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  • hilly 10:44 am on August 28, 2017
    Tags: , , , shrewsbury park,   

    Bat Walks at Woodlands Farm and Shrewsbury Park 

    Shrewsbury Park bat walk poster Sept 2017

    This weekend has seen the annual celebration of bats that is International Bat Weekend, so it is fitting that we have two bat walks in Shooters Hill this week: one at Woodlands Farm on Thursday,  31st August and then at Shrewsbury Park on Friday, 1st September.

    Details of the Woodlands Farm Bat Walk are on their web site:

    Thu 31st Aug 19:30 – 21:00 Join us for a bat walk around the farm. Woodlands Farm has a number of different species of bats, using bat detectors we will try to find some. The walk will start at 7.45pm. Please bring a torch and wear sturdy shoes. £6 adults, £4 per child. Booking is essential, to book call 020 8319 8900.

    The Friends of Shrewsbury Park are holding their second bat walk of the year on Friday. Kris Inglis wrote with the details:

    Friday 1 September 8.00 pm Shrewsbury Park
    • Walk is free to members, £2 others (but free to join on the day)
    • Wear sturdy shoes and appropriate clothing for the weather
    • Children must be accompanied by an adult
    • Walk lasts about 1 1/2 hours and torches are helpful
    • Dogs must be kept on a lead
    If you have mobility issues or enquiries please contact us on werfsp@gmail.com and we will help you participate. The trail is a mix of paved path, gravel and grass.
    If it’s raining, neither the bats nor us will be coming out!
    Meet in the car park for an introduction from bat-wise FSP members who will lead this adventure through the Park at sunset using our eyes, ears and bat detectors!

    It’s been a good year for bats in my experience. The National Bat Monitoring Programme field surveys in July went well. At Woodlands Farm volunteers detected a good number of pipistrelles, and also overflying noctules. We even detected pipistrelles in our Canning Town survey area which in previous years has had none, or perhaps a single pipistrelle detected at Canning Town Recreation Ground. It doesn’t help that the area has the noisy and polluting A13 running through it. There were also quite a few pipistrelles in the May Shrewsbury Park bat walk. As a bonus hedgehogs were seen at both the farm and Shrewsbury Park.

    One of my batty highlights of this summer was a bat walk at South Mere in Thamesmead led by Karen Sutton the Biodiversity Team Manager at Thames Water. There are lots, and I mean lots of insects flying over and around the lake, and these attract a large number of bats: noctules and the larger bats and possibly Daubenton’s bats over the water and common and soprano pipistrelles in the lakeside trees. It was a spectacular display of agile bats flying close to us spectators, and so many that it was difficult to distinguish their calls on our bat detectors to decide exactly which bat species were present.

    The highlight this year  so far though was our waterway survey along the River Cray near Hall Place. For the first time since the Waterway Survey has been carried out here there were definite detections and sightings of Daubenton’s bats feeding over the river. They flit about very close to the water surface capturing their insect prey using their large feet or tail membranes. I recorded some of the echolocation calls using my new toy, a Peersonic bat recorder: the result is shown in the trace below which was analysed using the Audacity free audio editing software. I can foresee hours of fun analysing the details of bat calls!

    Recording and spectrogram of Daubenton's bat in Audacity

    Recording and spectrogram of Daubenton’s bat in Audacity

     

    Hibernating Daubenton's Bat

    Hibernating Daubenton’s Bat

     
  • hilly 10:21 pm on July 6, 2017
    Tags: , shrewsbury park   

    Shrewsbury Park summer festival on Sunday 

    Shrewsbury Park festival leaflet

     

    The Friends of Shrewsbury Park are holding another of their marvellous summer festivals this Sunday, 9th July. The event kicks off with the official opening of the new drinking fountain, The Watering Hole, at 12.30pm by the Mayor of Woolwich, Peter Brooks along with “at least two” of our local Councillors. The new fountain was partly funded by the councillors’ ward budgets as well as money raised over the years by the Friends.

