoCW also glow in the nice comments made about the site; clearly considered as a great asset to the area.

22nd September 2010- Insect survey

Members of the Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire Entomology Society conducted an insect survey in the meadow areas this afternoon. They then set up light traps in the Horseshoe Meadow and Moorgreen Meadow ready for darkness to fall.
Friends joined them to see a range of moths, shield bugs and other small insects attracted by the light. Many of the insects are dependant upon specific tree species that grow on the site. Others feed more widely. The individual species quantities observed are indicators of the condition of various habitats and will help determine what work may be necessary.
The gentle warm southerly wind was a good condition for the survey. When all of the moths are identified, it is hoped that a few species that are related to more southern areas will have been blown to the site.
The Friends thank the Society for their help and for such a great experience.

22nd September 2010- An ave update

Our summer visitors have left but there remains many birds to observe and hear singing. Vic listed these in different parts of the site today:
Crow, Rook Jackdaw, Magpie, Lapwing, Wood Pigeon, Collared Dove, Goldfinch, Chaffinch, Bullfinch, male Pheasant, Blackbird, Mistle Thrush, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Long-tailed Tit, Robin, Green Woodpecker and Tawny Owl. Additionally, Buzzard.
At the Large Pond were a flock of Canada Geese, eight Mallards and two young Moorhens.

This range of birds indicate a good variety of food sources in the meadows and copses. There is still a lot of insect activity, even though the temperature is dropping. Vic particularly noted Speckled Wood butterflies and Four-spotted Chaser dragonflies.

21st September 2010- Hunters

An unusual sight today; two pair of Common Buzzard hunting at the same time over the Colliers Wood area.

Two pair are known to nest in the High Park/Morning Springs woodland. This may account for the increase in the frequency of buzzards spotted above the site as they fly past to other hunting locations along the Erewash valley. They are normally seen as individuals hunting at Colliers Wood and in the adjacent fields, so today is a special treat for visitors.

5th September 2010- Bold Brass

A warm bold sound from brass instruments sounded across the showground area this afternoon as Newmount Brass played the DH Lawrence Festival concert. Broxtowe’s Heritage and Culture Manager, Sally Nightingale and FoCW’s chairperson, Margaret Turner, introduced the band to a large audience.

Led by music director Alan Salmon, this substantial band engaged us all with a skilful selection from their wide repertoire. Solo performances and a young trio added to the entertainment. An audience pleasing concert.

This was the first occasion that a concert band had played at the Auditorium. The FoCW were pleased that the acoustic result was so good and that the sound carried well to all the people seated widely around the viewing area. Our many thanks to the band for entertaining us so well.

The band images below are courtsey of Eastwood Photographic Society, taken by Reg Lowe.

1st August 2010- Companion Dog Show

A well attended show that had many activities to entertain. Jackie De Long ‘danced with dogs’ and Margaret Sutcliffe choreographed the obedience demonstration. This latter fitted in well with Broxtowe Community Wardens agility course that tested the entrants handling skill at instructing their dog through the obstacles. Those with good control were also able to master the recall test.

The Mayor of Broxtowe, Pat Lally was hosted by the Greasley Chairman John Handley Both enthusiastically joined in the event and welcomed attendees.

The launch of the FoCW ‘Responsible Dog Ownership Certificate’ scheme was under the control of examiner Annette Rebman. She tested at the Basic and Primary Levels and was pleased at the skills demonstrated by the applicants. This scheme will be introduced to other venues in the area.

Our many thanks to Sue Gibbs for her skillful judging and her harmonious attitude in the ring. Sue is key to the events success.

27th July 2010- A Green Flag?

For the third consecutive year, Colliers Wood has achieved the Green Flag status. This is one indication that the revised management of the site is helping create a more natural environment. We can already see the changes in the meadow areas. The benefit of work on the copses will take longer to emerge, but it has commenced.

The Green Flag award requires more than just caring for our ecology. Many of the conditions require the site to be inviting to visitors in diverse ways, and for them to feel safe and secure. The award requires strong evidence of community involvement and benefit to those living within the general area.

Help us show that the site deserves the recognition by avoiding dropping litter and encouraging the less responsible dog walkers to clear up after their dogs foul. A friendly community voice is better than legal action.

For more details on the Green Flag and its impact on Colliers Wood, go to Site/Green Flag.


