Welcome to our Eighth RTCT newsletter. We always love to update people on what is happening around the catchment, and what better way to fill people in than with a monthly newsletter. We hope that you enjoy reading and welcome any suggestions for next month, just send them and any photographs to Natalie@riverthame.org
Battle against River Invader!
Himalayan Balsam may look exotic with its beautiful pink flowers but it is an unwanted visitor here in the Thame.
The weed spreads rapidly and that’s bad news for our native species. It dies back during the winter months which leaves unstable banks, which are void of vegetation and susceptible to erosion. The extra sediment input into the streams and rivers from erosion is deposited on the riverbed, burying the clean gravels essential for many fish and invertebrates.
Each plant can produce up to 800 seeds. These spread widely as the ripe seedpods shoot their seeds up to 7m (22ft) away! The best way to control the plants is to pull them out from the roots before they have a chance to seed.
This month volunteers have done a great job battling the invader in Aylesbury. Thank you for all your hard work!
If you spot any invasive species; including Himalayan Balsam please get in touch as it would be great to ensure our efforts are focused in the right areas!
Cleansing the Bear Brook
Volunteers were out in force removing litter from in and around The Bear Brook in Aylesbury. Everyone did a fantastic job and we didn’t just find the usual tin cans and bottles. We were pulling all sorts out of the brook; from wheelchairs to car head rests and even a duvet cover!
Thank you to everyone who helped out!
Another litter pick coming up. Date to be confirmed
Trail Cameras to Borrow
We still have trail cameras for volunteers to borrow in Thame and Aylesbury!
Its such a great way to see the rarely seen and secretive wildlife of the Thame Catchment.
If you live in Thame or Aylesbury and you are interested in manning your own camera then please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. There are limited cameras available so they will be distributed on a first come first serve basis.
A big thank you to Mike, one of our fantastic litter pickers for writing this brilliant poem about the day
Will there be a Local Wildlife Site in Waterstock?
Only a small fraction of sites that are important for wildlife are actually legally protected. Local Wildlife Sites, which were formally known as County Wildlife Sites are wildlife rich sites which support rare habitats and species but aren’t protected nationally.
Local Wildlife Sites get some recognition in the planning system but currently their value is poorly recognised and understood. These sites are normally privately owned and don’t get the protection from poor management that nationally protected sites get, but depend on the passion and good will of the landowners.
Within Oxfordshire these sites are identified by BBOWT and Thames Valley Environmental Record Centre. They ensure these indentified sites are regularly surveyed and that owners of Local Wildlife Sites have support to manage them appropriately.
This month Waterstock had a visit from Thames Valley Environmental Records Centre and BBOWT to have numerous surveys carried out to see if areas within the small village can qualify as a local wildlife site.
Its been a long road and a lot of hard work from our trustee Nick Marriner with the help of all the enthusiastic landowners in Waterstock so let’s all keep our fingers crossed! We will find out if the area will be designated in early 2018.
For further information about Local Wildlife Sites click here