Wildlife Protection in Rushcliffe

Photo of active habitat management
Conservation in Action

There are many designations on land that is of value to wildlife and many different bodies involved in nature conservation. Not all national initiatives are represented in Rushcliffe (for example the RSPB is not represented here and there are no National Nature Reserves) because at a national level, the wildlife here is not special. For me, that is what makes it interesting; for a naturalist interested in all kinds of wildlife, not just birds or not just butterflies, but in all the diverse plants and animals, there is a lifetime of discovery on our doorstep.

There are of course many scarce or rare species that occur in or visit Rushcliffe, so there is always the promise of that kind of highlight, but more importantly, most species may be nationally common now, but there was a time when Corncrakes and Cornflowers were common, when Wall Brown butterflies were common, when Cuckoos were common so it is crucial that we document our common wildlife in order that we can understand its threats, problems, population fluctuations and so be able to protect it if and when the need arises.

If this website encourages people to take an interest in the wildlife on our doorstep, then I will have achieved my objective.

Before categorising the ways in which wildlife is protected here, it should be emphasised that wildlife is all around us, not just at designated sites and our farmland and gardens are crucial to its well being, the latter especially so as they can be made to be much more diverse than the most important nature reserves and so host a wide range of species. Likewise farmland, which is often managed so intensively that next to nothing other than the intended crop lives there but which can be so important for wildlife without profits slumping too significantly.

Conservation Organisations Active in Rushcliffe

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Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust The county branch of a nationwide umbrella organisation that started as the Nottinghamshire Trust for Nature Conservation in the mid 1960s. Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust is the most active wildlife organisation in Rushcliffe and gives advice to landowners, runs the Watch groups to encourage an interest in wildlife among children and has active volunteer local groups throughout the county. The Trust owns and/or manages these Rushcliffe reserves:
Wilwell Farm Cutting,
Wilford Claypits
Old Wood
Fairham Brook Reserve (Clifton)

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Natural England The government-steered advisory body responsible for nature conservation at the national level. It owns and manages National Nature Reserves such as Martin Down in Hampshire and the Somerset levels. Nottinghamshire has only one NNR - Sherwood Forest. Natural England also designates the most important sites in England as Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and manages the farm subsidies that encourage landowners to manage their land in ways that are sympathetic to wildlife needs

Rushcliffe Nature Conservation Strategy Implementation Group (RNCSIG) This group meets every six weeks and is a forum for a variety of wildlife protagonists to raise and discuss concerns about what is happening in the Borough and to help to implement initiatives that promote wildlife conservation. The group is also the approval body for grant applications to Rushcliffe Borough Council's conservation funds.

Butterfly Conservation A national organisation that is just as interested in moths and the environment. The organisation is very active in Rushcliffe especially in conjunction with Notts Biodiversity Action Group over the Grizzled Skipper and an initiative to reintroduce Pearl-bordered Fritillary. The East Midlands branch arranges outings locally with expert guides.

Woodland Trust A national charity which has facilitated several neighbourhood tree planting schemes in Rushcliffe such as The Sheldon Field at Cropwell Butler and many projects involving schools in the area.

Rushcliffe Barn Owl Project (RUBOP) Thanks to principal protagonist Howard Broughton and his Mercedes G Wagon (now downgraded to a Ford), Barn Owls are probably more common in Rushcliffe than they have been for a century. Thanks to a lot of work and willing landowners, there are now dozens of owl boxes scattered throughout the Borough, all of which are monitored and serviced annually.

South Notts Group of Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust The Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust employs 31 full time and 18 part time staff and they are supported in their work by the society's members and volunteers. The South Notts Group (which covers Rushcliffe) is a highly active group which undertakes fund raising events like the annual Spring Fair at Ruddington and quizzes as well as promoting an interest in wildlife via its "nature table" and guided walks.

Keyworth Meadow LNR A small nature reserve to the south of Keyworth which was acquired by the Parish Council and declared an LNR in 1985. It has been a stronghold for Turtle Doves in recent years. The website is packed with information and has a regular diary of sightings with photos.

Friends of the Hook We aim to support the use and management of the Hook, Lady Bay site as a designated Local Nature Reserve by protecting, maintaining and enhancing it for the benefit of the local community and for flora and fauna.

Friends of Sharphill Wood We are volunteers who look after Sharphill Wood, two miles south of Nottingham. Membership is free to all. We plant hedges, tidy litter and conserve the plants and animals within the wood.

Friends of Rushcliffe Country Park Would you like to become a “Friend of the Rushclife Country Park”? We are a registered charity and our objectives are to promote the Country Park and improve its facilities.
Our members give practical help with many different projects around the Park and submit lots of ideas for new ventures for the benefit of everyone.

Royal Society for the Protection of Birds We’re saving threatened birds and wildlife across the UK and overseas. With your support, we are creating a world richer in nature.

Amphibian & Reptile Conservation Amphibian and Reptile Conservation runs a number of campaigns aimed at encouraging the public and volunteers to help conserve the UK's frogs, toads, newts, snakes and lizards.

FroglifeFroglife is a national wildlife charity committed to the conservation of amphibians and reptiles - frogs, toads, newts, snakes and lizards - and saving the habitats they depend on.