24th July 2010- Ragwort Home

Today the Friends removed the scheduled weed, Ragwort, from the main meadow areas. This annual action is necessary to control its spread. Ragwort is a very successful plant that forms a valuable home to the Cinnabar caterpillar and a feed source for many butterflies, moths and other insects. It is also a very attractive yellow.

Moving through the meadow grass, butterflies and day flying moths were disturbed. Butterflies included Gatekeeper, Green-veined White, Large White, Small White, Meadow Brown, Ringlet, Speckled Wood, Small Heath, a few Orange-tip, and what must be the last of the Common Blue.
Moths included Lesser Treble-bar, Cinnabar, Silver-ground Carpet and Six-spot Burnet. This latter moth has a visually appealing flight action. It also looks good at rest- see photo. The red spot at the base of the wing is in two parts.


22nd July 2010- The Importance of Being Ernest

On a cold ‘summer’ night, the Rain or Shine Theatre Company warmed the emotions of an audience who came well prepared. Oscar Wilde’s wit, humour and verbosity was delivered with the Companies normal high professional skill, allowing us to follow the emotions in this excellant simple story of love.
The venue was the Moorgreen Meadow, with the stage set against the Horseshoe Copse. An ideal background for an evening performance.
Clare Janes organisation of the event worked out smoothly, making it comfortable and convenient for the audience.
We look forward to the RoSTC 2011 presentation.


21st July 2010- Shy ducks

Heads down and bottoms up girls.
These young female Mallards were too busy feeding to bother about people walking by.


17th July 2010- Blue food

A few spots of blue are visible in the meadow areas.
The cornflowers are escapees from the trial areas near the car park and in the Waterloo Meadow. Many insects are attracted to feed from them.
Chicory is a plant whose leaves were used in salads and the roots ground up to brew a coffee style drink. Don’t try, we only have a few samples.

10th July 2010- Fearsome looking

Dennis ‘Denbow’ Worrall is so intrigued when finding a withering mass of the Peacock butterfly caterpillars that he records their image. These caterpillars have two forms of defence. Their individual spiky appearance is off-putting and their gregarious behaviour presents such a wriggling mass that potential predators find the clusters threatening.
Our thanks to Kevin Worrall for the pictures.

10th July 2010- Too hot to fly

Most of the butterfly activity is along the shady margins of the copses. Few ventured out under the strong sunlight to feed on the ample wildflowers in the open meadow areas. This Ringlet was amongst the limited number observed.
Speckled Wood, Gate Keeper and Meadow Brown were the most frequently seen butterflies today.
Common Blue Damselflies were difficult to spot unless, like this one, they were against a contrasting background.

3rd July 2010- Woodland Tales

The two storey tellers, Nicky Rafferty and Joanna Mcleod, led the children along a path of imagination and excitement. Fortunately the squashed frogs were represented by water balloons.
A time of creation, fascination, family picnic and amusement in an attractive landscape on a lovely summer day.

29th June 2010- Copse under-storey plants.

The copse areas that have been thinned are of great interest to the Friends as we wait to see the impact on the ground level flora. Additional light reaching ground level will encourage inward migration from immediately adjacent areas and also modify the habitat temperature and moisture levels to be conducive to germination of seed spread from elsewhere.

A recent survey of a thinned copse confirmed that the process was underway. Janice was surprised to be able to list the following:
Ox-eye Daisy, Tufted Vetch, Birds-foot Trefoil, Hop Trefoil, Ribwort Plantain, Spear Thistle, Marsh Thistle, Field Buttercup, Red Clover, Sheep’s Sorrel, Yarrow, Great Hairy Willow-herb, Self-heal, Common Mousear Chickweed, Common Spotted Orchid, Woody Nightshade, Meadow-sweet and Hedge Woundwort.

Two of these are new to the site species list.

25th June 2010- Moth Survey

Tonight the Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire Entomological Society will conduct a moth survey at the site. It will commence at approximately 9.45pm and be completed before dawn.
Anyone who is interested in observing how the light attracts the moths and how they are caught and identified, is welcomed. If you wish to be involved, please ask for Dave Budworth.

23rd June 2010- Busy meadows

Like butterflies, dragonflies are presently few in number. A few can be spotted around the Large Pond if you are patient.
Fortunately for the food chain there is no shortage of other insecta. All of the meadows that have uncut grass are teeming with a wide variety. These are just examples. Look closely at the grasses and wildflowers. The colours of the feeding insects will delight.

