Early workparties and events

There was a very impressive turnout – between 30 and 40 adults and children – for the first official working party on Aston’s Eyot on Sunday 7th November 2010. The task was to uproot the rampant Japanese Knotweed which seemed to be doubling in size every year. The plan was to  weaken the knotweed by uprooting it and then cutting the regrowth on several occasions over the next growing season.  We managed to clear a surprisingly large area of the weed, about 50% of the total area. Work over the last four years has almost completely eradicated the knotweed and this area has now been turned into a beautiful wildflower meadow.
Click on the link below for more photos of the enthusiastic working party! Click on the slideshow tab in the upper right of the page for the slideshow view.
Spring 2011 – Planting and Burning
Click here for to go to the Flickr site for photos of recent working parties – burning the knotweed cut down last autumn and planting saplings. For a slideshow click on the tab in the upper right of the page –http://www.flickr.com/photos/55107749@N08/sets/72157626272961957/
May 2011 – Dawn Chorus Morning
Despite the heavy rain overnight eleven hardy souls ventured out of their warm beds at 4.30am to hear the dawn chorus. The birds were also undeterred by the rain and gave a good show, allowing opportunities to improve knowledge of the songs of many local birds – Chiffchaffs, Whitethroats, Robins, Song Thrushes, Wrens, Blackcaps and numerous Blackbirds.
May 2011 – Knotweed Scything
The first stage of the plan for eradicating the knotweed is to cut it down in order to weaken the roots. Click below to see the hard working volunteers (including a few trainees) showing their technical skill with the scythe!! For a slideshow click on the link in the upper right of the page.
July 2011 – Ditch Dipping
A very successful and enjoyable afternoon exploring the water life in Shire Lake Ditch from the bend near St Mary’s and St John’s School to the Thames. We had the benefit of the knowledge and enthusiasm of Rod d’Ayala and Robert Aquilina, experts in the secrets of all things aquatic. To see more pictures of the day click on the following link and then click on the slideshow tab on the upper right of the page –http://www.flickr.com/photos/55107749@N08/sets/72157627208952926/
August 2011 – Bat and Moth evening
Click here to see a slideshow on Flickr of more photos – there is a link in the upper right of the Flickr page to show a slideshow. – http://www.flickr.com/photos/55107749@N08/sets/72157627575419054/
October 2011 – Bird and Bat Box building
Our first bird and bat box building day – the children, and adults, had great fun banging in the nails and then putting the boxes up around the Eyot. They proudly wrote their names on the boxes and will no doubt check them out for signs of occupation over the next year.
Click on the link below to go to Flickr and see a slideshow of photos – the slideshow tab is in the upper right of the Flickr page.
In April and May 2012 we had three birdsong events – two in the evening and one on Dawn Chorus Day –  to help people improve their recognition of resident and migrant birds on Aston’s Eyot. The wet weather relented on all three days and we were able to listen to most of the songsters on the Eyot, despite it being pretty cold.
Click here for more photos of the events – when you get to Flickr, click on the slideshow button upper right for a slideshow display http://www.flickr.com/photos/57238095@N05/sets/72157629783737952/
October 2012 – Bird and Bat Box event
Following the previous year’s very successful event we had another afternoon building bird boxes and bat boxes. This time we extended our range to 2 kestrel boxes, 3 owl boxes and 6 stock dove boxes, as well as 20 tit boxes and 6 bat boxes. About 40 people came along and really enjoyed the afternoon.
Click here to go to Flickr – then click on the slideshow tab (upper right of page) to get the  best view –http://www.flickr.com/photos/55107749@N08/sets/72157631887223365/