Buglife Buglife is the only organisation in Europe devoted to the conservation of all invertebrates, and we are passionately committed to saving Britain's rarest little animals, everything from bees to beetles, and spiders to snails. Today bugs are under threat as never before, so help us to secure a diverse and wildlife-rich planet for future generations.

Research and Monitoring Organisations Active in Rushcliffe

Nottinghamshire Birdwatchers The county ornithological society with over 400 members, many of them active birders. The society produces a monthly newslatter (by email so it's bang up to date) with the latest sightings and news plus an annual report in full colour with a detailed account of bird activity in the county as well as articles on rare birds and ringing reports.

Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire Entomological Society (DaNES) This society is in need of active support to keep it going and revitalise its activities as too much work is falling on too few members. Nevertheless it produces a newsletter and an annual report on insects for the two counties (and in some cases, other neighbouring counties) mainly on butterflies, macro moths and orthoptera but also other groups where members submit details of their specialist interests or research. The group can only be as good as its members, so get involved!

South Notts Ringing Group British Trust for Ornithology licenced ringers and trainees regularly ring birds at Holme Pierrepont and Rushcliffe CP. The results reveal a host of data about bird migration and longevity; invaluable information for bird conservation.

Nottinghamshire Bat Group "We are a group dedicated to the conservation of Nottinghamshire's bats. Up until very recently we were known as the South Nottinghamshire Bat Group but have now combined resources to become a group for the whole county".

Nottinghamshire Fungi Group "The NFG welcomes anyone interested in learning more about the fungi that can be found in Nottinghamshire. No previous knowledge is necessary to enjoy learning about fungi. Interested? Then contact us or turn up at any of our forays".

Botanical Society of the British Isles "is for everyone who is interested in the flora of Britain and Ireland. The society traces its origins back to 1836, when it was founded as the Botanical Society of London. From its earliest days it has welcomed both professional and amateur members, and it remains the biggest and most active organisation devoted to the study of botany in the British Isles".

Plantlife "Find out what's happening with wildflowers and plants near you. We work hard to protect wild plants on the ground and to build understanding of the vital role they play in everyone’s lives".

The Mammal Society "There's plenty to do to get involved with The Mammal Society and mammal conservation. It is only through your knowledge, passion, action and involvement that we can achieve more for mammals. Take part in a survey, join your local mammal group, submit your mammal records, join in with mammal projects across the country and submit your own research, to help us monitor, understand and conserve mammals for the future".

British Lichen Society "The British Lichen Society welcomes all who are interested in lichens, whether you are a complete beginner or someone with a life-time’s experience of lichenology. Throughout the world, but with a special emphasis on the British Isles."

British Plant Gall Society aims "to encourage and co-ordinate the study of plant galls, with particular reference to the British Isles".

British Trust for Ornithology Looking out for birds? Share your interest in birds with others by being part of the BTO. Volunteer surveyors, members and staff work in partnership to provide unbiased information about birds and their habitats. Join or volunteer today and make birds count!

Hoverfly Recording Scheme "The hoverflies (Diptera, Syrphidae) are a family of attractive and familiar flies that we all see visiting flowers. Gardeners welcome them because many of the black-and-yellow striped species have larvae which prey on greenfly and bacause of their important role in pollination.
The National Recording Scheme, launched in 1976, aims to collate information about their ecology and distribution".

BirdGuides "brings you better birding through technology. We offer up-to-the-minute news and views on British and Irish birds, comprehensive online and mobile reference, a huge photo library and the best products for birdwatchers everywhere."

Protected Designations in Rushcliffe

Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) The designation made by Natural England for the most important examples of habitat or natural community. The designation can apply to private as well as publily owned land and requires by law, a sympathetic management regime to maintain and enhance the value of the site.

Local Nature Reserve (LNR) A measure of protection administered by Natural England over land in the management of a local authority, (county, borough, district, town or parish). NE requires a mangement plan approved by them that demonstrates good managemnt of the land for its wildlife.

Country Park (CP) An informal title for land that is owned or administered by a local authority for open access and enjoyment by the public. Normally at least some of the land is managed for wildlife.

Local Wildlife Site (LWS) (formerly known as Site of Importance for Nature Conservation (SINC)) A designation given to land that fulfills certain criteria that singles it out as being of value at a local level. It's rather like a second tier SSSI but it doesn't give the same legal protection. However the local authority takes into account the designation when considering planning applications or assigning land use plans. Follow this link to access LWS selection criteria NBGRC

Nature Reserve (NR) A designation that has no formal meaning. Any individual can declare a plot of land and manage it as such (or not!). Normally however, a "nature reserve" is land managed (but not necessarily owned" by a conservation body such as the RSPB or Wildlife Trust. A "nature reserve" can also be a Local Nature Reserve and/or a SSSI.

Rushcliffe Biodiversity Opportunity Mapping

Nottinghamshire Biodiversity Action Group has produced its report on this initiative for Rushcliffe. The process put simply was to invite people with local knowledge to forums where sites were identified that could potentially be made "Better, Bigger, More or Connected".

The report is available online at Rushcliffe BOM Report 2015 V3