22nd June 2010- Where are they?

With all the good sunshine that we have enjoyed, we could expect to see numerous different butterflies. Unfortunately there isn’t. Occasional small whites, large whites and green-veined whites, tantalising few speckled woods and lots of common blues. Today this Meadow Brown was working along the edge of Blackshale East Copse.
It isn’t the lack of food sources; there is a wealth of different wildflowers and grasses blooming. The temperatures have been high and the weather moderate. Is this an impact of last winters low temperatures and snow?

20th June 2010- The Yellow Sea

Yellow carpets of meadow buttercup and birds-foot-trefoil compete with the white dog daisy to be the most noticable wildflower colour in the meadows. Amongst these dominant plants there are some less noticable yellows. Yellow Archangel and the Common Cat’s-ear (often mistaken for dandelion), are two ‘weeds’ with interesting flower form.


14th June 2010- The colour purple

Lost and Found

Two items have been received by the FoCW.
A solid silver stud earring was ‘received’ at the recent pond dipping event.
A pair of Yale keys were found on 14th June.
To retrieve, please contact the Secretary.

11th June 2010- Sparkling white

10th June 2010- Native Orchids

The site has many micro-habitats that sometimes support more unusual flora. Unfortunately these habitats are often fragile and suffer from significant variations in moisture levels, warmth and sunlight. The FoCW have recorded different orchids that have appeared but been unable to permanently establish. Their rhizomes or roots need to be infected by the mycorrhized fungus with which they have a mutually beneficial relationship whilstever the habitat conditions remain suitable.

This year we are fortunate in having three different orchids in flower. Identification is always dicey with a species that can easily cross-breed, but after confirmation from an expert, we believe they are Southern Marsh-orchid, Southern Marsh-orchid hybrid and Common Spotted-orchid.

8th June 2010- Rich colours

The few Broom shrubs on site are now in full flower. Two distinct colour sets are evident; one with attractive red-brown petals and paler yellow sepals, the other with the uniform rich yellow flower. The White Clover flowered later than the purple clover. It is adding to the colour palette of the uncut meadow areas. Ragged Robin is nearly at its end, but still produces fresh flowers. That sea of ragged robin in the Horseshoe Meadow has been a visual spectacle that the inclement weather is only just destroying.

8th June- Goodbye to a great Friend

Marion Layton, a founder member of the FoCW and our first Treasurer, was buried today near mature trees in Eastwood Cemetery after a moving service at Our Lady of Good Counsel Church.

An inspiration to all who worked with her. Marion’s’ ideas, knowledge and contacts were readily available to help. She instigated our first two projects, the Avenue of Limes (known as the Marion Layton Avenue of Limes) and the Auditorium. She tirelessly promoted the group, encouraging the introduction of many of our annual community activities. She recognised the benefit of exposing our children to the pleasure of the natural world with practical activities and our Fun with Learning program and was always there at the forefront to help

The Friends of Colliers Wood will greatly miss Marion. There is a lot to prompt our visual memories of her.

6th June 2010- Storm Survivors

Last nights heavy lashing rain with lightning, thrashed the petals off many flowers on shrubs and wildflowers around the site, leaving confetti carpets as reminders of their texture and colour. What a pleasant surprise to find that the remaining mature dandelion seed heads survived. Delicate seeds protruding proud on flimsy stalks, drying in the sunshine, awaiting the right wind to scatter them.

5th June 2010- Family pond dipping event

Exploring the environment of the Large Pond was today’s theme as part of the BBC’s Spring Watch ‘Breathing Spaces’ events for children. A family event on a nice warm day. Most of the creatures found were our normal ones- Lesser and Greater Water Boatman, Whirligig Beetle, Water Beetle, the occasional Pond Skater, an assortment of nymphs and the muddy Pond Snail, Leech and red Worms.
The metamorphoses stage reached by the Tadpoles seems to be behind previous years. Most only had their gills covered. Far fewer had hind legs and shortened tails. This may be a water temperature problem arising from the shallow water level in the pond.
There were lots of small fish. Mostly Three-spined Stickleback, Minnow and Gudgeon, but also small Carp and some surprisingly long carp. These adventurous boys were attracting the carp with bread. They were very successful and rightly felt proud. Not quite large enough to eat though.