    This year’s festival is packed with events and music. As well as the amazing dog show, there will be community stalls, crafts people, ice cream, face painting and yoga. Local Tai Chi teacher Dorothy Ng will present  a Tai Chi demonstration from 1pm to 1.30pm, and the StepZ Dance troupe will be showing their skills.  Intriguingly Emergency Exit Arts will be revealing the secret life the urban meerkat in their Meerkat Menagerie and the astronomers of the Royal Observatory’s Flamsteed Society will be bringing along their specialist telescopes and equipment for some solar observing.

    Musical entertainment will be provided by Jazz Nights, folk duo Pytchwood, Susan Turner and Mark (Gilly) Evans of the Gillies and the Bexley Ukulele Band.

    Registration for entry to the dog show events starts at 12.30pm, costing £2.00 per class, with the following competitions:

    • Fun agility course;
    • Best rescue dog;
    • Best fancy dress;
    • Puppy class (under 12 months);
    • Best child handler;
    • Obedience class;
    • Best biscuit catcher;
    • Dog most like its owner;
    • Fastest dog.

    Unmissable, as usual.

     

    Agility competition at the 2013 Shrewsbury Park Summer Festival

    Agility competition at the 2013 Shrewsbury Park Summer Festival

    Solar telescopes at the 2015 Shrewsbury Park Summer Festival

    Solar telescopes at the 2015 Shrewsbury Park Summer Festival

     
  • hilly 5:32 pm on May 14, 2017
    Tags: , , shrewsbury park   

    Shrewsbury Park Bat Walk on Friday 19th May 

    Bat Walk Poster 2017

    Bats are fully active in May after their winter hibernation, and the females are starting to form maternity colonies and look for suitable nursery sites, such as buildings or trees, getting ready for June when they give birth to a single tiny pup which they feed on their milk. So the first Friends of Shrewsbury Park bat walk of the year should be perfectly timed to see plenty of bats, provided the weather is favourable.

    Kris Inglis, Chair of the Friends of Shrewsbury Park sent details of the walk:

    Meet in the car park at twilight for an introduction from bat-wise FSP members who will lead the adventure using our eyes, ears and bat detectors!
    Walk is free to members, £2 others (but free to join on the day)
    • Wear sturdy shoes and appropriate clothing for the weather
    • Children must be accompanied by an adult
    • Walk lasts about 1 1/2 hours and torches are helpful
    • Dogs must be kept on a lead
    If you have mobility issues or enquiries please contact us on werfsp@gmail.com and we will help you participate. The trail is a mix of paved path, gravel and grass.
    If it rains neither the bats nor us will be coming out!

    Summer is a busy time for bat surveyors: they will be walking their NBMP transects, such as that at Woodlands Farm, at the start and end of July looking for pipistrelles, noctules and serotines, then in August there’s the waterway survey for daubenton’s bats and other surveys such as the sunrise/sunset survey. Anyone can volunteer to help in these surveys, and the Bat Conservation Trust provide training in using bat detectors to identify bats, and even loan out bat detectors for the surveys.

    At the last Shrewsbury Park Bat Walk, last September, bats were detected almost immediately the walk started. Fingers crossed we’ll have similar luck this time.

    Brown Long-eared Bat at Bat Fest

    Brown Long-eared Bat at Bat Fest

    Brown Long-eared Bat at Bat Fest

    Brown Long-eared Bat at Bat Fest

     

     

     

     
  • hilly 7:39 pm on August 22, 2016
    Tags: , , shrewsbury park,   

    Bat Walks at Woodlands Farm and Shrewsbury Park 

    Brown Long Eared bat from Jenny Clark’s education team at Batfest 2015

    Brown long-eared bat at Bat Fest

    Next weekend, 27/28 August, is International Bat Weekend, which is marked by batty events across the world. Locally both Woodlands Farm and the Friends of Shrewsbury Park are holding bat walks in the coming weeks, and London’s Bat Fest is being held over the weekend at Woodberry Wetlands in Hackney.

