Petasites fragrans. Spotted by volunteers on Tuesday 9th January 2018 and is probably the first flower of the year. There are large patches of heart or kidney shaped leaves containing pale pink flowers with very short petals and can be found in the mid north-west wet land of the meadow. Sadly this plant is listed as an invasive non-native species and may require control.
MP Visits Bonds Meadow
The Bonds Meadow Community Association welcomed local MP Peter Aldous to Bonds Meadow on 19th September. Peter met the Bonds Meadow Work Party who turn up every Tuesday to weed, cut back, pick litter, lay pathways and anything else which needs doing to maintain this beautiful wildlife area. Peter was also shown the new Eastern Woods Pathway which the work party created last winter out of an impenetrable jungle of rubbish and undergrowth. It is now mature woodland with flowers and wildlife which is already well-used and appreciated by local residents.
It was necessary for Peter to put his wellies on because, in spite of the improvement in the weather, the main footpath is still a sea of churned up mud owing to essential pipe-laying work being carried out under the footpath on behalf of Persimmon Homes, who have, however, promised reinstatement when they have completed their work.
Bonds Meadow appreciate Peter’s support and interest in the work which keeps Bonds Meadow such a beautiful spot and hope to welcome him back this year to see the reinstatement’s progress.
Bonds Meadow is an award-winning County Wildlife Area situated between Sands Lane and Hall Road in North Oulton Broad. If you enjoy being out in the fresh air and would like to join our work party, we meet at 9.30 am every Tuesday at the Sands Lane entrance or phone 01502 514157
Muntjac Deer Spotted
Like most wildlife areas, Bonds Meadow has Muntjac deer living in within the meadow and the woods on the opposite side of Hall Road. They frequently cross Hall Road and sometimes get hit by cars. One of our members found several dead deer by the road at the beginning of 2017 and asked Suffolk County Council Highways Authority if a “Slow Down – Deer Crossing” sign could be installed near the junction of Chestnut Avenue and Hall Road. The Highways Authority said they had no evidence that deer cause a traffic hazard in this area. We would therefore like to carry out a survey to find out how many accidents or near-misses involve Muntjac deer crossing Hall Road. In any case, we think any sign which slows traffic down at this junction is not a bad thing. If you are involved in, or see, any incidents involving deer on the road, please note the time, date and weather conditions and tell Bonds Meadow Community Association by leaving a message on the web-site or phone Margaret on 01502 584261. We may then be able to build up enough evidence to get that sign. We know people have mixed feelings about Muntjac because of the damage they can cause, but they are a known traffic hazard which we can try to reduce. Margaret Martin - 8/05/17
We are delighted to announce that Anglia in Bloom have awarded Bonds Meadow their RHS/Britain in Bloom “It’s Your Neighbourhood” Level 5 Outstanding Award. This is the second highest award possible. This is the third consecutive year we have won an award. We were previously awarded Level 2 – Developing - and then Level 3 – Thriving.
Three members of the Bonds Meadow Association attended the Presentation Evening at Broadlands on 31st March. We were invited to give a presentation about Bonds Meadow which raised a lot of interest.
We thank Anglia in Bloom for their encouragement. The award confirms what we have always known. Bonds Meadow is a great place to work in and to enjoy! It is immensely satisfying to know that the Outstanding Award is not easy to achieve and that it is not only about conservation and the environment, as important they are. The Award is also recognition of the benefit we bring to the community and to the educational opportunities we provide.
Grateful thanks go to our dedicated and hard-working volunteer work party, Suffolk Coastal Norse, Butterflies of Britain, Waveney Norse and everyone who helps us in so many ways.
There has been a lot happening in the last few months and there is much coming up.
Firstly on November 26th we are having a tree planting ‘party’ starting at 9.00am and going on until 1.00pm. Having been donated 450 trees by the tree charter we need to plant them so we need help. All welcome, come along and bring a spade and probably some wellies.
In order to make space for the wildlife friendly trees that have been donated we have had to make space by clearing some of many sycamores in the meadow so regular visitors will have heard the sound of chain saws and seen a few trees down. Sycamores are not the most beneficial tree for wildlife and they spread too much, blocking out light for other plants. Replacing them will be oak, rowan, birch and several other wildlife friendly species.