2nd June 2010- Insects battle on

The wet weather will not stop insects; they have to feed. It is also good to see dragonfly nymphs active. Mayflies and Dragonflies seem to be further species that are late in emerging. Few have been seen in flight.

31st May 2010- Colour to welcome June

The Yellow Flag Iris around the Large Pond is bursting into flower. At the perimeter of some copses, pale flushed pink Bramble flowers poke out from the rabbit fence, promising autumn fruit, a favourite of many birds.
Egg and bacon (Birds-foot-trefoil) displays its canary yellow and bright jazzberry jam red flower heads throughout the cut grass areas, shining out to attract the eye.

27th May 2010- Worth waiting for

At last Common Blues are flying in the meadows. Emergence is later than in previous years. Yesterdays rain may have been a trigger. It certainly gave the grasses a spurt.
The Common Blues are feeding on various plants, but Purple Clover seems to be particularly popular.

25th May 2010- Meadow colour

Whilst our eyes are easily drawn to the colour of the wildflowers in the meadows, alongside them there are numerous varieties of grass that provide texture, a wealth of shape and rich complex colours. Look more closely. These samples are all adjacent the tracks.

21st May 2010- Wild flower texture

The calm days we have been enjoying have helped create an unusual spectacle across the meadows. Dandelions have developed their full seed heads and retained them. A carpet of graceful balls of delicate white seeds awaits a wind to begin dispersing them.
Other common wildflowers add colour amongst the grass that is just beginning to show some reasonable growth. Purple Clover and yellow Buttercups shine in the sunlight. Ragged Robin at first looks weather beaten, but its those deeply divided petals that give it its common name. Birds-foot-trefoil forms an orange-yellow mat with red unopened flowers and the Field Daisy provides patches of bold white with egg yolk centres.

18th May 2010- Brownies explore a pond

Mandy Turgoose, Brown Owl of the 2nd Kimberley Brownie pack, supported by Lauren Carlile and some parents, enthusiastically led the Brownies in exploring the life to be found in the Large Pond. Tadpoles, boatmen, water beetles, springtails, water mites, pond snail, sticklebacks, fish fry and a variety of larva were landed.
This pond dipping event is part of the work that the Brownies do towards attaining a ‘Water’ badge.
A pleasant warm evening was enhanced by house martins skimming the surface for insects, taking the occasional dip to show off their skills.

10th & 11th May 2010- New chicks

Six Moorhen chicks, barely a day or two old are exploring their home; the Large Pond. This is the largest brood so far achieved at the site. And as if to celebrate, the Mandarin pair has returned. With the insect seeking Swallows and House Martins that are now active across the water, the pond has become an interesting and active location.

Throughout the site the warblers, Chiffchaff, Blackcap, Willow Warbler, Common Whitethroat and Lesser Whitethroat are serenading visitors from all directions. Bullfinch, Chaffinch, Goldfinch and Greenfinch are frenetic feeders and join in the chorus along with the Mistle Thrush.

8th May 2010- White is the colour of the moment

A variety of white flowers and blossom are appearing to compete with the dandelion yellow.
Lesser Stitchwort, Sloe (Blackthorn), Apple (desert), Cow Parsley, Lady’s Smock (Cuckoo Flower) and Bird Cherry (Prunus padus) are flowering at the site and in the surrounding landscapes. The Bird Cherry is a new species to be recognised at the site. View it at the east end of Blackshale West Copse were it meets the Waterloo Meadow.


7th May 2010- Butterfly activity

Today, the warmness of the sun has increased the number of butterflies that are apparent.
Rather later than normal, there are a good number of Speckled Woods feeding from aphid sugar on a variety of plants and warming themselves on the young leaves of trees and large shrubs.
The population of this butterfly is increasing nationally and there are several sub-species. The Speckled Wood on the extreme right is browner in colour and its spots have a definite orange tone. This implies it is a ‘southern’ strain. The image to its left has a blacker overall appearance and the spots are prominently pale white. This is usual in the ‘northern’ strain.

These two butterflies were within 100 yards of each other at the western end of the site.

6th May 2010- Busy birds

The flowering dandelions in the Central Meadow, were a feed source today for a pair of Linnets.
A Yellowhammer was feeding along the hedgerow at the west end of the Wetland Copse and in the fields to the south, the pair of Grey Partridge and a Hare are again feeding. Both are often seen in these fields.

