Saturday, November 02nd, 2013 | Author:

The sunshine today was enough to tempt out plenty of wolf spiders plus
this smart young Nursery Web Spider (Pisaura mirabilis)

Pisaura mirabilis from the reserve

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Sunday, August 18th, 2013 | Author:

Bullhead fish

At the summer event back in June, the pond dipping was great fun as always. My favourite find was this bullhead lurking in the mud. It’s perhaps 7cm long and quite chunky with a great big head, hence the name bullhead, and the alternative name miller’s thumb.

They tend to live at the bottom of fast flowing stony rivers, feeding on invertebrates at dusk. They are very well camouflaged – unless you stick them in a white tray of course.

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Friday, August 16th, 2013 | Author:

A kindly male kingfisher was in the mood for posing and I got possibly the best shots I ever have done. He spent a while over the pool in the middle of the site but then moved to the river at the back where he fished for a while and I got these pictures.

Interestingly he caught a fish then somehow attached it to the branch he was perching on. Perhaps it was tucked in a crook or impaled on a twig, and I really can’t be sure whether he meant it or not. He left it there.

The pictures have come out with a slightly other-worldly almost flash-lit look to them as he was perched in a shaft of sunlight above the shady river. Also I messed up a bit with the camera and had to rescue it in post-production, which contributes to the look in a funny sort of way!

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Saturday, June 01st, 2013 | Author:

First sight of the moorhen and a single chick.

With a bit of luck the offspring will stay hidden in the reed and evade the attention of predators!

Sunday, May 12th, 2013 | Author:

Our site updates have been notable by their absence so far this year, but here’s a reminder of the view over the mere.

This photo taken in April, (and really is only a ten minute walk from the city centre!) ……..















and a colourful creature that only the most tolerant gardener would like to see …..










… a vine weevil on the stalk of our spring flowering fritillary…






















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Sunday, December 16th, 2012 | Author:

Early morning hoarfrost after a very cold night!


and one of our volunteers, wildlife photographer Luke Massey,  has included this photo of a heron on our site in his calendar for 2013 ….

For  more information and to see more of his excellent photographs, go to Luke’s website:  

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Wednesday, August 29th, 2012 | Author:

the kingfishers are no rumour.

Seen perching on the boardwalk handrail, Tuesday morning…. and yes, there are two. No copying or pasting here …..

Monday, July 16th, 2012 | Author:

One man went to mow ……


A rare dry day saw the volunteers out in force for the first cut of the meadow area ……


Sunday, April 15th, 2012 | Author:


A view of the River Ver now the hedge has been laid.

Make the most of it! Recent showers have had  no effect on the continuing fall in water level.

On the subject of our local chalk stream, a new book has been announced ……

The River Ver –  A Meander through Time

 by Jacqui Banfield-Taylor



This first major and comprehensive work on the River Ver
reveals a fascinating story from source to confluence and prehistory to the
twenty-first century of a chalk stream that has shaped not only the local
landscape but the lives of people past and present.

With a forward by the renowned television presenter and
wildlife photographer Chris Packham of Spring/Autumn Watch fame, the book tells
of the Ver’s long, interesting and chequered history, including archaeology and
geology, milling and watercress growing, problems with abstraction along with
rainfall and aquifer records, abstraction and flow charts and comprehensive
records and details of a selection of local flora and fauna.

There are wonderful personal memories and experiences
sprinkled throughout the book of people who have lived, worked and played on or
near the river, helping to bring the past to us here in the present, all
complemented with over 300 illustrations, many never seen before in public and
some going back more than 250 years.

The River Ver, A Meander through Time, makes it clear how
valuable and important our chalk streams are and how vital it is to raise their
profile and that of the rich diversity of wildlife they support. This
beautifully written and illustrated book hopes to encourage readers to take an
interest in exploring and caring for this superlative resource and its
surroundings and help to give the River Ver its rightful importance now and for
future generations.

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Friday, March 16th, 2012 | Author:

The leylandii have gone, distant houses are now visible, and a pair of canada geese drop in to survey the scene…

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