We have been lifting grass in patches from the meadow leaving just bare earth into which we have been sowing wildflower and grass seed. Hopefully, next summer these plants will be growing strongly and we will see more butterflies as a result.
Clearing rubbish from the wooded eastern section has continued with two skips being taken away full of baths, bikes and bottles etc.
We have recently liaised with Suffolk Norse who are now coming to help on a monthly basis, helping us on some of the bigger projects.
Lastly, in late October we had held a Halloween event, pulled together by B.O.B. We had a pumpkin competition, bug hunts, story telling, some music and refreshments. The event raised £170 for the meadow. Many thanks to all who attended and helped.
Most recently the team has been thinning out some sycamores to allow more light on the meadow and to help more useful conservation species to flourish. Some of the logs have been used for creating a path. The meadow has had its first late summer cut. This is done at this time to allow the seeds to drop ready for germination next year. It is essential the meadow is fully raked of the cut grass and at the time of writing this is taking place. We have been meeting with the council and councillors as well as Persimon homes to keep abreast and monitor the planned sewage pipe that is to run the length of the path between Sands lane and Hall Road. This will mean the path is likely to be closed for a while and some trees will be cut down. We are doing our best to mitigate the disruption and damage.
We have also started clearing the rubbish from area of woodland that stretches to Gorleston Road as well as cutting a path through. This work is continuing at present with the delivery of two skips to remove the large amount of litter and household waste that has been dumped there.. It’s been a busy month! We have a growing team but more help required please.
Lastly thank you to all of you who put tokens in the coop token scheme. You help raise £500 for the meadow. With no funding this money has been vital.
We have started work on two large bug hotels. Placing them into the banks to increase the number of insects living on the meadow. These are of course the start of the food chain so should benefit many of the animals on the meadow both directly and indirectly
We have placed a tawny owl box on site that will hopefully replace the tree that we lost that they used to nest in.
Butterflies of Britain (BOB)
The new organisation Butterflies of Britain (BOB) had its launch on the meadow recently. A highly successful day with many visitors participating in bug hunting and butterfly spotting, activities and cake eating. Very pleased to say we have an excellent and highly constructive new partnership with Lyndsey and Steve the founders of BOB.
Anglia in Bloom Award
We are delighted to announce that Anglia in Bloom have presented us with a Certificate in recognition of its nomination of Bonds Meadow for the Best Conservation Project 2015 under its Unique Opportunities for Communities in the Eastern Region. (Bedfordshire, Cambridge, Essex, Hertfordshire, Norfolk and Suffolk). To be nominated for a regional award is a real achievement. We are very excited that we will shortly be assessed alongside the best conservation projects in the Eastern Region. We will know the outcome around the end of 2015. Watch this space! We thank Anglia in Bloom for their interest and support. We feel this is a real acknowledgement of over 25 years of hard work in maintaining Bonds Meadow as a wildlife area which everyone can enjoy. Grateful thanks to our regular volunteers, the 14th Lowestoft Scouts and the volunteer team for Essex & Suffolk Water who cleared the Community Orchard.
The Bonds Meadow Community Association supports our neighbours the Bonds Meadow Residents. We assisted them in successfully setting up a play area and continue to support them in any way we can. We congratulate them on their Bronze Award from Lowestoft in Bloom for the Best Community Project.
Essex and Suffolk Water team visit to help orchard
For three days in mid August work was carried out by a volunteer team from Essex and Suffolk Water. They toiled in the rain to take down vegetation and sycamores that were over crowding the community orchard that was planted two over years ago. Structures and seats were built from the logs and the whole area in the eastern part of Bond’s meadow is now looking much better. Many thanks to the team who we hope will be back some time to help with some of the other bigger projects.
Much to our surprise barn owls became regular visitors this summer. Great to know they’ve been in the meadow along side the often heard but seldom seen tawny owls.
On the subject of Tawny owls, we are looking to source a Tawny nest box of the proper proportions as we think their nesting site has gone. If anyone can help with this please get in touch.
The meadow mowing has taken place which allows the wild flower seeds to scatter for next year. Raking of the grass has been the primary job of late.
After what appears to have been an absence, a fox has been sighted several times recently. A badger was seen more than once earlier in the year.