4th/5th/6th May 2010- Hunters route

A Sparrowhawk and a Kestrel are flying low along the ditch lines through the copses to suprise their prey amongst the adjacent trees. An exciting sight that can be observed by looking though the DH Lawrence Copse and Blackshale East Copse from the Beggarley Track and Moorgreen Meadow.

5th May 2010- House builders are back

A welcomed late spring sight is House Martins picking up mud from the edge of the Large Pond. Six were busy today and were joined by a pair of Swallows
Unfortunately the Mandarins have left the site

4th May 2010- Late mating

The shortage of uncommitted hens was evident on the Large Pond when five drake Mallards contested for one female. She played her part well, never favouring one and constantly moving. Occasionally the fierceness of the contest drew her admiration, but when a drake came too close she responded with a defiance that firmly deterred them.

There are several pairs of Mallard already breeding. These late contenders are probably the offspring from the success of the 2009 pairings.

The pair of mandarins have been joined by another male on the Large Pond.

3rd May 2010- A bold colour

A Jay was busy around the meadow margins today, drawing attention with its harsh call. This woodland bird is not often seen at the site.

30th April 2010- Bluebells

8,000 bulbs were planted through the copses in the 2006 and 2007 winters. Only a few have emerged. These bluebells and white bluebells are in the Lime Avenue Copse.


Nettles are a key plant for butterflies. Several species use them as nurseries for their caterpillars and they are a good early food source for butterflies that have survived winter hibernation.

Presently, colour from wildflowers is largely provided by the meadow plants that are flowering- daisy and dandelion. Cowslips creep out from the edge of Moorgreen Copse to provide a cooler colour and texture contrast.

Coltsfoot has completed flowering and developed the wispy seed heads that are just beginning to be dispersed by the wind and animal contact.

23rd April 2010- Peacocks in abundance

There is a suprising high number of Peacock butterflies emerging from hibernation. They are apparent as they feed off the dandelion flowers in most parts of the site.

22nd April 2010- DH Lawrence Festival

The festival committee confirmed today that Newmount Brass will perform the festival concert at Colliers Wood on Sunday 5th September.
This is a large band that frequently play open-air concerts with an extensive repertoire to suit most tastes. The concert will be at the Auditorium. Entry will be free. Refreshments will be available.

20th April 2010- Tourists keep arriving

More of our migratory residents arrive daily. Willow Warblers are calling from every copse. A Lesser Whitethroat is at home in the Waterloo Meadow hedgerows and a Linnet is busy in the same area.
In the fields beyond a pair of Grey Partridge strut. Not to be outdone, a Hare gambols lazily nearby, heedless of any danger.
A pair of Green Woodpecker are at home around the DH Lawrence Copse along with Mistle Thrush and Chiffchaff.
Another Redwing, a winter resident, is territorial singing. This time from the Moorgreen Copse trees along the boundary.

18th April 2010- Plants and trees

Cowslips are well established along the shadier copse boundaries of the Moorgreen Meadow. Their colour competes with the pale Primroses within the Moorgreen Copse. Another good source of nectar for the increasing insect population.
In all areas, leaves are unfurling in a panoptic of the greens; fresh, tender and promising.
The Scotts Pine still draws the visitors eye with the red-brown buds displaying well amongst the blue-green needles.


14th April 2010- Butterflies emerge

Another welcomed sign of spring, on the warmer sunny days, is the first sightings of Peacock butterflies, usually our first butterfly to emerge from hibernation. Presently on site there is a limited amount of thistles and teasels- key plants amongst their normal feeding sources- and even less nettles which is the larva’s main food plant.
Large White are also present, but in lesser numbers than usual.

11th April 2010- More ave activity

Blackcap have returned to the site. They were spotted in both the Horseshoe Meadow and Tupton Copse. This warblers song is often compared to that of the Nightingale.
Competition pecking between Great Spotted and Green Woodpeckers was entertaining walkers this morning. The noise did interfere with the pleasure from the fair singing of several Mistle Thrushes.
The Mandarins have now taken up residence in the Horseshoe Meadow. They are still feeding in the Large Pond and there is two hens with the drake.

10th April- Another first timer

A pair of Mandarin Ducks joined the Mallards, Coots and geese on the Large Pond. The geese didn’t seem too pleased to have more residents but hopefully the Mandarins will stay. This is the first time they have been formally recorded at the site.