    There seem to be plenty of bats around this year. The NBMP field survey at Woodlands Farm in July detected quite a few pipistrelles and some noctules. Pipistrelles have also been detected at the Wide Horizons Constitution Rise woodland, Manor House Gardens, Hall Place and Hervey Road sports field. Even normally sterile Canning Town had more than its usual solitary pip in this year’s NBMP survey. However the waterways survey along the River Cray at Hall Place once again found no Daubenton’s bats.

    Woodlands Farm BatWalks 2016

    Woodlands Farm’s bat walks will be held on Wednesday 24th August and Thursday 1st September. Maureen from the farm wrote with details:

    Join us for our annual bat walks. Starting with a brief introduction to bats we will then go on a walk round the farm trying to see and hear bats using bat detectors. You will need sturdy footwear, suitable outdoor clothing and a torch. Children must be accompanied by an adult (not recommended for children under 6 years). £6 per adult, £4 per child (under 16 years). To book go to http://www.eventbrite.co.uk/o/the-woodlands-farm-trust-8448478250

    The Friends of Shrewsbury Park bat walk is on Friday 2nd September at 8.00pm. Kris sent me details:

    Meet in the car park for an introduction from bat-wise FSP members who will lead this adventure through the Park using our eyes, ears and bat detectors!
    The walk is free to members and £2 for non-members (but you can join on the night). Please wear appropriate shoes and clothing for the weather and paths. Children must be accompanied by an adult. And dogs must be kept on a lead.
    The walk lasts about 1 1/2 hours and a torch is useful.
    The car park may still be open but not at the end of the walk so remember to leave cars outside of the Park. If you have any mobility queries please contact us on fspdog@hotmail.com and we will help you participate.
    If it rains neither the bats nor us will be coming out!

    Let’s hope it stays dry for all the bat walks!

    Shrewsbury Park Bat walk poster 2016

     
  • hilly 10:55 am on June 8, 2016
    Tags: , shrewsbury park   

    Friends of Shrewsbury Park 10th Anniversary Festival 

    Friends of Shrewsbury Park Parksfest leaflet

    The Friends of Shrewsbury Park are holding a weekend of festivities to mark their tenth anniversary: they first met on 13th March 2006, and have been responsible for many improvements to the park since then. Kathy, the Chair of the management committee wrote with details:

    We are planning a weekend of events to celebrate our 10th birthday.  On Saturday 11 June we are holding our summer festival of jazz, choir and dance from 2 – 4pm.  On Sunday 12th June, we are holding our fabulous Dog Show from 1 – 4pm.

    Saturday 11 June 2-4pm – we have Bella Voce Social Club Choir, Greenwich Morris Men, Summer Jazz from Jazz Nights, Community Activity Stalls, Solar Scopes, Pony rides and more
    Sunday 12 June 1-4pm – our fabulous Dog Show featuring fun agility course, best rescue dog, Shrewsbury’s got talent, best child handler, Puppy class (under 12 months), best fancy dress, obedience class, fastest dog. You need to enter your dog at the Registration desk at 12.30. The £2 per class goes towards the fundraising for the drinking fountain.

    The park’s summer festivals are always very enjoyable, with lots of different activities from the Flamsteed Astronomy Society demonstrating how to safely view the sun through to the traditional dancing of the Greenwich Morris Men. And the dog show is always great fun. This year’s line-up looks the best yet.

     

    Solar telescopes at the 2015 Shrewsbury Park Summer Festival

    Solar telescopes at the 2015 Shrewsbury Park Summer Festival

    Agility competition at the 2013 Shrewsbury Park Summer Festival

    Agility competition at the 2013 Shrewsbury Park Summer Festival

     
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