Even more Hate Hogweed

Today (Saturday 14th May 2016) an even bigger team went out to tackle the Giant Hogweed upstream and downstream from the Halfpenny Bridge.  The larger team went downstream and found many specimens but not as many as previous years.  We are winning!  The smaller team went upstream, intending to deal with the nasty baddies up to the Dolerw footbridge and into Dolerw Park.  They didn’t achieve that encountering a major forest around the Longbridge.  Another team will meet at 2 pm on Tuesday 17th May to try to complete this exercise.

The team ready to start

The team ready to start

Himalayan Balsam

Today we cleared a few paths through the Himalayan Balsam to provide easier access to the beach between the Halfpenny Bridge and Long Bridge. This area is well used by fishermen and families and the amount of Balsam removed was negligible. While dealing with these plants we saw that the seeds are ripe and ready for eating. Please do your bit to control this invasive by collecting and eating these delicious seeds. There’ll still be plenty of flowers for the bees!

More Hate Hogweed

Today we had a successful session tackling the Hogweed growing on the recreation area where the Mochdre Brook meets the Severn.  5 Custodians decimated those nasty plants and because the ground was soft we were more successful than usual in getting the roots out.   The impression is quite clear that there are less Giant Hogweed plants than usual and most of them are this season’s seedlings.  We are definitely winning but will never completely stop them of course.  The other good sign is that the native hogweed is now thriving so we are helping the good, local guys.  Well done the team!

There is another session up and down stream from the Halfpenny Bridge on Saturday, 14th May.  All are welcome.

 

Hate Hogweed

Hogweed Mochdre June 2016

Yes, it’s that time again. The hogweed has crept up on us while we’ve not been looking and is now in urgent need of attention.  See attached photo of some specimens near the Mochdre Brook.

Please let me know if you are available/willing to participate in a morning session on either Thursday 12th May and/or on Saturday 14th.

Mike Davies, secretary@riverseverncustodians.co.uk

Dead animal in river

Some of you may have noticed the rotting carcass of a calf caught by a log in the river just below the Halfpenny bridge.  We called the Environment Agency Hotline and their response was that they don’t come out for only 1 animal!  Apparently you must need a whole herd of dead cattle in the water before they will respond.  They suggested we notify the town council who suggested that we wait for a good rain.

Update on river incident

Some weeks ago Joan Avery reported sewage smells coming from the Severn by the new construction at the old Boys and Boden site.  We reported it and a couple of days ago the Natural Resources Wales called again to say they’ve reported it to Severn Trent.  They didn’t find sewage when they investigated but they have noticed stuff going into the river that should not be there.  Severn Trent should investigate eventually but in the meantime, NRW asked us to report immediately if anyone sees or smells anything unusual again.  The hotline, which we should all have in our mobiles, is 0800807060.

Stoat or weasel

Three days ago I saw a small creature running across our front porch. When I went to look more closely (having thought it either a rat or a mouse) I found it was either a stoat or a weasel – I really can’t tell them apart. I have never seen one here before. Are they common around the river?

Otter visiting

I think the otter has been visiting our pond again. I think I saw a mink swimming across the pond about a month ago, but now there is a regular track across the field from the river to the pond and evidence of the grass being flattened – similar to the pattern a couple of years ago when the otter was here. Not yet seen any spreint however.

Men from Les Herbiers try Coracling

Following the very successful Custodians stand at the Food Festival some of the more intrepid visitors from our twin town, Les Herbiers, were introduced to the wonderful art of the coracle.   Paula demonstrated the technique then let them loose on the Severn.  With a few mishaps they did well and the only one who got wet was Paula rescuing Daniel Charrier off the rocks.  The photo shows his son, Martin, who is obviously a natural.  Another memory of Newtown for them to take back to France.Coracle 7

RSC at the Food Festival 2015

Hi!
For the third year, the River Severn Custodians had a stall at the Newtown Food Festival. It was another very well-attended and exciting day. We had American Signal Crayfish on display and samples of Himalayan balsam to eat. There was a colouring project on a large drawing, done by member Geoff, for kids. The nature quiz was won by Rikki Renshaw with a nearly perfect entry.
There were also two nature walks led by Tilde which were well appreciated.
We welcome a few new members who joined at this event.
Thanks to all (and the weather) for making this such a good day out and publicizing our activities.

Just a reminder to take a look at our web site from time to time and to contribute interesting sightings or comments to the blog (http:​//riverseverncustodians.​co.​uk/blog/​) or Facebook page (https:​//www.​facebook.​com/severn.​custodians​).
Regards – Mike Davies (RSC Secretary).

A crowd gathers.

A crowd gathers.

Signal Crayfish display.

Signal Crayfish display.

A general view of the RSC stand.

A general view of the RSC stand.

The colouring-in board.

The colouring-in board.

A general view of the RSC stand.

A general view of the RSC stand.