9th & 10th April 2010- Lottery ticket sales

One of the FoCW main means of fund raising is our occassional lottery ticket sales. We are pleased that these two days spent at Morrisons Supermarket in Eastwood have been financially successful and we wish to express our sincere thanks to the staff at Morrisons for allowing us this opportunity.
This ‘Spring’ lottery will be drawn at our table-top event in Dora Phillips Hall on Saturday 30th October.

All of the Friends who took part in the sale activity were delighted at the number of people who expressed their support and made encouraging comments on the way the site is developing. Pleasure was the unanimous opinion expressed by those who regularly visited the site. It is very encouraging to know that the FoCW efforts are so well appreciated.

This event provided the first opportunity to utilise our new roller banner that indicates who we are with text, photographs and logo. This was a gift from the Greenwood Forest Partnership as a marketing aid for our group. It proved to be perfect for the job as people quickly recognised the logo, boldly emblazened across the top of the banner. Our many thanks to Greenwood for this practical support.

4th-6th April 2010- Another visitor arrives

A pair of Willow Warblers has joined the birds feeding from supplementary feeders along the Blackshale Track. There is a growing number of chiffchaffs, various finches, thrushes, redpoll and blackbirds that are using this area.
Skylarks are well established and lapwings are more frequently seen above the adjacent fields. Heron, Snipe and Pheasant patrol the Small Pond area of the Horseshoe Meadow, with frogspawn as the big draw.
A passing Buzzard continued to pass. (FoCW are reliably informed that a pair of buzzards nest in the High Park Wood area of the adjacent magnesian limestone ridge. They occasionally hunt Colliers Wood.)

29th to 31st March 2010- More aves

Summer visitors continue to arrive. Latest sightings are Goldfinch, Fieldfares and Redwing.
Our year round residents continue their frenetic activity. They include Linnet, Redpoll, Snipe, Chiffchaff, Song Thrush, Mistle Thrush, Kestrel, Green Woodpecker and possibly- one sighting only- a Hawfinch.
Another first for the site, a Red-legged Partridge in the adjacent fields.

Tuesday, 23rd March 2010- A rare sighting

A Marsh Tit feeding from visitors supplementary feeding stations along the Blackshale Track. These birds are on the National BAPS list of concern and RSPB ‘Red List’. This is the first time a marsh tit has been recorded on the site.
Confirmation is desirable to permit entry onto our species list.
In the same area, a first sighting of an annual visitor, Whitethroat and one of our regulars, Green Woodpecker. A pair of Bullfinch were also feeding adjacent the track.
Most of the sweet sounds today came from Song Thrush. They ranged over the site from the Car Park area up to the Nursery Copse.

Sunday, 21st March 2010- Emerging flowers

Daisy and Colts-foot are flowering in several meadow areas, but the big splash of colour comes from the Primroses amongst the trees in the Moorgreen Copse. These are particularly pale in colour, shining out from the dappled shade on this bright sunny day.

Equally bold are the bright yellow catkin flowers of male Goat Willow trees. Transformed from their earlier shiny grey envelope, they are now ripe with pollen, nearly ready for a wind to release the cloud towards the silky greenish-white catkins on female trees. Both the male and female catkins are an important source of pollen and nectar for bees at this time of the year.

Even the burnt brown, purple tinted, expanding male ‘lambs tail’ Alder catkins still have attraction as they sway in harmony with the lightest of breezes. They too are close to releasing their pollen in what is usually surprisingly bright golden clouds. Alders are monoecious so the pollen does not need to travel very far to reach the small woody, red coloured, cone shaped female catkins.

Frog spawn jelly has absorbed water to expand and allow it to float on the surface. Here it is absorbing the sun light to keep the developing embryos warm. Visit the Small Pond area in Horseshoe Meadow to inspect the progress of several large clumps. You may also encounter ornithologists absorbed in the variety of birds that feed in this area, especially with frog spawn on the menu.

Sunday, 14th March 2010- Memorial planting

Loved ones remembered by their families and friends who planted trees today in the Waterloo Memorial Copse.
The copse is part of the Memorial Scheme. In future years it will stand as a living emblem for their dearly loved.


