St Nicks

Centre for nature and green living

With a little help from our friends: St Nicks volunteers making a difference

Nocturnal Weekend Wildwatch
Our hard working and hardy volunteers have been at it again, day and night, come rain or shine. Apart from our regular weekly sessions, we offer plenty of drop-in opportunities if you’d like to volunteer with us to look for wildlife or to help York to bloom and buzz. Here is a summary of recent highlights.

The first Weekend Wildwatch session on Saturday 12th October proved a huge success. We had a great time searching for nighttime wildlife out on St Nicks nature reserve armed with torches and bat detectors. Lots of Pipestrelle bats were seen as well as heard plus a Noctule bat which was picked up on the bat detectors. The highlight was a Fox which trotted away gracefully in front of everyone. Next month’s session on Saturday 9th November will be earlier in the afternoon at 2 o’clock  and we’ll be looking for mammal tracks and field signs so please join us to look for footprints, half eaten nuts and everyone’s favourite… poo!

Intrepid volunteers at the Millennium Bridge.

Intrepid volunteers at the Millennium Bridge.

Monthly Millennium Fields Volunteer Days started on Sunday 13th October thanks to funding by York CVS Growing Green Spaces. On a rainy day after the council had mown, we took the opportunity to do some serious wildflower seed sowing to increase species diversity in the grassland. Once we’d raked up the cuttings into habitat piles away from the main grassland, we set about exposing the bare earth through scarifying the remaining vegetation with rakes and sowing seeds. We also tidied up a small area of grassland near the Millennium Bridge to create a colourful and buzzing hot spot. Next month on Sunday 10th November we’ll be doing more seed sowing and planting.

The sun came out on Wednesday 16th October for a very pleasant and productive afternoon sowing wildflowers on St Nicks meadow with our Student Action Volunteer group which is growing by the week (pun intended). After a bit of light scything to lower the sward and make the scarifying of the soil easier, the session flew by and a huge area was sown with seeds from St Nicks and other sites along with some from a bought in mix. Sowing in the autumn gives the seeds much more chance of competing with grasses and established plants. We look forward to seeing the difference in species diversity and colour next summer.
Student Action Volunteer Group

Can U Dig It? Student Action Volunteer Group at the ready.

18 October 2019 | Categories: Stories, Volunteers' diary, Wildwatch | Tags: meadow, student action, volunteer, wildflowers, wildlife