Friends of Brinsley Headstocks – HEDGEHOG INITIATIVE
We were shocked at the statistics that Great Britain has lost 96.6% of it’s hedgehog population in the last 70 years.
We have never seen a hedgehog on the site, but then we tend not to visit after dark !. We are considering approaching a wildlife rescue centre to release hedgehogs on site following their recuperation, but this would be unethical if we have a population already resident at the Headstocks.
This is where you come in – we would value your reports of any recent sightings of hedgehogs on or around the Headstocks nature reserve. We are also in the process of liasing with Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust for help in surveying methods for this species.
It is vital that we prevent hedgehogs from becoming extinct both locally and nationally, which is a very real possibility.
Sadly the 2019 festival has been cancelled. The Friends would like to thank all the individuals and community groups who supported them in past years.
PLANTING FOR THE FUTURE
Volunteers have been busy preparing and planting selected sites around the Headstocks with wildflowers.
Thousands of seeds were scattered in the bid to create a stunning display of indigenous plants later in the year.
The Friends working party also took the opportunity to clear footpaths and carry out a litter picking sweep of the whole site.
Among upcoming projects for the group is a plan to install new interpretation boards to explain to visitors the significance of the Headstocks site.
Members of the Friends group put their artistic skills to the test in the annual Underwood Scarecrow Festival.
Last year the Friends fashioned the Bill & Ben characters – made, naturally enough, out of flower pots. This year’s entry, using the same materials, features a Country & Western musical theme.
Almost a year since they were planted, poppy seeds at the Headstocks site have finally blossomed.
The red poppies were sown by members of the local Beavers as part of the village’s anniversary commemoration of the 1914 – 1918 war.
Despite the efforts of group members carrying water up to the planted area it looked as though the drought conditions at the time had foiled the initiative. But 12 months on there is a colourful addition to the Headstocks landscape.
KEEP IT SAFE AND SECURE
One of the many pleasing assets of the Headstocks site is the number of paths and walkways accessible by less mobile walkers and people in wheelchairs.
This accessibility is, in part, protected by gates operating within the nationwide RADAR key scheme. On a recent working party at the site, group members noted that some of the gates had been left open which in turn opens up the site to motor cycle and quad bike riders.
The group is appealing to all key holders to be attentive to the security of the site and should they come across a gate which has been left open to use their key to lock it up. Thank you.
Common-spotted Orchid - Report is by John Eyre
There are 52 species of hardy orchids in the UK and probably the most numerous and widespread is the Common-spotted Orchid. That said, it is still a very local distribution and there are very few areas in the Parish of Brinsley where it grows. It can suddenly appear and then disappear in subsequent years.
I found three plants of this species in 2017, which were the first ever seen at the Headstocks site. Unfortunately, none appeared in 2018. I was therefore thrilled to discover this plant on 18 June 2019, approximately 20 feet from where they last occurred.
To maintain the habitat for these orchids, we need a sensitive management plan which involves cutting the meadow in July/August and shaking the clippings (to disperse the seed) before removing them ( to reduce soil fertility).
FOBHS Raise the Green Standard
Mayor of Broxtowe, Cllr Michael Brown, has praised the committed individuals behind Brinsley’s success in retaining its Green Flag Community Award. He thanked all the volunteers for the time and effort they had invested in the project which was a wonderful example of community teamwork.
He was speaking at a flag raising ceremony to celebrate winning of the award – the fifth consecutive year the work of the Friends of Brinsley Headstocks has been internationally recognised.
The Friends have been instrumental in helping assist the transformation of the former Brinsley colliery headstocks from a cauldron of industrial activity into a site of local heritage and literary interest as well as environmental regeneration.
A Green Flag spokesman said the Green Flag Community Award was the international standard for parks and green spaces. “It brings with it a vast amount of prestige. It is also an example of civic achievement which provides communities with a great sense of pride.”
FOBHS Chairman Ken Hamilton echoed the Mayor’s appreciation of the volunteer’s hard work. Liaising with fellow environmental groups and local councils he said the Friends managed the site to recreate an appealing habitat for birds, plants, trees, fungi, moths, insects and more.
As well as wildlife descriptions, the mining heritage of the site is also recorded on information boards, more of which, said Mr Hamilton, were planned for the future as the site attracted ever increasing visitors.