13th March 2010- Springing into activity

FoCW morning work party progressed with forming habitat piles along the south boundary, utilising the arisings from the hedge laying works. On this calm sunny morning we were entertained by the mating calls and antics of male Lapwings in the adjacent fields. Skilfully tumbling down from high to skim across the field surface, then quickly ascending to the awaiting females to face them in close courtship with the pee-wit call, both almost stationary in the air, before another acrobatic turn and further impressive manoeuvres. We were all enchanted; how could their females not be.
The sound of singing was everywhere. A Song Thrush entertained from the Moorgreen Copse and a Mistle Thrush crooned along the Lime Avenue.
Redwings and Skylarks appeared across the site in full voice. Long-tailed Tits, Blue Tits and Great Tits took time out from their frenetic feeding to add to the cacophony.
The Chaffinch and Goldfinch concentrated on feeding along with numerous Robins, Blackbirds and a pair of Hedge Sparrows.
Four female pheasants were accompanied by four males. Perhaps they are modern girls who no longer believe in harems.

12th March 2010- Bird activity

Horseshoe Meadow area was particularly busy today with aves. Two Snipes feeding around the Small Pond and a Grey Heron and a pair of Mallards amongst the reeds. A Reed Bunting was singing proudly but no female responded.
Skylarks welcoming calls were heard across the site. Its nice to know they wanted to return to Colliers Wood.
A Green Woodpecker was busy feeding through the north end of the Tupton Copse and, when he moved on, a Greater Spotted Woodpecker took his place.
The Kestrel was sighted in most areas of the site. This may indicate that he will again nest at the site. Many other birds were busy feeding including Goldfinch and Chaffinch.

28th February 2010- Willow delight.

Buds of the goat willows are just beginning to break- ready to open as catkins. They form an enchanting grey-white array along each branch, giving bright highlights around perimeters of copses on a dim cloudy day.

24th February 2010- An early welcome to springtime activity.

A song thrush sings loudly from the Nursery Copse. He may have mistimed his effort but it is appreciated by site users.
In the same area, two bullfinches were active. Blackbirds and robins are spread across the site, establishing their new territories. A pair of kestrels is also present. One pair has nested at the site for the last two years.

21st February 2010- A fleeting glimpse

Spotted hunting along the sites hedgerows and fences at the east end of the Blackshale Track, a sparrowhawk joins the other predators who are currently finding the site provides suitable habitats for its prey.

13th February 2010- Habitat piles

Friends used todays maintenance morning to create further condensed piles of cut material along the southern boundary. The material used is from the hedge-laying work. The piles create a concealment habitat for invertebrates and small mammals that helps them survive the low winter temperatures. This will lead to an increase in their numbers and reinforce the developing food chain on the site.


23rd January 2010- Winter colour

Winter sunlight picks out the scattered trees with colourful bark.White and silver bark of birch protrudes boldly upwards and the few downy birch that retain leaves create a large splash of autumn colour.
It’s the willows though that catch the eye. Yellow and orange spotlights with a tint of red shinning from amongst barren trunks.
The shapes of the Larch and Scotts Pine’s are clear to see. Their needles dark green with a healthy shine. They still carry cones, providing food for some birds and mammals.

20th/21st January 2010- Environmental Learning

Students from Castle College, Nottingham survey along the perimeter of the DH Lawrence Copse prior to two transect survey lines. They are studying for an NVQ, Level 3 in Environmental Conservation. A course organised and taught by BTCV staff who also arrange the practical work field trips. Presently they are working on the Unit requiring surveys for the condition of the environment.
This current site work is the Phase 1 Habitat Survey, concentrating on the trees and shrubs. In the spring they will carry out a Phase 2 Survey. From these observations they will deduce the condition of the copse trees, under-storey and ground cover species in relationship to the original development aim and prepare suitable on-going management recommendations. This information will suplement the findings of FoCW copse survey work. Continuous monitoring of the species assists in the annual overall site management plan review.

20th January 2010- Thinning work progress

BTCV has completed the thinning work at the west end of the site. Today they commenced on the Tupton Copse. The first area to be tackled is the location at which log piles are to be formed. The lumber will be imported from elsewhere in the Borough as there is no mature material available from Colliers Wood. This resource will provide an opportunity, after a few years of rotting, for children to conduct bug hunts.

19th January 2010- Don’t laugh, it’s no fun

The snow may be just a memory, but these Mallards are still having to contend with the ice. Some patches of open water are forming to offer limited feeding opportunities. Supplementary feeding by visitors has been a major help to the survival of the sites population of waterfowl.
PLEASE NOTE- bread products should not be fed to the waterfowl. It can choke them and is not a natural food item. Suitable seed feeds are available from pet shops. With the mating season upon us, it is particularly important that our birds have a suitable diet.

