November was a busy month with a talks evening and practical events!
Wild Talks Evening
It was so lovely to see everyone come out again on the 7th of November to listen to a few Wild Talks. Here is a small recap of what you heard or what you missed!
First, Jamie Neaves spoke about his time in Madagascar and the wildlife that it holds. Similarly, he detailed the well-intentioned conservation efforts of the locals that unfortuately had damaging effects on the turtles. This taught an important lesson about being educated before interfering with nature, this is something we could remember in Datchet too!
Next, PhD student Ed Straw talked to us about his work studying the effect of herbicides (e.g. Roundup) on bees. Through extensive research displayed in graphs and tables, Ed explained the detrimental effects that Roundup has in all concentrations and quantities to bees. So far there is no safe alternative that is as effective as Roundup, however Ed is continuing his research into this. We hope to hear more at a future event!
Lesley from CESA - Climate Emergency in the Sunnings and Ascot talked to us about the CESA's new clean energy campaign! CESA is now affiliated with The Big Clean Switch, a programme which makes it easy it is for us all to switch to green, clean and affordable energy suppliers. To get involved - click here.
Finally, Rupert and Henry spoke to us about conservation grazing and the work that they do. This sparked an interesting debate about agricultural carbon emissions - this low-intensity form of farming benefits both the climate and our health. It was unanimously decided that the food (particularly meat) that we consume needs to be produced more sustainably. Unfortunately, there is no quick fix to this, but eating higher quality local meats or cutting out meat completely are the best options for reducing your agricultural carbon footprint.
Practical Volunteer Day - Creating a Wildflower Meadow
There was a cracking effort from our volunteers on the 23rd of November! 11 of us helped create a mini wildflower patch. There was a lot of digging and hard work so big thanks to all for coming!
Thanks also to the Barker Bridge House Trust & Datchet Parish Council for their support which financed the tools and materials for this task.
Hopefully, in the spring time we will see the fruition of all the hard work done, with a thriving wildflower meadow. The local wildlife will be very grateful and hopefully we can bring in even more biodiversity!
St Nicholas Fayre
It was great to see so many people getting involved in our Nature Grotto on the 30th of November! If you missed this one, we were getting messy creating pinecone bird feeders and giving out bird seed mix. If you'd like to make these at home, you will need:
Pine or fir cones (dried out so they don't open)
Suet or lard
A mixing bowl
1. Make your bird mix. Allow the lard to warm up to room temperature, but don't melt it. Then cut it up into small pieces and put it in the mixing bowl.
2.Add the other ingredients to the bowl. Mix them together with your fingertips or a spoon until the fat holds the squidgy mess together.
3. Now group your cones together and loop the string around the top of them. Then pack the sticky bird mix around the cones with your hands, creating a ball shape.
4. Put your cones in the fridge to set for an hour or so. After that, they'll be ready to hang up and are bound to bring the birds flocking!
As Christmas is approaching, Wild About Datchet are counting down this advent with a daily post to inform or to get you involved with the wildlife around you this winter! If you have any ideas or winter wildlife pictures, please let us know or tag us, on Instagram @wildaboutdatchet /Twitter @WildDatchet or Facebook 'Wild About Datchet'. We look forwards to hearing from you all!