14th January 2010- Tracks in the snow

The snow has detrimental effects on food sources at site and compromises some habitats, badly affecting the survival rate of certain species. There are though benefits from the snow cover.
Evidence that the sites food chain is gradually extending is confirmed by tracks left in the snow. Those of a weasel (or perhaps a stoat) affirm that the population of small mammals is thriving. This is another encouraging sign that the revised management of the meadow areas is proving to be successful.
The weasel is the smallest British carnivore. It is seldom seen as it is normally only active in twilight, at dawn or dusk. Its diet largely consists of mice, voles, shrews, small rats and kits. In the spring it will rob eggs and chicks from nests.

To add the weasel, or stoat, to the sites species list, we require more evidence. Droppings are the most common confirmation. If you spot any, please note the location and let the Friends know. (A visual sighting would be even better; if we were so lucky.)

Other tracks to follow


11th January 2010- Visitors brave the cold

Three Fieldfare’s spotted scavenging for berries and invertebrates amongst the leaf litter along the Avenue of Limes. These migrants from NE Europe may stay with us until March. Listen for their harsh chak-chak when in flight
A large mixed flock consisting of Goldfinch, Chaffinch, Siskin and Redpoll are trawling the various copses feeding off the remaining Alder seed cones.
A brave, wishful thinking, great tit calls his territorial song from the Moorgreen Copse- of little interest to the passing Heron who seeks a suitable unfrozen water body.



December 13th 2009 – Community Christmas tree

Friends of Colliers Wood, with the enthusiastic help of many passing site visitors, decorated the adopted Austrian pine with baubles. This glittering parade has become an annual spectacle ever since a visitor hung the first baubles in 2002.
The tree is adjacent the Moorgreen Track.

December 6th 2009 – Copse work

The sound of a chain saw echoed through the site as BTCV completed the thinning at the east end of the Blackshale East Copse.
New sight-lines have opened up and a sense of more spacious maturity is evident. The additional light should encourage the growth of understorey flora. Perhaps a future habitat for reptiles.
Re-growth from the bolls of the removed pioneer species is quickly emerging, creating an ongoing maintenance removal task.

November 25th 2009 – Water, water, everywhere

A wet month that has substantially transformed some areas of the site.
The Large Pond water level returned to the intended height. The Horseshoe Meadow scrape overflowed into the meadow areas and its uphill outlet ditch was full to the brim for the first time ever.
The Wetland Copse was inundated with run off from the fields, ensuring that the west end area that annually fully dries out, received a good soaking. This area empties into ditches that, for personal safety, should be avoided.
Care should also be taken on the footpaths that have suffered erosion by surface

water wash. This is mostly on the steeper sections of the Moorgreen, Tupton and Beggarley Tracks but now includes a section of the Blackshale Track above the Waterloo Meadow. Repairs will be instigated when the weather settles.

BTCV have made good progress on the hedge laying, clearing the view across two of the fields to the south. Progress on the copse thinning has been impaired by the weather but the junction between Blackshale East and Blackshale West Copse has been reached. They will continue along the Blackshale West Copse towards FP69.

October 31st 2009 – Table top fund raising

The FoCW annual fund raiser was held at Dora Phillips Hall. Attendance numbers were higher than last year and stall holders were pleased with the event. As always, the home baked cakes and pies were popular and home made jam was sold out. Children’s party dresses were as popular with mums as with the children they were designed to fit.
Mrs Pirdue won the Christmas hamper. The winning raffle ticket numbers were 742, 754, 764, 821, 858, 881 and 906.
The weight of the cake was 1,285g (2lb 11½oz) and Freddie Tennant correctly chose the name of the teddy bear- CHARLES.

October 25th 2009 – BTCV Volunteers

British Trust for Conservation Volunteers returned to the site for another winter season of work. Today they continued the hedge laying work along the southern boundary. Opening up the view to the fields and skyline beyond has been favourably commented on by many visitors. Rabbits, hares and a variety of field birds are regularly spotted and the mystery of the current crop intrigues. What is it?
BTCV will be moving on to continue the thinning work within the Blackshale East Copse and then onto the Blackshale West and Mound Copse’s.

Images of 2009

Some of the images that helped define the year for the Friends of Colliers Wood